WHENEVER we’ve been caught in the headlights of life, stunned like deer, and we’ve been forced in that harrowing moment to backtrack, the devil’s the first one in there — drawing near without invitation — deriding us through poor self-esteem.
“You always do that!”
“Only you’d do such a silly thing!”
“Why do you never learn?”
“Look, they’re laughing at you right now!”
“How are you ever going to recover from this?”
And so on…
These are just a sample of things our inner devil of low self-esteem says when we’ve hit the ground hard. When we’ve repented or we’ve been found wanting, we’re very vulnerable in our weakness to attacks on our person from within.
These attacks — when the enemy draws near — occur as a response to the new normal that’s really a rehash of an old normal. None of us likes failing. Yet, we’re all susceptible to it. We will all fail. And it’s how we’ve learned to adapt to failing that’s the key here.
At some point we may have adapted very well to failing, from an initial start that was anything like that. Then there are others who’ve adapted well for decades until an inner crisis came where they could no longer.
The key is becoming conscious of what we’re saying to ourselves — often at the unconscious level. This may seem impossible if not illogical.
Where we experience shame for what we’ve done or not done the voice of the enemy will be loud and clear — accusing us of shame we’ve brought on ourselves. God’s will, on the other hand, is to work with what’s shameful and make it an instrument for his glory — a redemptive mindset.
Satan shames us into submission through our negative self-talk, but God shames Satan into submission through his grace.
An experienced grace is the perfect foil for the experience of self-condemnation.
An experienced grace is the inner reality of acceptance in spite of humiliation.
There’s no shame in failure because that’s how we learn; even by repetitive failure. Grace is known and favour is shown when we’re honest about our faults and not so fearful not be feel ashamed.
Shame will always want failure hidden, but grace shames the desire to hide through unqualified fearless acceptance.
There’s no substitute for shame than acceptance. Whoever accepts ‘what is’, even when that’s a shameful event, has the courage of accepting shame in the only way it can be healed.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.