standing in the way

“Self-hatred, guilt…it accomplishes nothing.  It just stands in the way.”

I came across this quote back in November.  I have no idea where I heard it or who said it, although I’m pretty sure it was from someone’s tweet.  Needless to say, it caught my attention.

Self-hatred.  Guilt.  Been there. 

You, too? 

Yes, for sure.  Those big, fat jerks of self-reflection do stand in the way.  But stand in the way of what?

True change.  They stand in the way of truly changing.

I’m of the persuasion that only the Holy Spirit can truly change us, but with an important caveat.  We have to be open to the change the Holy Spirit can create.  The love God has for us is irresistible and yet experience teaches that we are able to resist quite often.  So there seems to be a partnership of sorts that God has with us.  Granted, it’s a limited one—with us as the infinitely weak part of the equation—but still a partnership.

I’ve spun my wheels quite a lot in my life with something similar to self-hatred.  A crappy self-esteem—or, as I like to put it (in less cheesy terms), Christ-esteem.  It didn’t get me far.  My wife had to lay down the law early in our relationship because she didn’t like what she saw.  When it boiled down to it, I just didn’t want to fully accept grace and love in my life.  I wouldn’t have thought of it that way, but that’s what it was.

I’m not amazing, by any means, at fully accepting grace and love.  But I know enough now to be dangerous to the piece of me that wants to listen to self-hatred.

Listen to that voice Jesus is whispering into your ear.  You are loved.  There is grace in open hands, being offered to us.  In the Kingdom of God, there is no room for self-hatred or guilt.  The guilt’s been washed away and we’re supposed to love the ones we hate.  Both begin with our selves, not with other people.

Don’t stand in the way.

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About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
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