QUESTION: I often notice how I tend to have MUCH higher expectations of myself than I do others? I “excuse” others because I know that “nobody’s perfect”, yet the same behavior in myself is absolutely inexcusable. Why am I so much harder on myself than I ever would be on others? I call it “negative arrogance”
How can we stop using SHAME BASED MOTIVATION? Remember that my “heart” is the inner chatter others can’t hear and which I often hide even from myself. “I can’t believe I did that! What’s the matter with me? Why don’t those people struggle? I’ll never change! I could try but I’d just mess it up! There I go again forgetting to live in grace! I really need to get my act together! etc.etc.
When my heart believes irrational things, it thinks that it is doing me a favor and this irrational expectation for myself will spur me on to greater deeds.
My heart fears that I must be perfect because I can’t trust God to come through, I have to compensate for his weakness or possibly just his disinterest; because I trusted him before and he didn’t come through.
It fears that, if I take a close look at my reality, I will discover the scary truth that I am not only imperfect, not only messed up , but actually the CHIEF OF SINNERS! Which would surely spell my doom.
MY HEART IS WRONG, yelling at myself and expecting too much, trying to do better; leads nowhere. Like a dog chasing it’s tail, I’ll endlessly strive to be better, which I can’t. The problem is not that I expect too much but that I expect anything of myself at all. I am forgetting that “Without him I can do nothing.”
As usual, the way to deal with the quicksand of works is to stop wrestling and lay down in it and float till rescued. Don’t even try to not yell at yourself for imperfections, just notice yourself doing it and laugh at your silliness, a bit.
Lord I can’t even rest in grace, I need your grace to remember grace, picture grace and act in the grace.” This total weakness of mine is good! When you cause me to rest, all the credit will be yours.”