September 26, 2021

Should’ve Syndrome

Written by Boyd Bailey

Embrace and celebrate who your Creator made you to be, and rest in being uniquely you for God’s glory.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 26, 2021

Therefore, there is nono condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

My wife Rita has the most tender heart of anyone I have ever met. Her capacity for love, compassion and caring for others is a gift from the Lord. But she will tell you that in the past, before she embraced her beloved-ness in Christ to the fullest extent, she would be way too hard on herself. Her loving friends would encourage Rita to stop should-ing herself into a shameful state of mind. For example, always second guessing herself with the thoughts of, I should’ve said less, I should’ve said more, I should’ve said nothing. I should’ve exercised, I should’ve not eaten that. Or, after becoming an empty nester, she felt purposeless and would say, I should’ve done more to be more, I have nothing to offer, I’m not important to anyone any more. So not true! Shame has this sterilizing effect on a soul, but knowing Jesus calls me His beloved births life. Like Rita, release your shame and celebrate God’s rich mercy, grace, love and acceptance of who He says you are.

It’s beautiful to watch from a front row seat over the last several years, as the Lord’s love has moved my wife’s heart from a should’ve shame based self-talk to a secure beloved based self-talk. Instead of saying to herself, I should’ve… she says, Lord what are you inviting me to be or do. Help me rest in knowing you and who you say I am. How can I be secure and present as your beloved daughter in this moment? Her precious heart escapes from the prison of shame as she rests in her beloved-ness and shifts the narrative in her head to a tone of mercy and forgiveness of herself and others. No condemnation in Christ is permission, even a command to not condemn, ourselves or others. Yes, the love of God reveals your beauty, releasing your true self! Embrace and celebrate who your Creator made you to be, and rest in being uniquely you for God’s glory.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17, NKJV).

Henri Nouwen, a beloved servant of the Lord and an academic, experienced love with an extraordinary depth and breadth. Hear how he describes a beloved child of God living in love with no condemnation: 

But Jesus came to open my ears to another voice that says, “I am your God, I have molded you with my own hands, and I love what I have made. I love you with a love that has no limits, because I love you as I am loved. Do not run away from me. Come back to me—not once, not twice, but always again. You are my child. . . . I am your God—the God of mercy and compassion, the God of pardon and love, the God of tenderness and care. Please do not say that I have given up on you, that I cannot stand you anymore, that there is no way back. It is not true. I so much want you to be with me. I so much want you to be close to me. I know all your thoughts. I hear all your words. I see all your actions. And I love you because you are beautiful, made in my own image, an expression of my most intimate love. Do not judge yourself. Do not condemn yourself. Do not reject yourself. Let my love touch the deepest, most hidden corners of your heart and reveal to you your own beauty, a beauty that you have lost sight of, but that will become visible to you again in the light of my mercy. Come, come, let me wipe your tears, and let my mouth come close to your ear and say to you, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you. 

(From the Henri Nouwen Society:

To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV). 


Heavenly Father, give me the faith and courage to see me as you see me: accepted and beloved, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


What negative self-talk do I need to replace with love based self-talk?

Related Reading

Romans 1:17, 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 1:9

Worship Resource

Audrey Assad: Wounded Healer


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