MEASUREMENT OF JUDGEMENT
Guilt says what you did was wrong, and the enemy counterfeits by using the tool of shame that says who you are is wrong. We do want to feel the weight of conviction for our mistakes and choices so that it leads us to godly repentance, but we never want to partner with the enemy’s lies of shame over who we are. Shame is paralyzing and incredibly toxic to our systems. It is like drinking acid. God never designed our bodies to hold onto shame.
I was in a season where I was aware that the words coming out of my mouth were critical and sharp. I am not typically one to hold a grudge or offense for very long, but it was like I was constantly calling out the bad. Little things like the man who cut me off, the person who didn’t use their blinker, or the lady who didn’t return her shopping cart. Once I said it, I let it go, but it bothered me that I even had the eyes to see it. They were things that should not require my energy or time. I became so aware of it that I told the kids I would pay them $1 every time they caught me being critical. But it only seemed to increase. I finally met with my friend, a professional counselor, and asked her what the problem was that I could not control my critical words. She said something to me that not only changed my life and set me free but became a KEY that I have used with others for their freedom. She said, “Shame HAS to blame,” and began to introduce me to shame’s profound effects on our mind, body, and soul. Shame is so toxic to our existence that it kills, shuts down, and robs us of our God-given abilities. Shame is like acid. By blaming others (my critical words), it was releasing some of the toxicity. It was survival to manage the shame. I HAD to blame. The goal, therefore, was not to manage the release of the shame but to resolve the shame once and for all. Thus began a several month-long journey of discovering the root of the shame and how to release it GOD’S WAY.
When we create cultures of silence, it creates shame in people, and eventually, it will come up as BLAME. I think one of the most unhelpful things a leader can say when someone is processing pain is that they are slandering and gossiping when they are just trying to process their pain. Not everyone comes from healthy backgrounds where they know how to work through their heart splinters, but when someone is trying to heal, let’s not shoot them down with the law of religion.
I created a ten-day online experience for others to join me on the journey of loving yourself deeper, wider, and more passionately than you have been loved before. You will watch a video teaching, and I will provide activities and exercises based on the teachings for the rest of the days. The second week focuses on how to raise children to be proactive, so they never have to find themselves again down the road.
You can register here: Moms & Dads – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
“When someone slanders another to us, we must remember that we are not mainly fighting flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan knows that slander deadens and splits churches, poisons friendships, and fractures families. He knows slander quenches the Holy Spirit, kills love, short-circuits spiritual renewal, undermines trust, and sucks the courage out of the saints. So our goal, particularly in the context of the church, is to help each other shed demonic weights and avoid satanic stumbling blocks.
So how do we do this? The best way is to become people who are not safe to slander around. We must ask each other questions like: “Have you shared your concern with this person directly? I’d be willing to go with you to talk to him. Just to be clear, is this information I should know? Do you want me to help you pursue reconciliation? Are you doing everything you possibly can to put away ‘all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander’ (Ephesians 4:31)? How can I help you guard this person’s reputation like a treasure (Proverbs 22:1)?” In other words, friends don’t let friends slander. Friends don’t let friends act like God-haters (Romans 1:30).
“The more we love people, the more we hate slander, because a slanderer hates his victims” (Proverbs 26:28). Let us remember that we are stewards of the treasure of each other’s good names. Let us resolve to avoid sharing information that is unnecessarily damaging to another person’s reputation and to repent to everyone affected if we do. Let us seek to silence the sin nature slanderer within and graciously give and receive others’ help when one of us slips, perhaps unaware, into slander. Let us do damage to Satan’s forces by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Let us lay aside the destructive sin-weight of slander. In an age of social media, that lacks the functional information-spreading restraints of past eras, let us be all the more slow to post (‘slow to speak’ – James 1:19) analysis, speculation, and commentary on information about another person or group, even if it has become public in our slander-saturated culture, that might eventually prove slanderous.
“All the serious biblical warnings about slander still apply, which should make us all, especially those of us with ‘platforms,’ tremble.” – Jon Bloom.
