Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Art of Peace, the Craft of Release

SABBATH involves the practice of shalom; that distinguished peace that pervades our being.  My best Sabbath is practiced at the beach, alone, with a refreshment and a book with blank pages and a pen.  Just as close is a being still in lush vegetation, especially where there’s a view, for where there’s a view there’s perspective.
Sabbath is about perspective — the reclamation; the resurrection; the redemption.
Sabbath is the reclamation of our soul’s centred peace.  It’s the resurrection of our tired and worn out bodies and minds.  It’s redemption when we thought redemption would never come.
Sabbath is about less in a world that convinces us to want more.  It’s about the art of peace through the craft of release.
The more we have, the more need we have of control. The more control we need, the less peace we have. Peace comes readily when we regularly let go.
These are the theses for a life that promises so much that when we do much we experience less peace.  There is a classic reverse correlation.  More is less.  More content in our lives means less actual spiritual content; less peace.
The art of peace is the craft of release.
The difficult thing in our world is getting away from it every now and then.
And if we hold to the idea that out of peace comes thankfulness, enough to be grateful, which infuses joy, and propels us forward in hope, then we’re impelled to take our opportunities to refresh, renew, and revitalise.
So, the art of peace is the craft of release.
The more we’re able to let go, the more peace we’re able to receive, as a product of losing our lives to save them — the gospel principle that our Lord Jesus taught us.
And that’s the only difficult part in making an art of peace by the craft of release — we just don’t want to let go.  There are still too many good things to do.  But many good things to do make too much of those good things.  And anything good taken too far becomes bad.
We were never designed to be able to cope with too much coming in.
We have to make a choice — some of those good things have to go.  We don’t have the time, energy, inspiration or any other resource we need to do all the good things we see that could be done.
The art of peace is the craft of release.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How the Grief In a Loss Suffered Well Makes the Grief Worth It In the End

COMPARING one grief with another is not always a great comparison, but my earliest most resounding grief taught me several things that have proved invaluable in subsequent griefs.
These learnings include:
1.     There is a blessing in being blindsided — we quickly resolve we cannot do life without God.  That’s the most important learning to underpin the grief response.
2.     When there’s nowhere to hide we learn to run to God, and we should find God is there with us (yes, we take the Bible at its Word — we believe!) in our horror reality.  When we have nowhere else to go we learn — as we reflect back later on — we’re in the best place ever; the sweet spot of the will of the Lord, even in the worst of circumstances.
3.     We learn that the grief experience is so horrendously abysmal we never previously credited it as possible.  Grief opens our eyes bigtime.  Compassion is birthed in us for what others are enduring, have endured, and will endure.  Mercy of spirit is freed to fly for the fact that life can be so bad.
4.     Having endured something harder than we previously imagined possible makes us competent, eventually, at managing horrendous realities.  Somehow we’re primed to endure future experiences of dire hopelessness.
5.     When life has suddenly become nothing we learn very well what Jesus spoke about when he said we had to lose our lives in order to save them.  This is why grief works out to be its own compensation.  We become reduced to the only things that can never be taken from us — we are split soul from spirit so the Spirit can rebuild us from the ground up.  A soul vanquished of its vain spirit is then open to the Spirit — the Holy Spirit.  Grief can be a purging of much darkness.  Grief can be a refining fire, burning off ugly bits of our character.  And this is only because we came to the end of ourselves.  A beautiful concept from a healed perspective.
6.     A grief borne that didn’t crush us, as we look back years hence, is the proving ground instilling us with a brimming confidence to face an unknown and potentially dark future.  Our expectations for life are right-sized.  We learn not to expect much at all.  And then just about everything is its own blessing.
7.     And all of this is very much underpinned by that faithfulness of weakness in those early days; moments of surrender when we felt utterly skittled of sinew and spirit.
These are just some of the learnings.  There would not be enough libraries in the world to contain all of what God does in and through us because of our suffering in his name.
Verily, the greatest compensation God gives us in our sheer reliance on him in our grief is the strength to go on, even in the stark realness.
I cannot say it any better than this:
Grief teaches the capacity to bear what is real, and to be bold with reality etched in pain.  It’s God’s compensation for what life has done to us.  Whatever life does to us God can turn for our good.  And such good is not like-for-like.  It’s a superior good.
The very thing that went hard against us proves, through God’s help, to be the very thing that goes ineradicably for us!
For suffering the screaming pain of grief in loss we’re given capacities for compassion, mercy, love, resilience, healing, and ultimately, poise and quietly humble triumph.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Monday, December 28, 2015

