Only three more days to go! If you’ve missed any of the 31 day e-votionals on overcoming shame, be sure to catch up on the blog. 

Day 29: Stop Shoulding – We all put expectations on ourselves to be achievers—women who are successful physically, financially, stylistically, emotionally, and spiritually. When we’re unable to bear up under the pressure of all this “shoulding,” it slams back down on us and shame bursts out.

If Jesus doesn’t “should” on us—if he doesn’t pressure us to be someone we’re not—why do we constantly do it to ourselves? I think Christians struggle with shoulding because we genuinely desire holiness. We want to be growing in Christ. We want to be maturing spiritually. We don’t want to be stuck in old sinful patterns. But anytime we try to force ourselves into roles that Jesus never asked us to fill, we end up wrestling with ourselves rather than resting in him.

You belong to Jesus. So follow him. Worship him. Obey him. Repent from sin. Grow in him. Yes, do all those things, but never believe for a moment he’s molding you into some cookie-cutter version of what a woman should be.

As Jesus sanctifies you, he separates the real you from all the bogus expectations you place on yourself; the ones that make you a lesser version of you. As you become more like Christ, you are actually becoming more like the woman you were always designed to be. 

Consider: In what ways do you “should” on yourself? What unrealistic or difficult expectations do you place on yourself?

Prayer: Thank you that I am your beloved daughter and I don’t have to be anything but that. Please give me the grace and strength to walk in freedom each day. When shame creeps in, help me to fight it boldly, knowing I am under the protection of your victorious banner. Amen.  

(Sections taken from Overcomer by Aubrey Sampson. Copyright © 2015. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.)

To read the full version of this in Overcomer, grab a copy at amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Books, or wherever books are sold. 


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