I love watching those ‘Mission Impossible’ shows.
The script takes you to places where you wonder how this ‘Mission Impossible’ will be resolved because if it isn’t, then the whole city is going to be destroyed in a nuclear explosion.
I have met people who live in the shadow of a ‘Mission Impossible’. They have given up on life being any different. The obstacles seem too big and challenging and daunting, and … impossible.
People who have lived under this shadow have been there so long that this is all they know.
I wonder if this was what it was like in 445 B.C. when Nehemiah came to Jerusalem. The city walls had been destroyed 141 years ago. Generations had grown up in this rubble. That was all they had ever experienced. Shame.
No one knew what it was like to have a sense of secured value and beauty, strength, and purpose. Every day the people of Jerusalem saw only brokenness and destruction. They needed a miracle, a turning of the page, a God who would take on the impossibility of their mountain of shame.
When we say ‘That’s impossible’ the God of the heavens steps in and says
‘Let’s see what You and I can do together.’
Nehemiah chooses to step out on to the wobbly rubble.
Immediately stones are thrown at his plans. Stones of mockery and ridicule.
But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.” Nehemiah 2:19-20
Ever you ever been mocked or ridiculed?
Perhaps some have said things that have cut your fledgling dreams to shreds. They desire to keep you in a place where they are in control. How dare you step out of the box! How dare you pick up a piece of rubble and rebuild!
When God moves with us into the realm of the impossible, it freaks out the control freaks.
Recently I have been listening to Brene Brown where she said this about shame.
Shame drives two tapes.
‘You’re never good enough’ and
‘Who do you think you are’
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The shame stones were being slung. Accurately, perfectly, all trying to kill the rebuild.
Nehemiah, however, deflected them all with a shield made of the fibers of faith.
Three fibers that gave them strength.
- They were ‘Good Enough’.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem were ‘good enough’ because the God of the heavens had chosen them. ‘The God of heaven will give us success’Isn’tsuccess’Isn’t it wonderful to know that someone greater than you is backing you all the way. That you are not on your own.Don’t take your sense of who you are from the voices of shame that say ‘You’re never good enough’ and ‘Who do you think you are’.
They want to keep you in the rubble and dust of the past. This will only choke the life out of you if you let it.
- They knew exactly who they were – God’s servants.
‘We his servants will start rebuilding’They were not servants of the King, and certainly not the shame slingers.Build a shield of faith around you by declaring out loud that the God of the heavens has chosen you. That you serve God and no one else.
- The shame slingers were not part of the team.
You have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it. Too many times, we listen to the voices of those who have no skin in the game. They have no personal investment in the rebuild.Instead, we need to gather and rebuild with others who want to add to what we are doing.
Acknowledge the critics, but be wary of their influence. Get your own team of cheerleaders, not tomato throwers.
Do you have people who regularly throw shame stones at you? Trying to keep you in their place.
Remember that God is on a rebuild mission and knows the challenges you face. You are not alone, and you have the God of Heavens by your side.
Quotes to consider
- There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there. Indira Gandhi
- People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. George Bernard Shaw
- We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean will be less because of that missing drop. Mother Teresa
- Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dreams. Anonymous
- The perfect environment for shame to grow exponentially is one where there is secrecy, silence, and judgment. Brene Brown
Question to answer
- What’ Shame tape’ creates more shame for you? ‘You’re never good enough’ or ‘Who do you think you are’, or is it a nasty combination of them both?