LEGACY – Leaders Who Adapt Go for the Gap

ADAPT, even out of a winning formula, or you will lose.
That’s the crux of the All Black ‘go for the gap’ culture.  It’s built off the Japanese principle of Kaizen, which is the total organisational commitment to continuous improvement; a philosophy not so much constantly dissatisfied as it’s driven to improve out of scientific curiosity.
Innovation that seeks to reinvent what’s successful — in its very day of success — is the utilisation of a leader’s core competency; to constantly reinvent.  “The role of the leader is to know when to reinvent, and how to do it.”  (Underlining mine.)
The leader has a role to change things, even when they don’t appear they need to change.  The leader imagines the need to change is ever present; the fabric of the environment.
Indeed, the leader knows where they need to shift things by identifying the gap and going for it.  Change and adaptation is assumed.  And the real skill is knowing what, when to change, and how to do it.
Adapt, while you’re succeeding.  Innovate even when success is still coming easy.  For when success begins to wane, it’s too late to adapt in keeping the success fluid.  Success must be re-established first.
For the All Blacks it’s not enough to just keep succeeding.  It’s better and therefore appropriate to go for the inevitable gap that shows itself even in success — those things we ‘got away with’ tonight that we may not get away with tomorrow morning.
So there’s a reason why it’s harder to stay on top than get there in the first place.  Being on top breeds either fear or complacency or a warped combination of both.  It’s better to continue to embrace change, going for the gaps that are all too easy to see if we’re intentional, if we’re truly hopeful of remaining at the top of our game.
So far as personal application is concerned, here it is: we have a good component of our lives, or something that works in our day.  It’s crucial that we know how to replicate that good thing.  And still it’s better by far to be inspired to improve what is good and make it even better.
The personal application of ineffaceable truth is this: there is no standing still in life.  There is only forwards or backwards.  Refusing to move forward is the complacency of settling for one fleeting machination of success.
What was successful yesterday, is tedious today, and is redundant tomorrow.  Leadership is not about yesterday; it’s all about today and tomorrow.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.
This article continues a series on the James Kerr book, Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life.  This book is what total quality management was in the 1990s in today’s economy of leadership and best practice culture.

Friday, December 25, 2015

LEGACY – Leaders with Character Sweep the Sheds

HUMILITY is the hallmark of character that says that the best leaders — those with character — are never too big to sweep the sheds.  That is, to get down and get the fingernails dirty in the grime of the work at hand.
At the root of the All Black learning culture is the Māori way of doing things — to never be too big to do the little things, and to do those little things with a high degree of purpose.
“Humility is deeply ingrained in the Māori and broader Polynesian culture,” and this is equivalent to Māori mana, which is “great personal prestige and character.”
There is such deep personal respect for the ancestor in Māori culture.  It’s as if each All Black walks out from the Shed onto the Park to play, to respect the Jersey, to improve their play, to leave the Jersey in a better place.  And that commitment of character, bound up in the All Black culture, is not just about on-field success.  The All Black is a steward of the massively steeped history of the All Black tradition.
The commitment of character required of an All Black compels a questioning culture.  No one leader has all the answers, but the best leaders learn to question in such ways as to involve those at ground level — to inspire them to help.  And this helping is all about cutting away unhelpful beliefs, but not through instructing, but through guiding.  It’s all in how questions are asked that draw out the deeper wisdom in those involved at the coal face.  Those at the coal face have the best answers.  Leaders are best positioned to ask questions that reveal the answers that are dormant beneath.
So the best leaders don’t have the answers; they ask the best questions.  They drive excellence through innate curiosity.
And what is most intrinsic about the quality of the All Black is their personal discipline, the foundation of humility to commends them to sweep out their shed; to simply clean up after themselves.  Their pride is their dignity to do what must be done.  They let no one do what they alone should do.
For the All Black, their resolve is dug down into the fissures of their strength; a stoic humility that leaves no stone unturned in the quest for personal and team excellence.
Legacy is about character that leaves its indelible mark on those we exist with.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.
This article commences a series on the James Kerr book, Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life.  I know for a fact that this book is being distributed among the sporting elite to give them an edge on leadership and culture.  Its wisdom is gold.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holding On When You Can Hold On No Longer

