I am selfish. I want what I want. I often expect or even demand my outcome to be priority. I look out for myself. I allow my expectations to take over my emotions and anger settles in. This is just one of my many sins. This is what I bring to the table but so desperately wish I could just leave in the trash. I’m aware and more importantly I’m free.
As I glazed over my morning read with my warm cup of coffee and barely there sunlight peeking through my blinds, I read this…”It is so refreshingly backwards to admit our weakness, rather than defend and cover it.” (Jennie Allen, Nothing to Prove)
As I sat there for a quiet still moment, I closed my eyes and spoke to God. What is it that I am trying to hide? What do I need to bring into the light so that I can be set free from the burden it is placing upon my heart. Two words washed over me, selfish, pride. Ugghhh…talk about a punch in the gut. Really God? Really? I do so much for so many in my life. I help the foster community, volunteer at church and pray over all those that are placed upon my heart. Then, silence. I stopped. As I heard myself defending myself to God, it’s almost like I could hear his laughter. He already knows. He knows my heart, my thoughts, my fears. He knows exactly what I do and why I do it. As my own conviction came over me I felt a sense of peace, freedom. Wait, He does already know me, He made me! He knit me together in my mother’s womb and counted all the hairs on my head! Defense was not my needed reaction, “I’m sorry” was. I’m sorry for having selfish reactions. I’m sorry for wanting what I want at the sake of possibly hurting others. I am sorry for not putting others before me. I am sorry.
What I can see in this small, defenseless, moment is that that He does not call out our sin to condemn us but to free us. It’s when we can admit our faults, failures, insecurities and NOT defend them, that we are recklessly and fearlessly free. Sure I do good things in this world and with a very intentional heart, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have natural human tendencies that put my needs before others. Do not mistake my admittance for acceptance. I am not proud of this default and I truly pray that it will disappear. But how can we rid ourselves of our worst insecurities if we can’t even admit them? How can we truly claim to be children of God if we are condemning ourselves and others?
This is me standing before you, vulnerable, open, and ready to receive His peace. That I can walk boldly, with my head held high, and own my mistakes. I truly am sorry. I know that I have this weakness woven into my ways but I also know that I have the strength of the Holy Spirit in my bones. I know that His ways are better than mine and I have full access to them. They may not come naturally. They may need to be sparked by my morning cup of coffee or daily workout, but they are there, waiting, ready to be put to use.
I love the image I get when I hear the Lord as a spring of living water. That His grace and love is overflowing and abundant. That not only do we receive this eternal source of water that will never leave us thirsty but we also supply it for those around us. While selfish is on my list of sin, so is love, so is self-control, so is faithful.
It’s when we admit our brokenness and bring it into the light that we are no longer controlled by it. It’s when we stand before ourselves and others without defense but humility that we are free. We have already been chosen, accepted. We are loved with and through our sins. We are human, we are His. This does not give us a free pass to crap on others and just arrogantly accept it. This is our chance to no longer let the words of this earth define us, control us and bind us. My name is not selfish, it is daughter of Christ, it is forgiven, it is beloved.
What names have you given yourself this morning? What shame do you carry and then cover with smiles and avoidance? I tell you to release it. Admit it. Quietly pray to your God to show you where you fall short and what you need to let go of. As the words, that you may not like, are placed upon your heart, hear them but don’t believe them. Admit them quietly to your Father above and pray for the peace of forgiveness, that He has already given you, to wash over you. You are released from that prison, those thoughts don’t define you. You are not your worst mistake or your worst moment. You are not the crazy mom that had a bad moment and yelled uncontrollably at your kid. You are not that unforgivable wife that said hurtful things to a man you vowed to love. You are not broken. You are not forgotten. You are a human being that is not perfect. You are flawed and you are forgiven.
Lets all rise and admit our sin. Lets repent and receive. Lets give grace to ourselves and others. Lets stop playing the game of condemnation and live a life of kindness. Kindness to ourselves and kindness to those around us. You my dear friend, are loved.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13