Every parent knows that gut sickening experience when in the stress and pressure of a moment, we react to our child with a choice of words and tone that precedes to strip a sense of human dignity and excellence from our child. Their face reads like a book.
The real story here is that shame just did us. And we all know that pain. All of us have it.
So easy in such moments to off load our sense of inadequacy and the slander that shame splashes over us onto others. After all, isn’t it really about what our child or another person did or said???
Psalm 16:3 says “As for the saints (including the little ones!) who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones in whom is all my delight.”
Wow! saints.. excellent ones.. is this what we are thinking about others or even ourselves in such moments?
Then there is the little matter of “in whom is all my delight.” What?? Delight in these moments is the last emotion I am feeling! How about you?
So much easier to give in and yield to that dark voice of slander & meter that out on others as a way of trying to dodge the bullet ourselves!
Slander is a way to shake off our discomfort and pain around our identity. Slander is a cheap way to jump start connection with others. Our world even builds entire communities around this ‘weapon’. We gather around what others are saying a person or community is doing or not. How do we use our empowered freedom of communication, whether it’s face to face communication or on social media?
We can not use technology or our ‘justified’ shame and offence to flatten the world.
Is there another way? YES!!! We don’t have to be an unconscious victim simply reflecting the culture around us that is hyped on shame & slander.
God shows His heart here in Psalms 16. He sees SAINTS! He sees EXCELLENT ONES! This is honor. We get the enormous privilege of calling out excellence in others, calling out the divine design in our children, in our family, in our community.
Certain things then are below our dignity to talk about and we become contributors not accusers.
The Psalmist here makes an interesting link. “As for the saints who are on the earth..” One of the areas of responsibility we carry as saints is for the land. Delighting in the excellent ones impacts the land!
Mother Basilea Schlink a writer and leader of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Germany discovered this.
After World War 2, Mother Basilea and her Order began to rebuild their centre in Darmstadt. She was trying to cart in sand and every time it came near the entrance of the property it would flip over. This happened over and over.
Instead of simply looking at this problem through rational logical eyes, she asked God and listened to his interpretation as to what was going on.
Mother Basilea discerned that there was a link between the cart flipping over and their vindictive attitudes. So delighting in these excellent ones, she called them to repent for their attitudes.
The next cart of sand smoothy came into the property. Nothing changed but their hearts.
This began a strategy in this order where they actively applied repenting to problems they came across in their garden and surroundings. For example, when pests came into their garden instead of using pesticides, they would check their hearts and repent for the things in their hearts.
This required a brutal honesty with themselves. They were learning to live in truth, in the way of excellence, in the life of Jesus. They were willing to own their stories, repent and restore themselves and each other back to excellence.
Pastor Jennifier Eivaz says that repentance is a war move!
I invite you today to consider what’s in your heart, what slander has the Accuser, Satan, who accuses the saints day and night (Revelation 12:10) has tried to put over you or those you know?
Step into repentance as a war move on shame and slander.
It is as simple as saying, “Papa God I hate this feeling and action. I hate slander and shame that I have done or others have done, and I repent. I repent for getting done by shame and slander. I repent on behalf of others who have been ‘done’ by shame & slander and I speak blessing and forgiveness over them today. This is below my and our dignity as excellent ones. Thank you Papa God for restoring my eyes to see my excellence and the excellence of others. Jesus thank you for showing me the way. Jesus you are Lord over me, over my land.”
God bless you excellent one!!