Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
So many times, I’m disappointed in myself. That’s a hard thing for me as a pastor to say, but nevertheless, it’s the truth. I see where I could have been a better leader, father, pastor, and friend. I see where I could have eaten cleaner, studied longer, or paid attention to someone. I see where I could have been bolder, kinder, and more patient. I think how we handle shame may be one of the most important things about us.
What do you do when you have disappointed you?
- Give yourself a pat on the back for seeing it! This is key. Most people don’t see where they can get better. They fall deeper into bad habits because they don’t catch them when they are small. Seeing areas where you can get better is not a bad thing. It CAN be very healthy if you follow the below steps. So instead of feeling shame when you see an area of improvement give yourself credit for actually seeing it. The unexamined life is the dangerous life.
- Understand you can’t always be seeing what’s wrong with you and have a good relationship with yourself! Think about it, if you had a friend who constantly showed you your weaknesses, what kind of friendship would you have with them? A poor one. You wouldn’t want to see them. You wouldn’t want to be around them. You wouldn’t want to get close to them. While we need to see areas we could grow in, we must also see areas we have grown in!
- Take your weakness to God. Your weakness is not a disconnection point with God. Your weakness is a CONNECTION point with Him. Read that again. God’s not intimated nor shamed by your weakness. That’s the very part of your life He wants to display His glory. He gets no glory in the strengths that you made strong. He gets glory in transforming your weakness into your strengths by His power and grace. Be like Jacob. A little disappointed in yourself? Wrestle with God. Take that weakness every time you see it to His strength and ask for grace to beat it. Still weak there? Take it again. And again. Leave it at His feet. Rely on more than your discipline! Rely on His strength. Let Him be the potter. Let yourself be the clay.
- Don’t lose heart. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged! Don’t let your shame keep you from the Father's house! Get up prodigal and go to your Father! He’s not ashamed of you. This isn’t the way you will always be! The Father will restore you. Get up. Go to Him. You are loved.