Befriend, Chapter 2: Befriend the One in the Mirror
This week we are discussing chapter 2 of our bookclub book, Befriend, by Scott Sauls. Even if you haven’t read the material or didn’t participate last week, please don’t hesitate to share your heart! This is how it works: I’ll post some initial thoughts and recap some of Saul’s points, but then I will ask the questions in the comments section. If you see a question you want to answer, simply reply to the question. And if you want to reply to someone else’s comment, please do! Or, if you want to ask your own question or start a new talking point, just create an original comment that isn’t a reply to anyone else’s. Make sure you check back throughout the week in case someone has posted on your comment or asked you a question.
Ground rules: This is meant to be an encouraging, redemptive conversation. Unkindness will not be tolerated (toward the book, author, or each other).
This week’s chapter, Befriend the One in the Mirror, spoke so loudly to my heart. I love, love, love to talk about shame! I went through my life misunderstanding what shame was. I thought shame was what you felt when you had committed a huge sin, like robbing a bank or pushing someone over the edge of a cliff. But what God has taught me in the last 10 years is that shame is what we feel when you aren’t believing who God says we are. Because of Christ’s work on the Cross, God has declared us righteous. If we have accepted his forgiveness, then he sees us like he sees his own son. He loves us and is crazy about us and delights to be in relationship with us.
Yet that’s not what most of us believe, is it? Sure, maybe that’s what we will articulate when asked the question in Sunday school, but is that what our life reflects? Would those around us say that based on what they observe, we are clearly people who understand the truth of who God has said we are and that we live that out to others? Would our friends and family say that our understanding of our identity in Christ has enriched our relationships and has given us the ability to love deeply and well and with lots of grace?
Hmmm...I’m not sure that’s what my friends and family would say. I struggle with shame on a daily basis. So reading this chapter was a balm to my heart!
Sauls argues that it is our own inability to believe that we are fully known and fully loved by God that prevents us from extending that kind of love toward others. That we are fearful that we will be found out for whom we truly think we are deep down inside. He says, The saving, loving, forgiving wealth that Jesus gives invalidates, neuters, and disempowers these fears. It assures us that at our best and at our worst, in Jesus we are fully known and fully loved. In Jesus we are exposed by not rejected. In Jesus we can be naked and never ashamed.