Whenever we find ourselves on the seas of fury, tossed and thrown around, so ready to give up, we just have to find a way to keep going.
One more step... then one more...
With each step made is strength... found... from nowhere.
That’s faith.
Faith is acquired as a necessity, an indispensable journeying companion, for hellish trips and fearful expeditions.
Courage is the meal faith dines on immediately before it enters intrepidly on the journey; a snack partaken of as fear rises up like a beach-breaking wave; a morsel for calming the nerve enough to keep going in blindness.
Keep going!
Tough as this quest is, tough as the present moment seems, and tough as endurance feels impossible, to keep going is possible.  The options otherwise are untenable.  We daren’t go there!  For hell is an abyss, a very certain spiral into a nether land of purposeless confusion.
But it’s still impossibly hard.
Faith says that what seems impossibly hard is possible if we refuse to believe it’s hopeless.  A conviction of, and a commitment to, resolute cognition.  Faith insists on believing upon the invisible; the barren wasteland makes way for a vision that is hoped for — that which we insist be seen!
Bring in hope, as if an abating of the winds, the calming of the swell, the ceasing of driving rains — at least as our mind’s eye sees for the hope coming.
And it is tenacity that facilitates the break through, about the time we were, again, about to give it all up.
Faith believes in God when there is so much evidence — in our human minds — that God is a figment.  And faith is confidence on loan in a vacuous hope; it will get us through if we don’t give up.
Yes, so, whenever we find ourselves tossed and thrown on furious seas, so ready to abandon everything, we just have to find a way to keep going.
To keep going in the throes of hell is to go the way of hope and faith; the apparent denial of human reality in belief that God has a different plan.
To keep going when all seems utterly lost; that’s courage, faith, hope, tenacity, and a determined resolve that waits on God.
To keep going is the only way to a certain victory.
Keep going.  A harvest awaits.  God is with you.  All is not lost as it seems.  Pray for serenity in the hopelessness, for strength from nowhere in weakness, and for poise under the extremities of pressure.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Two Essential Attributes of a Good Leader

LAST night, like so many nights, is a concept for improvement, as we look back the following day.  Such is life; a quest for learning and growth.  Two concepts we may centre upon in revising how yesterday either worked or didn’t work are these: professional will and personal humility:
Professional Will looks in the mirror, not the window to apportion responsibility for poor results, never blaming other people, external factors, or bad luck; Personal Humility looks out of windows, not the mirror, to apportion credit for the success of the company — to other people and good luck.”
— Jim Collins, Good to Great
Collins is the leadership guru of the time.  His book charts the things that leaders of good-to-great organisations did in taking their companies from expected performance levels to excelling.  And such wisdom just makes sense, doesn’t it?  It works.
More or less along the same lines of having personal success in one’s life, professional will is the courage to own bad results whilst personal humility showers others in the praise deserved.  These are two essential attributes in all functionally safe and superior leaders, because, yes, leaders must first be safe people before they can be superior in their leadership for the group they lead.
Good Leaders Are Safe People
What makes a good leader safe is they’re consistently fairer than they even ought to be; thus they’re inspiring.  They take more responsibility for the failures of their team than is really fair, but they do so in a dignified way.  They wear the brunt of the failure without being crushed by it.  They can be meek in failure without their self-esteem taking a blow.  And they’re quicker than light speed to reflect credit for achievements onto others, and not just others they like, and they do this in authentic and believable ways.
Good leaders have professional will, to bear the brunt of failure and mistakes, whilst also having personal humility, which resists pride’s opportunity to take the credit when others deserve the praise.  Because they’re always giving these people are safe people.  They’re reliable and trustworthy, and, given the dearth of good leadership in our post postmodern day, are as priceless as they’re also rare.
The good leader is always thinking of others and, hence, their world expands into a multiplicity of directions; their ministry is blessed in many secret ways known only to the Lord.
Perhaps this is why many people like a book like the 2013 book, The Tortoise Usually Wins.  Its author, Dr Brian Harris, commends to the world the industry and care of the quiet leader whilst the world is all awash, gushing for the leader with guile and charismata.  Little does the church suspect, that leaders without character don’t last in the secular environment.  And from my vantage point the church has been deceived.  There’s little good betting on a limping horse.  Their time catches up with them.  The writing is on the wall for the leader who prefers to implicate others in the blame whilst fixing themselves and their favoured ones on the success of others.
The real leader is busy elevating others at the time of praise, and just as quick to accept the blame when things don’t go right.  Good leaders understand that it’s the system that needs to be fixed, not the people.  Good leaders also understand it’s the people who radiate the light of inspiring innovation, not the system.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Friday, December 18, 2015

