Listening to Abba: Admitting my shadow side

Admitting my shadow side

"To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, 
the light side and the dark. 
In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am 
and what God's grace means."

Brennan Manning

My shadow side
Recently I made a commitment to practice living Philippians 4:8, “Whatever things are true, lovely, good, pure, honorable . ..think on these things.

I wasn’t long before I blew it.  Two people where sharing about little signs of growth in another person and I interjected, “I don’t know, last week she did this and that.”  Inward groan. I devalued what they were saying and cast a shadow on the one they were talking about.  I spoke truth but it wasn't truth that needed speaking. My dark side was exposed.   I felt immediate remorse.

On the way home I lamented to God, “Oh Papa, I didn’t follow Phil. 4:8!” I held my head in my hands, my heart felt soiled.  

“Make it right.” 

Was that His voice or mine?  Did I want to make it right in order to salvage my reputation? Or, did I want to make it right to honor my God.

“Abba, if this is you speaking, keep prompting me.  If it is from me, help me let it go.”

After a restless, burdened-conscience night, I concluded that God was indeed the one prompting me. “Okay, Lord, I will do what you say, but out of curiosity, what good will it do?  I hardly know her and she probably thought nothing of it.”

God:  “Here is why Kinsey,  I want my children to confess their faults to one another and pray for each other so they will be healed.  When you admit your brokenness and obey, it encourages others to admit their brokenness and obey.  Your step of faith will move others to pursue holiness. Furthermore, if you must make it right every time you fall, you will be more careful of what you say going forth.”

Kinsey: “That’s for sure. I see, so this is about the body of Christ - keeping it pure.  It is about having conversations that are seasoned with salt, wholesome talk that benefits all who hear.  It is about Phil. 4:8 - being conscious of and committed to thinking and speaking about those things which are true, and lovely, and honorable.  I’m all for that Papa, you know I am.”

G: “You are dear girl, and I am very proud of you.”

My light side
I humbled myself and made the apology.  As soon as I did, the burden lifted and my conscience was clear.

I wish no one would see my dark side.  Shoot, I don’t want to see it myself.  Sadly it’s there and it trips me up.  But God in His mercy forgives, cleanses, and sets me back on the right path.  I love Him for that. His mercies are new every morning.


Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, 
we have confidence before God (1 Jn. 3:21 NIV)

They don’t tell shameful things about those close to them. (Ps. 15:3 ERV)

He who covers over an offense promotes love, 
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends (Prov. 17:9, NIV).

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for your honesty and authenticity! We all "blow it". The key is, (which you did!) is to confess it and move on!!

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  2. Don't we all learn how we can't do it on our own? I'm very thankful that God doesn't expect us to be perfect, but He expect us to keep trying.

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  3. Thank you for this encouraging message today! I think we all struggle against the shadows, to become what God wants us to be.

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  4. We are flesh and there for we blow from time to time and His grace washes in and cleanses us when we ask. So grateful we have the opportunity to repent, confess and be forgiven. Thanks for sharing from the heart!

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  5. Thank you for your transparency and for your example of obedience. Because of your testimony, I am convicted (in a good way) to be more mindful of my thoughts which lead to my words which lead to revealing my dark side.

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  6. What a powerful story, Kinsey! Thank you for sharing, and for helping Him remind us Philippians 4:8 one another.

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  7. Phil 4:8 is such a great focus verse, we are blessed to have such wonderful instruction and a merciful God...I sure need it.

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