Tag Archives: Identity
My ten year old daughter has just pillaged through her sisters drawers again and taken what she wanted without asking. She is arguing about not wanting to help unload the dishwasher, and in the same breath begging me to make her breakfast. I have had it! I yell out,
“You are so selfish!!!!!!!”
She yells right back at me, “I am not selfish, I am just acting selfish!”
This story is true. And now, I am happy to say we all survived our strong willed child’s growing up years. She is now 18 and getting ready to graduate, and go to nursing school.
When my daughter boomeranged those words back at me, it enlighted me to a deeper understanding of shame vs. guilt.
You see, guilt is something you do that you can ask forgiveness for.
Shame is who you are.
Our ten year old daughter understood this at such a young age. She would not take on the false image of living in shame that she was destined to be a selfish person. Instead she was acting in a VERY selfish way.
Shame is considered to be the swampland of our soul.
I am writing this post today with a desperate plea for you reading it to exam how you perceive your self.
How would you describe yourself?
The bible say’s you are made in the very image of God Himself.
He does not make mistakes.
You are a miracle, with so many gifts and unique strengths that the world is a better place because your in it.
Shame paralyzes you from allowing your true identity to come out. It is what blocks us from joy, fulfillment, and whole hearted living.
My husband, Eric just taught on this at our Friday night home church. He made the comparison of Peter who denied Jesus three times, vs. Judas who sold out Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Both had shame and took it on as who they were. The difference was that Peter was able to walk away from it and follow Jesus again, while Judas took his own life and died in his shame.
If you are dealing with shame I would encourage you to shout out like my ten year old, what you are not. Replace it with the wonderful truth of who you are and then walk out and do the thing that is in your heart to do. Enjoy discovering the beautiful wonderful miracle you truly are.
I linked a powerful TED Talks about shame and vulnerability that you might enjoy as well.
When your engaged in a conversation, what is your image of yourself?
Have you ever tried to quit a bad habit and failed, or tried to create a good one and quit?
Would you ever refuse doing something you wish you could do but are too afraid of the outcome?
When you look in the mirror who do you see looking back?
Parents, culture, and experiences mold and shape our images as we grow up. The very building blocks put in place to help us mature and develop can unfortunately be the very foundations for our insecurities, fears, and deep wounds.
As adults we can have a good job, great friends, surrounded by loved ones but still see ourselves as the hurt and broken individual we once were.
Imagine you’re at an art museum. There is a masterpiece in front of you that has captured your attention. What is it about this piece that touches you? It moves something deep inside you, If only you could get to know the artist, ask him questions, you would have such a better understanding of his work.
You are the masterpiece, so wouldn’t it make sense to go to the one who created you and ask Him who you are, and what beauty He placed inside of you? The bible says that God formed you in your mother’s womb, and that you are intricately and wonderfully made. When He made the first man God said, “I will make him in my image.” When you look in the mirror tell yourself that you are the image of God. Don’t let your hurts define who you are.
Growing up abandoned from my father left deep scars that gave myself a horrible image of who I was. It damaged all of my relationships and I was always striving for approval in everything I did. I remember a particular day when I was crying my eyes out, so sick of feeling so driven to please and desperately wanting to be loved for who I am and not what I do. It was at that moment I saw myself looking into a mirror at who I was; a hurting broken little girl. Then I heard God say, “Smash the mirror, that’s no longer who you are.” I remember screaming at the image until the mirror exploded in my head. I overcame the way I saw myself. Since that time I have had many amazing conversations with the master artist who created me and gained deeper understanding of why He made me the way I am and my true identity. These encounters have helped me to appreciate the masterpiece in greater depth. Now when I look in the mirror I see a beautiful compassionate work of art that loves to inspire depth and perception in others.
Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
If you see brokenness let me share with you a miraculous color that God has put in His pallet just for you. It is the crimson blood of His only son that was broken and scarred by this world to heal your wounds. If you call out to your maker to heal and cleans you He will paint over your canvas with this blood that washes whiter than snow. It has the power to turn sorrow into joy and ashes into beauty.
I can confidently say, “You are a masterpiece of great value, one that is worth dieing for.”