For When You’ve Had Enough

DESPAIR.  The time in your life, in your day, in an instant when you’ve had quite enough.  Frustration gives way to pent-up anger, which gives way to exasperation.  You know the time; you cannot resolve a situation and it sends you into an oblivion of pain, mental, emotional and spiritual. These sorts of life events appear on a banal afternoon and disappear by the evening or next morning, or they last on and off for a season. The point is, despair is felt, it’s never pretty, it resembles hell in a hand basket, and life is swiftly wished over. And I’m sure just about every thinking, feeling being has thought and felt it.
So that’s the problem.
What about the solution?
The solution is simple with God, yet not so simple for us.  We overlook the significant and make important what should never be.  We take time for things that ought not receive our attention, yet we aren’t even aware of those things that we cost us nothing to save our sorry skin.  Our foresight is poor and our hindsight is useless.
As our moments of despair come, even as they approach imminently yet from a distance, from within our line of sight, we need perspective, even as they loom and build.  We must learn to foresee that which intends to crush us.  Such skills in the discernment are wisdom as tools to ward against exasperation.
The opportunity is enhancement; to move beyond temptation to exasperation.
It’s only the person who is controlled — who is controllable from outside influences — who can be exasperated.  Yet we all fall for such follies of impetuosity because we fail to expect infuriating circumstances of life that push us into that territory.
If we expect life will vex us we’ll plan to be gentle with ourselves in the throes of a second’s insanity.  We’ll learn to delay our self-condemnation and keep the pressured moment simple.  Doing this is about making something inordinately complex astoundingly simple by the efficiency of inaction.  We stop.  We brace.  We bear up.  And in utter simplicity for an interminably fractious moment we overcome.
If we’re in the midst of being overwhelmed by exasperated sorrow beyond our ability to endure, let us stop, and sink, and slow down, and ponder, and contemplate.
If you’ve had enough, and you’ve been pushed too far, and you’re ready to give up, don’t doubt God’s ability to restore you, even in a moment.
God changes us through our perspective, which is the power of the awareness to choose something better against the flow of our tyrannical mood.
God restores us in the moment of despair by reminding us of the gentle power in his grace. He empowers us to choose the light.
God gives us grace when we’re in the dark if our hope is light.  But if our hope is dark we’re already defeated.  The power in God’s grace only works when we add the strength in our weakness to it.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Getting Stuck In The Gratitude Trap By Banishing Busyness

Gratitude cannot coexist with busyness. If we have too much going on, there’s too much going on to be grateful.
And if there’s too much going on we’re probably coveting a multitude of things.
And if we’re coveting we’re driven by greed, envy, lust or fear. Covetousness is a controlling spirit, the evidence of which we’re being controlled.
Gratitude helps break that chain of control.
And we must contend that life in all its mystery and power is a life replete with such opportunity to acquire; to take; to refashion; to manipulate; to reuse, and even to spoil.
Life is a smorgasbord and it feels like we only have a limited time to dine. And that’s the truth — we do only have so long. And so we must accept we can’t have everything. We can’t even have most of what we could have and still have gratitude.
Gratitude is like fertiliser that germinates the seed of joy lifting it out of the soil into the sunshine where it can grow.
Busyness robs of the opportunity for gratitude.
If we’re to be found encapsulated in gratitude — found incarcerated in the gratitude trap — blissfully unable and never wanting to escape — then we will accept that we must relinquish our grip on that which can be acquired which serves us little good.
With few exceptions, busyness is a product of the choices we make that always end in “yes.” Even our choices to serve people can be pressed too far, like when we cannot bear not pleasing them.
Busyness that prevails works against a peaceable gratitude that is ever ours if only we can kiss goodbye the things that aren’t good for us. There is nothing dressed up as good thing that is ever worth sacrificing our peaceable gratitude for.
How are we to be ‘trapped’ by gratitude?
The less we have, the more grateful we are.
This is not against the person materially blessed. Some people who have much make their way to gratitude by how much they still give away.
This is not for the person who has paucity. Many people (but not most) who have little have little because they’re not inspired or motivated enough to sow back into life with generosity.
The person who considers things and worry for reputation as poor replacements for life is also the person who understands that if we’re to be trapped by gratitude we must give our stuff and our status away. We shouldn’t attempt to keep we should hope not to retain. What we cannot lost we cannot lose, so there’s no logical fear for losing.
The product of the gratitude trap is inner bliss when we surrender what isn’t intended as ours for what can never any longer not be.
Gratitude happens when vanities and competing philosophies vanish into the ether in recognition of what God has done in Jesus Christ. What a lovely place to be retained in.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Within Arm’s Reach – The Gratitude Trap

