When we’ve been abused, our spirit feels crushed, our soul feels shame, and our body’s energy is down. We can even think that somehow the abuse is our fault. The “friend” who is the abuser has behaved in such a way as to move us from perhaps a healthy outlook on life, to the line of thought and swamp of emotions, that not only do we hurt, but also we think that we’re so unworthy that no one could value us anymore. And so we don’t value ourselves either. Spiritual abuse is a real downer.
I’m here to tell you that that’s not the way it’s supposed to be in the Body of Christ. That kind of abuse is utterly abominable, and it’s not your fault. Let me say that again. It’s not your fault! Spiritual abuse is an external event that someone else caused to happen to us. And it is abominable and totally opposite of anything remotely Christ-like!
How is it supposed to be? I’m so glad you asked. The Lord created us out of love. He created us out of a love that is greater and deeper than we can imagine in this life. He created us for love and joy. He created us for love and joy and gave us a sense of purpose. As Christians who follow Jesus, we set out on life’s journey to find that sense of purpose. And we have a deep spiritual hunger until we find it.
In His love and joy, the Lord reverences us. The Lord reverences you, exactly the way you are right now. The Lord reverences me, exactly the way I am right now. He wants more than anything for us to buy into that reverence.
We are to reverence the integrity of our own Being in Christ.
We are to reverence ourselves as one for whom Christ died. Whenever I think about that phrase, “Reverence the integrity of who I am,” I find a certain kind of peace in my spirit that wasn’t there before.
It kind of blows my mind, but I’ve come to believe that reverencing the integrity of Self is the same thing as obeying the One who made me. Does that sound kind of odd to you? It sounded odd to me the first time I heard the idea. How can reverencing my own integrity be the same as obeying God?
Visualize this: If I reverence the integrity of who God made me to be, then I stand a greater chance of finding his purpose for my life, and I’m cooperating with the journey to find that purpose, and am therefore obeying Him.
Reverencing our own integrity in Christ is not selfish or self-centered. Reverencing who God made us to be is actually humbling. It means we have to lay aside our feelings of unworthiness and allow his healing love to wash over us. It means we accept his acceptance of us right here right now. It means we accept his forgiveness for the whatevers.
When we accept all that, we find that He hasn’t ever left us, and that in fact, He is with us right now, reverencing us in the present moment, walking with us even while we still hurt. When we hurt too badly to go on, He picks us up and carries us. And we find healing.
For me, “reverencing the integrity of who I am in Christ” plays a huge part in defining my “Ultimate Creative Potential in Christ.”
Do you think you could reverence the integrity of yourself in Christ?
Leave me a comment.
And remember, you're awesome! May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand.
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