Once again my heart has been gripped with the power of our words and the power of shame. Last night after work I opted to buy groceries at a smaller store closer to my home than driving the extra 10 minutes to hy-vee like I normally do. As I was checking out I was asked if I had a discount card with them and I promptly replied “no, I don’t, I do not usually shop here”. The clerk than looked at me and said “Shame on you.” As I was walking away I first felt a bit of shame for not shopping there. It is closer to my home and in the town I live in. I should be spending my money to boast the terrible economy of this town, and not giving it to an already abondant neighboring town. I let those words over me take root, if even for a few seconds. I then realized what he had said, even if he did not.
Shame on you is such a frequently used phrase when someone does something you do not approve of. But do we really understand the implications of saying this to someone. Do we really wish that person shame because of the choices they make. Shame is not an easy thing to overcome, the last thing we need, is people speaking it over you for stupid reasons like not shopping where they work. I have my reasons for not shopping there and they consist of terrible produce and an all around scary/creepy environment. But I felt ashamed about it (for a moment) because this guy spoke that over me.
So, once again, I am reminded of the power of our words and how powerfully shame effects a person. Moral of the story: speak your words carefully, you never know who is listening or how it will effect them.
I have found myself thinking a lot in terms of safety and security these past few days. Finding that my decisions are usually based on an outcome of safety and security. I drive down that parking garage until I find a spot where my car is least likely to get a door ding, I set the security alarm for the house every night, and I put money in my savings account. I want to buy my own home because I know I wont be “kicked-out” or without a place to invite a friend in need (among other various reasons). I continue to pursue an education so I am not left without a job or resources.
I am sure I have been living in this mind set for years- a survival mechanism I created. We all create survival mechanisms. They are great when we need them in that season, to survive. But they frequently end up inhibiting wholeness in the end. Such as “not crying” as a child when it leads to punishment inhibits our ability to relate and grieve as an adult. It makes us hard. You get the point. 🙂 So, I have to ask, at what point does safety and security become a handicap in our lives.
When we find our safety and security only by the food in the fridge and money in the bank It leads to a false image or false satisfaction which ultimately ruins our walk with the Lord. Safety and Security are found in knowing who the Lord is and in knowing what He thinks of us. Safety is found when we are walking in His path, in His arms and security comes in knowing that He will not leave nor forsake us.
There has to be balance, I understand that. But there has to be a point when we realize that as comforting as it is to have the worldly sense of safety and security, it is not worth compromising our hearts.
I pray for balance in this area. That I never let the world satisfy the areas of my life that can only be satisfied by the Lord. That my heart is not compromised because I cannot see past my own means of survival or my own fears of letting go. I want to live in fullness and wholeness with true security (not just worldly safety). I pray the same for you.