THIS is the first of a long series of articles.  It will be a long series because this term — the gratitude trap — was a gift given; a project for exploration that shoots beyond the existential constraints of this life, taking us into the spiritual realm, to the possibilities for joy, those things steeped in gratitude.
Gratitude seems such a mystery to those of us at our times of darkness, when we could see no reason for gratitude, even though we knew we had much to be grateful for.
That made us all the more furious with ourselves. We judged our hypocrisy. We saw ourselves lacking what should be owed to God from us.
So here is the corrective: the gratitude trap: the right place to be incarcerated.
The gratitude trap.
Imagine being stuck in a good place.
Ponder a living a delighted life.
Think how peace-lit life could be.
The gratitude trap — everything you want; nothing you don’t need.
Everything we want, and nothing we don’t need. In other words, total value.
This is the vision:
To be stuck in that good place, not being able to survive without gratitude, forced ever into the farthest reaches of a despicably blessed growth if we stray from it. What we have here is an aversion therapy for every mental, emotional, and spiritual ill. This is not to say there is one iota of denial for the state of invisible illness; but that that very state would compel us, and impel us forward, toward wellness and whatever that might take. We know it’s gratitude that implicates joy. So we’re ready to go there, to sacrifice the experiences of loss and grief in the present, as we press forward into a tomorrow ever coming. That day of joy, it comes, and it comes closer by the day and hour. In the meantime, we practice gratitude, and we’re daily indelibly won to what we now cannot live without. If we get frustrated, it’s for the right reasons; the right purpose is in mind. Some may say we’ve changed, and that they’re not sure for the better. But we know that we must fight to feel grateful. We must hold the faith.
Finally, we’re caught between a place where we can no longer live and the promised land. That promised land is now within arm’s reach.
Notice that the acronym is W.A.R.
Within Arm’s Reach (W.A.R.) is so close yet so far. We have embarked on a journey that we can no sooner turn back on. We’re in a war, and it’s only with ourselves. And, where we do not give up, we will end up there, the prison of our joy; in a gaol of glory.
So let the festivities of the struggle commence!
We make this commitment, in gratitude or not: to be grateful, and for gratitude to trap us there where we cannot any longer escape.
The journey to the acquisition of gratitude is a war, and each battle is fought and won in the fields of selfishness.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Experience Pain Once, Experience Healing Well

