Check Your Mirrors

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” – Psalm 23

Most of the time I don’t live like goodness and mercy are following me. Do you?

I realized the other day as I was worshipping and singing my heart out to Jesus in the prayer room, reflecting on this verse, that most of the time I live as though I’m being pursued by anything but mercy.

Criticism, guilt, self-doubt, and shame are what I most often find on my tail. Not to mention an onslaught of over-analytical thinking.

Sometimes I have a conversation with someone only to hurl myself into the familiar chasm of negative self-talk, self-doubt, and self-judgment. Often I beat myself up about the tiniest things, and I wonder if so-and-so that I just had coffee with is thinking I’m as big as idiot as I think I am. Not mercy. Not goodness.

Even in error. Even in mistakes. Even in sin.

Even then, there is mercy and goodness that follow me, but I allow shame and criticism to speak to me more.

But as I get to know my God more, I realize that I am way harder on myself than he is. I heap disapproval on myself that is ill-fitting for a beloved of the Living God, for a woman purchased and redeemed by the blood of Christ.

And I am realizing that in allowing myself to be followed by criticism and shame, I’m missing out on part of my inheritance: a life lived in the confidence of the approval, lovingkindness, faithfulness, and mercy of God.

March 18, 2015