Can you believe we’re almost half way there?! I’ve never blogged so much in my life! I’m so grateful to each of you for joining me on this 31 day challenge and would love to know your stories! Be sure to post, share, and comment. I want to hear from you!
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Day 15: Overcoming Shame in Community – Perhaps you feel like the only one who has ever dealt with your specific brand of shame. You believe you’re the only who has ever wanted to escape your life, so you keep that thought to yourself. Maybe you’re the only one in your group of friends whose parent walked out on her, so you think no one could possibly understand your ongoing fears of abandonment. Perhaps you feel like the only one suffering financially, the only one who battles loneliness or insecurity, the only one in a difficult relationship, the only one with an addiction. When we feel like we’re alone, opening up about our inner conflicts is all the more terrifying.
Hiding is a natural response, as old as the garden of Eden. We all need to feel safe and comfortable with people before we can even think about baring our souls before them. But far too often we believe the lie that our imperfections equal our inadequacy, and that exposing our flaws will reveal spiritual immaturity or lack of faith. So we suffer silently, saying nothing about our inner pain. All the while, there is greater freedom and deeper joy to be had when we are willing to reveal our authentically-flawed selves.
It’s ironic, actually. As we disclose our weaknesses to one other, that act actually strengthens us and our communities to continue overcoming shame. Acts of vulnerability produce contagious courage.
Consider: What hinders your ability to engage in community? How would you describe your experience of Christian community? Has it more often been a source of shame or a source of healing from shame? Why?
Prayer: God, thank you for never leaving me alone. Even when it feels like I’m the only one, you have given me the gift of community to remind me that I’m not. Amen.
(Sections taken from Overcomer by Aubrey Sampson. Copyright © 2015. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com. All rights reserved.)