Just some things

Posted on 2007-10-27. Filed under: Quotes, Thoughts |

It’s been a while since I blogged so here are just a couple of things that I’ve experienced recently.

First, there are two quotes from the book Shame and Grace. The first is a quote from Johann Goethe:

When we treat a man as he is, we make him worse than he is.
When we treat him as if he is already what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.

The second quote is from the text of the book itself:

I will begin with this as our foundation: the surest cure for the feeling of being an unacceptable person is the discovery that we are accepted by the grace of One whose acceptance of us matters most.

To experience grace is to recover our lost inner child. The heart of our inner child is trust. We lose our childhood when we feel that the persons we trusted to accept us do not accept us or that they may reject us if we do things that displease them. Shame cheats us of childhood. Grace gives it back to us.

The trusting child does not have a worry in the world about whether he is smart enough, or handsome enough, whether he has accomplished enough with his life, or been good enough to be acceptable to his parent. He trusts that the someone who holds him, warms him, feeds him, cradles him, and loves him will accept him again and always. Trust is the inner child we rediscover in an experience of grace.

Grace overcomes shame, not by uncovering an overlooked cache of excellence in ourselves but simply by accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our uglness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and accepted forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being. We are given what we have longed for in every nook and nuance of every relationship.

We are ready for grace when we are bone tired of our struggle to be worthy and acceptable. After we have tried too long to earn the approval of everyone important to us, we are ready for grace. When we are tired of trying to be the person somebody sometime convinced us we had to be, we are ready for grace. When we have given up all hope of ever being an acceptable human being, we may hear in our hearts the ultimate reassurance: we are accepted, accepted by grace.

The last thing that has really got me thinking recently is a sermon I listened to online. It’s from a church I was referred to in my current search. It’s a sermon on Finding God and references the Parable of the Prodigal Son in ways I’ve never heard before. And in fact, the way the two sons are compared was also alluded to in the Shame and Grace book – just without the reference to the Parable but referencing the types of people themselves.

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