Last night was the restart of our recovery classes. Christmas and New Years were both on Tuesdays this past season so we cancelled for the two weeks. It was so good to be back into the classes and addressing once again the content of them. In my own class on abuse we are into the damage of abuse separating out shame as guilt from toxic shame which is shame from thinking you are valueless. It was a heavy conversation last night. Each man present including myself knows the sense of valuelessness and the abuse which brought this belief about.
This morning I happened to be reading again in Acts. Paul is busy taking the message of Jesus Christ to the many territories the book mentions. Joyce inserts a message which was very pertinent for me. She talks about her 4 kids coming from “in me”. They carry characteristics of her because they started “in me” meaning her own body. She compares this to our “being born again” when we accept Christ into our life. In so doing, we have Christ “in me”. We have the characteristics of Christ now in us and we also have the Holy Spirit to make these characteristics more a part of our daily living. As I was journaling about all of this I could suddenly realize a dramatic point. The sin which was done to me by my brother and the beliefs I’ve had stemming from dad’s critical spirit were generating a toxic shame which had me believing I was valueless. However, all this time, Christ has been helping me to replace what I thought was “in me” with His Life now “in me”. This new life (new creation) is full of value because it is the very Son of God and He is “in me” along with The Holy Spirit! Talk about value!
Well, this is a lot to take in but it is so critical. I truly am a new creation and this morning I have a much richer understanding of it. How I thank God for His faithfulness to me and to each of us. He is far from done too–He says so.