My daughter was having an unusually rough day, and I kept catching her sneaking things, which was so out of character for her. We asked Jesus to shine His bright flashlight in her heart, which provoked her to ask me the meaning of her name. I showed her a fun book where she could look it up. Once she found it, she began to cry and said, “Oh, I am so glad! I thought my name meant deceiver.” I was shocked, but as I listened to her, I realized she had misunderstood something someone had said. She then partnered with the voice/thought that told her she was a deceiver and guess how she acted that day. We then asked Jesus what her name meant to Him, and she heard “hard worker.” Guess how she started acting since she heard that.
Here is the mental shift: my old way of parenting would have disciplined her for sneaking things and not being honest. While that is something I would want to deal with, it wasn’t the issue. The heart issue was that she believed a lie about her identity. Her joy and peace returned when her identity was secured in the truth.
Our brokenness becomes bittersweet when it is the catalyst for crying out for more of Him.
I will share a very vulnerable part of my story with you. My parents had a nasty four-year-old court battle over their divorce. My three siblings were naturally closer to my mom, and I was naturally closer to my dad. I was affected greatly by his leaving, and my mom couldn’t handle my sadness over the man with whom she was so angry and bitter. She began to ask me if my dad had ever done XYZ in the name of sexual abuse. She never told me he did it, but she would always ASK me. I would get mad and defensive as her questions were gross and uncomfortable. As the years went on, she would have other adults in my life approach me: my friend’s parents, my doctor, dentist, chiropractor, school counselor, and teachers. Everywhere I went during my childhood, that nagging question haunted me. As I got older, it became apparent that since adults do not lie, something must have indeed happened. But something must be so grossly wrong in me that #1. I do not have a single memory of anything ever happening, and #2. I still loved and missed my dad. I wondered what sick human loves and misses someone who does such things. I partnered with the spirit of suicide (which is not just about death but about getting you to turn against yourself). Self-hatred was easy, and suicide was natural for me. I spent three months in a coma, barely alive. When I was in my early twenties, I set out to face the horrible things my mom had implied that my dad had done. Years of dead-end secular counseling only left me to conclude that I was one messed up chick! It wasn’t until I found a ministry that operated through hearing God’s voice that I was set free. God clearly showed me that nothing had ever happened and that it was just a LIE that my mom had used to get back at my dad because she felt threatened by our closeness. That lie, from her own wounded heart, almost cost me my life!! I flew to MN, showed up at my dad’s office unannounced, and declared him not guilty. He dropped to his knees and sobbed like a baby. We had seven glorious years together, and he was able to meet all of my children before he passed away. This isn’t a mom-bashing story at all. It is a real testimony to show how our own wounds can affect the way we parent. If we are not walking in freedom, our children deal with the ‘fruit.’ There is HOPE, HELP, and HEALING for us as parents so that we can parent well. Let the Children Fly is simply my love gift back to my mom with the tools she needed but didn’t have when I was a child.
My daughter was so excited to meet a sweet girl on the first day of school. It made her transition moving out to CA so much easier knowing she had made a friend, but as the days rolled on, another girl seemed to have a real problem with her and was making life difficult. She would come home and talk about what the ‘mean girl’ was doing to her. Finally, I asked Lauren if she was willing to forgive the girl for not being loving. After she let go of the offense, Jesus showed her the girl was scared my daughter would take away her friend and that she would be left alone. Then I had her ask Jesus what HE wanted her to do about it. Instantly, she heard she was to ‘kill her with kindness’ (which is a verse in the Bible that she has never read). The next day, Lauren pulled her aside, apologized for any way she may have made her mad or upset, and then blessed her with a sweet treat. It broke that girl’s wall down, and she immediately began accepting her. The following day, she presented my daughter with a handmade thank-you note for being so kind to her. THAT is how we teach our children to be the head and not the tail, how to flip situations for God’s glory and how to release heaven in worldly situations on earth.
Sometimes when it feels like all hell is breaking loose, it is because there is a part of hell that needs to be broken loose. This is not the time to endure; it is the time to rise up and fight with your spiritual authority and tools. This is the time to expose what the enemy is doing and bring it into the light.
P.S. Have you ever noticed that ‘all hell breaks loose’ at the wrong time? Like when you are trying to walk out the door, you are late for something, or in front of others? Yep. That is on purpose so that you will be too distracted or pressured to take the time to deal with it.