Friday, February 7, 2014

Know Your Name: The Power of Grace Over Shame

Buckwheat pancakes.

Doesn't sound very appetizing, does it?

But, I was excited to hear that they were gluten-free. And, I'm always looking for ways to cook for my children with food allergies.

So, I looked up a recipe for Buckwheat pancakes on Pinterest.

As I stirred the batter, I imagined delighted faces ooing and ahhing over my culinary creation.

"Kid's come and get it," I called, holding out a steaming plate of hot pancakes.

Little man was the first to try.


He took a bite and then paused, not chewing. He opened his mouth and let the piece fall out.

"Yuck, Mom." The look on his face was of pure disgust.

"Gross," said another.

I tried a bite and choked it down. My eyes started to water. It burned going down my throat.

Still, the buckwheat wasn't cheap, so I tried to make myself like it by smothering the pancake in a puddle of maple syrup.

Nope. It didn't help. They tasted awful.

I checked the recipe again. When I looked at the measuring utensils, I realized my mistake.

It called for 3 tsp. of baking soda.

I picked up the measuring spoon with remnants of baking soda inside.

It was a Tablespoon not a teaspoon.

It's no wonder they were gross.

I had to throw all the batter away.

And, I had to tell the children what happened. That it was All. My. Fault.

This was not the first time I botched a recipe, either.

I closed my eyes and clenched my teeth, bracing myself for impact. For the onslaught of criticism.

But, the kids only giggled when I told them my mistake.


Being shamed so many times in my life for making mistakes, even little ones, has conditioned me to expect that's what I get when I mess up.

I won't get into the who, what, when where, why, or how, but over the years, I've come to realize that I have some big issues with

Shame.

The old rhyme, sticks and stones will break your bones, but words can never hurt me is a lie.

Words can do far more than we realize.

So I decided to try to discover the truth behind words and how to turn
from shame
to grace.

I have found that one of the greatest sources for truth is the Bible.

The book of Proverbs is full of truth about words. 

"The words of the reckless pierce like swords..." (Proverbs 12:18)

 Words, like swords, can jab into our very being and wound our soul.

"...a perverse tongue crushes the spirit." (Proverbs 15:4)

Careless words can crush our spirit, causing us to even despair of life.

Conversely, soothing words can rejuvenate us and give us hope.

"The tongue of the wise brings healing." (Proverbs 12:18)

"The soothing tongue is a tree of life." (Proverbs 15:4)


There is power in words to save or destroy.


That includes words

Spoken to us by others,

Told to ourselves, or

Declared by our Maker.

Others can tell us who we are, they can name us.

Whether right or wrong, we have a choice.

We can take on the name or we can discard it because we know our true identity.

In that moment, whether spoken out loud or in our own mind, we can reinforce the truth or the lie.

If we hear words whether spoken or conveyed through body language that make us feel unloved, worthless, or cast away, you can be sure that shame will follow.

But, sometimes, we can be alone and something will trigger shame, something that reminds us of other times we've been wounded.

Truth comes before emotion, however painful or uncomfortable.

Truth is always true.

Emotions, such as shame can sometimes lie and lead us down the wrong path (Jeremiah 17:9).

Seeking what God says about who we are is the key to release us from the prison of shame.

We can discover the beautiful truth of our identity in Christ by spending time with Him in His Word, letting the truth sink deep down into our heart.

We can speak the truth to ourselves and believe our true Identity.

I found these 31 Truths to keep me walking on the right path (Proverbs 3:5-8).

Turning to Christ and acknowledging His Lordship gives us a new name.

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9, 10)

When we preach the gospel to ourselves, we agree with God that our salvation is in Christ alone. We are saved from the punishment of our sins (Romans 6:23) and freed from living a life filled with shame, fear, and disgrace.

Our new name is

Christian

That is who we are and there is no shame in that.

There is only love.

The love of God.

Because we bear His name.

No longer not enough, we are saved by his grace through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

I tried again. The dreaded Buckwheat. This time it wasn't half-bad. Little man liked it at least.

Ah, back to the Pinterest board. But, hey. There is a time to cook and a time to look for a more appetizing recipe.

And, there's no shame in that.