I came across this short post I published last year and it rang so loud and true to me today, I thought some of you might need it too.
Originally published May 2, 2014.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. -Philippians 1:20
I’m sure I’ve read this verse before, but I don’t remember noticing this:
… in no way be ashamed… but have sufficient courage…
Shame vs. Courage.
Wow. This is the battle I’m in right now. It takes courage to step out of the shadow and into the light and put yourself out there and try to do better, be better. Yes, there’s grace for failing – but the failing still happens. Gahhhh I hate failing.
And I hate shame. But as much as I hate shame – and that which brings me shame (currently, my anger, my emotional overreactions, how quickly I snap at my kids, a.k.a. “My Issues”) – as much as I hate it, the sad, ugly truth is, I snuggle up to “My Issues” like a warm blanket. They may be fatal, but they’re familiar. They may be costly, but they’re comfortable.
Moodiness? Oh yes, I’ve got that down. Anger, short fuse? I can do that in my sleep. Pridefully clinging to my “rights?” If only it were an Olympic event.
But peace? patience? gentleness? Dang it. I know these are from the Lord and I know they are mine in Christ – but walking through the work of LIVING IT OUT – it still, more often than not, feels like unfamiliar terrain to my feet. Especially compared to these paths of moodiness and anger I’ve walked smooth by years of travel.
Stepping onto the higher path – I know it’s better but it’s not easy and it doesn’t feel NATURAL. Perhaps though, rather than asking God for more peace today or more patience, or more gentleness – I need to ask for SUFFICIENT COURAGE. Courage to act on, live out, and rest in the SUPERNATURAL peace, patience, and gentleness He has already put in me by His Holy Spirit through Jesus.
Could you use more encouragement in this area? Check out this follow-up post I wrote: Starving (with a mouth full of food).