It stems from a desire to be accepted, not rejected.
It comes from a need to be thought of as efficient, not deficient.
It consumes and penetrates the soul and becomes an idol of worship.
I’m just beginning to come to the place of calling it as it is. Idolatry. Looking to something other than God for acceptance. Hoping to present a work of my hands for approval. Wanting others to see my life and declare it good.
That last statement gets me. We are told to let our good works be seen as an example of living worthy of the gospel. But, I believe the motivation for the approval is where I went wrong. Letting others see “good works” so that they give glory to God is perfectly acceptable. But, to gain the accolades for self…to build up self…to feel good about self…to hope others see my self as worthy…these are motives which wreak idolatry.
Only God is worthy.
Only God is good.
Yes, we like others to think well of us. Of course we do. We all desire acceptance. Anyone ever read The Search for Significance? Yet, some of us have an insatiable desire to be seen as perfect, worthy, good, acceptable, because deep within we feel deficient. We feel flawed in our innermost being. It comes from shame. Illegitimate shame.
Legitimate shame for sins committed leads to repentance. And God’s grace pours over the sinner as forgiveness is given. To feel forgiven for sins committed is an amazing wonder. To know God has cancelled the debt and accepts us through His Son is the most freeing feeling I’ve ever experienced.
Illegitimate shame comes from having one’s dignity diminished. One’s worth as a human being is denied. It comes from many sources. The words and actions of a trusted caregiver leave indelible ink on the soul of a child. A person who abuses that trust leaves the child feeling used. Determining another’s “worth” and declaring it as truth for all to hear: You are _____! Bullying. Tearing down another’s esteem. The list goes on…
These things deeply wound.
And the wounded heart hemorrhages within the soul…
“Come to Me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you.
Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
To have a humble and gentle Teacher who will give rest for your soul…