We’ve all heard the amazing testimonies of people who have overcome in so many areas of their lives and are now living in God’s will. Now everything is victorious and picture-perfect for them.
Then we look down at ourselves and recollect a long list of sins and imperfections. The comparisons begin and out of guilt we vow to try harder from now on. When, inevitably, that trying ends in a misstep we hide our failures out of shame and guilt. The hiding leads brings up more shame and guilt.
Shame and guilt isn’t the way of Christ.
The way of Christ is radical grace. It’s grace that doesn’t care about good enough.
In Christ we have grace and permission for space, permission to be a work-in-progress.
Emily Freeman, author of Grace For the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life, invites women to realize that in Christ we are free to receive from God, rather than constantly achieve for him.
She acknowledges that it is easy to ignore the tendency for striving and desire for perfection in our own lives.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Oh, you’re talking about goody-two shoes, people who think they’re better than everybody else.’ It’s actually the very opposite, it’s women who know that they’re not perfect.”
We are very aware of our imperfections and actively try to manage others’ and God’s opinion of ourselves. We know we aren’t perfect and we will do anything possible to make sure other people don’t find out, especially not other people in the church.
Sometimes the church only increases the problem by the way we ask for volunteers and subtly guilt people into doing things.
“There can be a shaming that happens and we don’t even realize we’re doing it.”
This program originally aired on February 6.