By Nancy Virden (c)2021
A YouTube video stars an ashamed Boxer trying to hide its face – under the owner! Yes, at the sound of disappointment in a master’s voice, or a cross look, or even because they know their own guilt, a dog will duck its head in shame.
As mentioned in the previous blog, No Dog is an Island, we have much to learn from our fuzzy four-legged friends.
Andy, a homeless Blue Healer I found thirty years ago, used to put himself in time-out. What released him from his self-imposed punishment was my mercy (and lots of belly rubs.) We need the same. (Of course, I’m referring to belly rubs.)
(2) We need mercy
Shame locks us in as if in a vault. Unless we confess our guilt to God and another trustworthy person, negative self-talk is all we will hear. I’m not deserving of a `great spouse, God doesn’t want me bugging him. These silent and deadly attacks are self-imposed. Thoughts like, I’m stupid! When will I learn? They hate me, no one cares, beat us up and help to defeat our joy.
Mercy is ours for the asking, God promises. Faith in God’s gift to us – Jesus Christ – sets us free from all shame and guilt if we let it. As a gracious and loving forgiver, God releases believers all over the world from senseless self- punishment. It is easier to give ourselves a break when we grasp the mercy qualities of God.
Powerful for spiritual, emotional, and even physical health, begin by sincerely asking God for this mercy, admitting to your need of a Savior. This is called repentance if it leads to a change of heart and ways. Our obligation to make amends where possible is another step toward experiencing joy.
Do not forget to have mercy for yourself. Allow imperfections to remind you of your humanity, and of the great mercy of God.
Today’s Helpful Word
Psalm 103:8- 14
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us… so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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