As a Christian counselor, I see two self-defeating beliefs in approximately 75 percent of my Christian clients:
- First, there is the burden of shame that results from an inability to control sinful behavior. We tend to believe God’s seal of approval is based on our “performance.” This in turn creates a mindset of never measuring up to what God expects from us. This leads to what I call a shame label.
- Second, there is an endless struggle to feel God’s love and presence. “What does it feel like to love God?” we ask. We dare not move toward Him in fear He will label us as disappointments and reject us. What we fail to recognize is we are projecting the negative feelings we have about ourselves onto God. We have adopted lies that Satan drilled into our heads in an attempt to hinder our relationship with the Father. We are trapped in the Christian Shame Cycle.
When we struggle to believe God loves us the problem lies with us – not with God. In his classic book The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer makes the argument that God’s love is always consistent.
“Why do some persons ‘find’ God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His Presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us.”
It is time for us to start taking the steps necessary to come out of spiritual darkness and move into God’s light. We begin by rejecting our illogical thinking that leads us to wear negative-shame labels. We follow that by beginning to understand the magnitude of God’s love. And we end the process by entering into a truly intimate relationship with God.
In the coming days and weeks, I will share with you more in-depth what each of these steps involves. In the meantime, start praying asking God to help you remove your shame label and teach you the depth of His love for you.