ONE thing a major life grief teaches us is grief cannot kill us. Indeed, just as it is that the Lord tells “the satan” (ha-satan) “you must not lay a hand on [Job] himself,” Satan has no dominion over us that we would not otherwise give him. Grief cannot finish us. Only our wretched despair, in a moment of overwhelming sheer panic, can do that. And it’s always our prayer that life will be preserved; there is always an ‘afterward’ in store after every recovered-from grief.
There are so very many varied forms of grief, from losses that shatter the way life was, to change that occurs beyond the realm of our will, to the frustration of a cherished dream that cannot now ever be.
But there’s one thing grief is intended to teach us, and that is to grieve our losses well in the first place.
A grief done once is a grief done well. Just as the opposite is true.
Experience the Pain Once – Be Healed of the Pain Well
We shrink in the pain of our grief and we cannot stand to endure it. We shrink, we shriek, we shirk the work. But experiencing the brutality of the pain once — even if that ‘once’ is over days, weeks or months — then we have submitted to our pain for our healing’s sake. We’ve submitted to our pain in faith that God will help. We’ve surrendered to God, in the experience of fact. We’ve learned what to do with pain; to submit to it in the Presence of a helping and healing God. And a season of bearing will teach us we can do this! Such a season teaches us there’s confidence gained in enduring, which is a looking back over what we were able to stand.
“Well done, good and faithful servant,” we may well hear. And it’s appropriate we do.
We needn’t go there needlessly or without intention. The intention is to meet the pain right where it faces us. The intention is to go into the truth of our reality — to face it as, not a perfect person, but as a fallible yet redeemed man or woman of God.
The thesis is simple: experience the pain, for real, once, and be healed of the pain well.
But, wait, there’s more. There’s more to this; a whole lot more:
Experience this pain once, and be healed of this pain well.
Experience this pain once; experience healing well.
This pain I refer to is the generic pain of grief — of loss that has no silver lining. To a vast degree this is a confounding and perplexing pain. But what God is teaching us in facing this pain is a very important lesson; he is showing us how future pain can and will be dealt with. We’re learning vital life skills. We’re learning to manage our emotions in the crucible of an oft-pain-filled life.
Experience the Pain Well – Be Healed of the Pain At Once
How do we experience the pain well. Well, we shirk none of it. The pain is destined to consume us, so why do we protect ourselves in denial, anger and bargaining? We do that because it seems the easy way out. But there is no easy way out of this.
What seems easy initially proves to be a fat waste of time. A grief we refused to ‘do’ just comes back at us, perhaps with interest, in five years’ time.
But if we enter the pain that is real to our reality, we honour God. God esteems us when we are true enough to life, because of our circumstantial humility, to honour our reality. It’s all we can do to obey him. It’s all we need to do. It’s all he expects of us. And we’re blessed because we obeyed. Because we take to the task of our truth, God makes the task doable.
When we meet the experience of our pain well, we’re well on the way to being healed of our pain once-and-for-all.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Facing My Shadow, Casting It For the Kingdom

“It’s the love of God that makes it safe to come out [of your shadow].”
— Pete Scazzero
TRANSPARENCY is an important concept in the Kingdom, for without transparency we don’t have trust, and if there’s no trust there’s no relationship, and if there’s no relationship there’s no community, and nothing can be changed for the Kingdom of God without community. So, if we’re to be ‘community’ we must first have established transparency within ourselves, that is also ‘projected’ out into our world, in order to build trust and relationship.
When I establish transparency within myself I begin to see where the problems in the world lie — they’re in me. It does me no good whatsoever to think the problems in the world lie in the patch of the world — I can nothing about the world. But I can fix me, through God’s grace and power, when I call him into my life through my vertical (looking upward) relationship with him, to the exclusion of all distractions — like other people and their impact on me.
Facing my shadow and being honest is my acceptance of God’s eternal invitation, so I can be better for me, for others, and for God.
Going Vertical to God and Inward Into My Shadow
In my shadow I think I’m strong,
It’s in my shadow that I won’t last long.
In my shadow I battle and contend,
It’s in my shadow I should try not to defend.
In my shadow I deserve respect!
It’s in my shadow my pride needs to be checked.
It’s in my shadow my standards are high,
But it’s only the Lord I’ll find in the sky!
In my shadow I get tense,
It’s in my shadow I’m reminded I need no defence.
In my shadow I hate delay,
It’s in my shadow I ought to be still today.
In my shadow I’m afraid to lose,
It’s in my shadow I need fear defused.
In my shadow I want my way,
It’s in my shadow I should not want to stay.
In my shadow it’s always their fault,
It’s in my shadow I need to refrain from assault.
In my shadow I find I stray,
It’s in my shadow I need to pray.
In my shadow I’m found weak,
It’s in my shadow I need to seek…
In my shadow… Christ shows me my need of him.
Going well vertical with God gives us confidence and humility in going horizontal with others. Faith is simple: face God, face your shadow, and only then face others.
Facing your shadow and casting it for the Kingdom is converting sin into God’s light for his glory through humility.
God loves the sinner inside you. Your job is to love the sinner inside you. Accept yourself and life is made 99% easier. Accept yourself and then guilt is not the motive for growth. Accept yourself and healing is possible.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.