What’s your spiritual health quotient?
Over the years, a lot people have come to me for guidance or direction. I think they believed God was going to rescue them from a bad situation at work or miraculously intervene for them while they’re going through a tough spot in their marriage. This mindset reminds me of the ‘get out of jail free’ card from the Monopoly game my brother and I used to play when we were kids. I think God fully expects us to grow up and take responsibility for the life we’ve been given and the choices we’ve made. That may mean taking time to discover what put us ‘in jail’ in the first place. It can also mean learning how to have that difficult conversation at work and doing the hard work of relationship building with your spouse. It requires us to stop avoiding, complaining about and blaming others and do the hard work of self-examination first.
So, ask yourself, why are some people successful at work? What does a great marriage require of me? Why am I experiencing my current results?
Think about this for a minute. Are you convinced that you are worthy of having a great career and marriage? Do you get to a certain point and then fail to move forward? Sometimes we stumble over the same old obstacles of guilt and shame. Guilt is an emotion of conviction. Guilt says, “I made a mistake” or “a mistake was made.” Once we recognize there was a mistake, we can work on fixing the problem. People actually make a living discovering mistakes and fixing them. They are called 'trouble shooters.' The key is to begin the hard work of trouble shooting in our own lives. Don’t aim for someone else’s trouble.
I believe we confuse guilt and shame. Guilt is meant for course correction. Shame is very destructive. It’s not about a course correction or making amends. Shame drives deep into our soul. It says, “I am the mistake. I am shameful. I am unworthy because of who I am. There is nothing I can do to change.” Shame is a lie. It’s origin is with the father of lies. Brene Brown calls shame the epidemic behind many forms of broken behavior.
According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus says he can do something about both of these problems. It’s as if Jesus equates sin with illness and Jesus is the doctor. Look it up for yourself in Matthew chapter 9. We all have the problem. Who among us is sick? There is a remedy for this sort of thing. You can have a healthy work life and a rockin' marriage. But, there is some work to do. Imagine going into that troubling work situation or relationship challenge with a clean slate because that’s exactly what is possible and available to you. You simply need to see the doctor.
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. Matthew 9:12 NIV