From Shame to Grace

The small group that Alexis and I are involved in right now is going through a series called “Wounded by Shame healed by Grace”; it is a wonderful group “counseling” (for lack of a better term) series. Currently we are just on week two, and the main concepts discussed have been performance driven shame, and guilt verses shame. It has been quite eye opening and I just can’t wait to see what else God will reveal to me, Alexis, and our relationship together.

For myself I have noticed that much of the things I have done, and still some of the things I do to this day have been driven by performance, albeit not consciously. I remember a number of times saying “yes” to something simply because someone of “importance” asked me to do it, which must have meant that “they liked me” therefore if I do a good job on this task I will be “better” in their eyes, and in me. This is just not true, I am who I am because of what God says I am, not anyone else. Performance is really simply self-focus, it’s saying “what I do, is what makes me” it doesn’t allow for God to make me into who He wants me. This is shame because I became ashamed for not “meeting the standard”, not “pleasing the person”, or a number of other things. Shame based performance happens a lot with people, usually it comes in the form of performance love, “if you do this thing, or please me well enough you’ll get a treat (love), but if you don’t than you are punished.” This is different than actually disobeying an agreed/understood upon consequence to something. This kind of performance-love plays out in families all too often, instead of separating the behavior or task from the person, the ability to do a task or behavior reflects onto the person’s being. What a person does, and who a person is should never be equated.

That’s my little rant, and my little journey into some deeper stuff. I am not perfect, and I know that I say things that shame people, but I want to be held accountable, and for people to call me on these things.

Lord God, I pray that you continue to open my eyes to your wisdom in giving and receiving grace. Your amazing grace isn’t called amazing for no reason. It is amazing because no matter the circumstance, no matter the issue at hand, I am covered by your grace. Lord help to live in your grace and not the judgments of others, nor to be motivated by other people’s thoughts, judgments, or shame. Thank you, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.