Posted by: New in Every Way | September 19, 2012

Right on Schedule

~~  Removing Roadblocks to a Healthy Self  ~~ How Real Life Connects with the Bible

“Hitting the Bull’s-Eye” pointed out that we want so much to feel good about ourselves that we are constantly aiming at the target of self-esteem. Our darts seldom land right in the bull’s-eye–and sometimes do not hit the target at all. One thing that keeps us from hitting the target is shame. In some families, parents say things like “Shame on you” or “That was so mean” to steer their children toward better behavior. These parents mean well. They want their children to develop the good attitudes and behavior that equip them for a happy, successful life. But shaming children backfires. It robs them of the healthy self-esteem that is also necessary for a happy, successful life.

My mother was very wise. One evening, when I was four and my brother was two, she set about putting us to bed. Neither of us wanted to go. She put Frank in bed first then came to my room to tuck me in. In the middle of the process she stopped and said, “Do you hear how hard your brother is crying? You are just fussing a little. You are getting to be such a big girl.”

At that moment I would have done anything for her. She had given me the gift of self-esteem. Until she said that, I thought my little bit of protesting made me a “bad girl.” She assured me that I was a “good girl.” No, I was not as mature as I would be when I was older, but I was right on schedule—as mature as I could be for my age.

My mother’s approach mirrors God’s. He removes the burden of shame so we can live and grow and become strong.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me . . .
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs (Isaiah 61:1-3, 7 NKJV).

Making It Personal

  • What has someone said to you that made you feel “bad”? like a loser?
  • Is that really what you are?
  • It takes time to build character and gain wisdom. Are you right on schedule? Or are you moving slowly but at least on track? God sees that, whether anyone else does or not. And he is pleased.
  • Do you sense you’re not even on the right track? Why don’t you open your heart to the Lord and let him get you there? How do you do that? Talking to him daily and reading the Bible are big keys. But you may need to first let him bring you into a right relationship with him. If so, click here and here.

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