Our fundamental problem as humans is shame. That's what cripples us. And shame's message to us is:
"I'm not enough to make you happy, or prevent you from being disappointed with me."
Here are two common misunderstandings:
- Feeling forgiven, in and of itself, won't heal shame. It's a wonderful thing to no longer have your sin held against you. But forgiveness alone won't help you conquer that addiction that's lasted for years; or heal the anger that rushes in every time your children interrupt your work with silly questions. Or the fear that no one will ever come for you because you're not worth the time.
- Telling yourself that you are "worthy", while believing that your heart is still a shameful mess, won't heal you. It's like trying to believe it will be a sunny day as you notice the rain clouds gather in the distance. It does you no good to try and convince yourself of something you don't believe is really true. You can't believe you are worthy and acceptable while holding that your heart is "prone to wander." There's too much dissonance between what you're trying to believe and what you really believe about your true self.
Then what will heal our shame; and dispel the lie that "I'm not enough to please God or anyone else?"
Answer: Discovering that you have been given a good and noble heart by Christ when you said 'yes' to him; then doing the hard work of trusting that new heart when shame hits you out of nowhere:
- When you get rejected three times for three different job positions.
- When your husband fails to see your heart and seems too disengaged to care.
- When you feel sidelined by God, shelved - while others seem "successful" in their calling.
Bottom line: God has removed the nagging fear that we are worthy or acceptable by making us so. He did that by changing our core tendencies and desires. The fact that you possess a new heart means you are always pleasing to him. Yes, you may and can still sin. But the sin is no longer you. Sin is no longer at the core of your identity: it's is no longer in your heart.
God looks at your noble heart and knows you are genuinely good and pleasing to him. You are enough to make him happy. Exceedingly happy.