Thanks for stopping by for Tuesday’s Trench Lesson @ Coffee Hour. Grab your pumpkin spiced latte – oh, that sounds good; Coffee Bean makes the best 🙂 – or your coffee, and come on in. Oh, I almost forgot, grab your strand of faith, too, because hopefully you will be able to tie a knot or two in it as it relates to your own journey and our trench lesson. Imagine that strand full of knots, analogous to your faith. Can you see it? How unlikely is it to become unraveled? NOT! As it should be with our faith when circumstances and situations come upon us, threatening to knock us down!
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been invited into several people’s cars, aka, their lives as well as their relational issues. It’s almost uncanny that three completely unrelated couples had a common thread, one that can actually become like a rope and choke out any chance of healthy love. It’s also incredibly ironic that this same thread ties in with our current roots that we are doing both in Transform I and II: the Root of Guilt/Shame and the Root of Impaired Identity. So do you want to know what the common thread is? Attacking someone’s character instead of addressing our need! In other words, do we tend to shame someone if they tick us off? We weren’t called to be shame-makers, but bondage-breakers!
Let me give you a real simple example, using myself and my current situation, which is definitely stretching and growing my spiritual muscles: My husband is unemployed and has been for almost eleven months. Now, the old me would have gotten all over him like white on rice and insisted that he be out there pounding the pavement looking for a job, accusing him of all kinds of shortcomings, which would then lead to all sorts of fighting, low self-esteem in him, a perpetual cycle that would eventually end in divorce. That’s called shaming, attacking his character instead of addressing my need. I don’t want to be a shame-maker; I want to be a bondage breaker!
See, my need is to feel secure, financially secure as well as emotionally secure. Well guess what? He can’t meet that right now so what am I to do? Do I stomp my feet, shake my fists, act like a two-year-old who needs her diaper changed? No – but trust me, there’s times I feel like doing that and getting on my broom – I take my need to Him who is able to do exceedingly more than I could ever hope and imagine (Ephesians 3:20), who will meet our needs according to His riches in heaven (Philippians 4:19), including giving me the love and encouragement I need to pass on to my husband during this incredibly tough time in his life…if I ask!
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no angel, and some days are easier than others, but I have learned through relationships that being a shame-maker is a relationship breaker! So before you point the finger and begin to hurl accusations, stop and pay attention to what it is you are in need of because every emotion going through you at that moment is need driven! Pay attention to your emotional dashboard to avoid becoming a shame-maker!
Join me tomorrow for the Seven Differences between Guilt and Shame that I pray will take the gavel out of your hand and place it back in the Father’s!