Intent of the Heart
“You picked the wrong person.”
“I came to Samaria just to meet you… Do you think it’s an accident that I’m here in the middle of the day?”
“I am rejected by others.” (sobs)
“I know… But not by the Messiah.”
Today, I’m processing what I learned from a teaching by Greg Groeschell on the forgiveness and removal of shame provided at the Cross. One of the things that stood out to me was a point that he made, saying, “Guilt is action based; shame is identity based. Guilt says, ‘I did something bad… Shame says, ‘I am bad.” He went on to state that we will always be vulnerable to shame if we focus on what we’re not as opposed to who Christ is. I suppose, if Christ is my identity, then focusing on who He is simultaneously makes clear to me who I am. Interesting.
I think it’s sometimes hard to figure out which aspects or characteristics or attributes of oneself are Christ, and which ones are not. If you feel bitterness, you know that that isn’t Christ; about that, the Bible is explicit. If you feel an urge to forgive, you know that that is from Christ; about that, the Bible is explicit. But there are those things that the Bible is not so explicit about. Those waters can often get murky. Those waters can make it harder to see clearly who you are in Christ, and who Christ is in you. Hmm.
I recently learned that God sees me, and He knows my heart to follow Him and walk in a manner that's pleasing unto Him. Sometimes the path isn't crystal clear, but I've come to embrace the truth of the matter, being that God looks favorably upon the intent of the heart. If my child goes out of his way to do the dishes for me, even if they're done wrong, I'm elated and overjoyed that he was thinking of me when he did them, and as he grows, I will show him the right way to do them. I know now that this is God's heart. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. When these are our intentions, God's blessing is upon us. I'm going to stop getting so caught up in the details. I'm gonna stop handicapping myself through reluctance and indecision. I'm gonna stop being afraid of not doing or being enough for Him. I'm letting go of shame and the fear of rejection. I will move and God will prod me along in the way that I should go. Who I am, my identity, is a son of God; I'm going to start living as such. I am not rejected; because of Christ, I am adopted.