Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4 (NKJV)
In many legalistic religions, it seems as though the goal is to make you feel as bad about yourself as possible.
I’ve even been to churches where the preacher’s messages seemed to try to make everyone feel sinful, and then he would pack out the altar call with people who were crying and repenting. The trouble is, in the long run, this just causes people to come away feeling hopeless, like they’ll never be good enough so there’s no point in trying.
Outdated parenting styles seem to mimic this trend. Make your children feel ashamed and bad—this seemed to be the idea, but it only crushes their spirits.
This isn’t how our Father God corrects and disciplines us. He does so with His Word. He educates us without ever diminishing our self-worth. He wants us to know how loved and how valuable we are to Him. Yes, He wants us to know right from wrong. He wants us to grow to be more selfless and self-disciplined, but He doesn’t get us there by berating us or telling us how terrible we are. He doesn’t need you to make you feel shameful and disgusting to get you to change. After all, according to today’s verse, it’s His goodness that causes us to do a 180degree turn when we’re going the wrong direction.
You are special. You are loved. You are crowned with honour, dignity and worth. When you mess up, God doesn’t look at you differently. He stands there with open arms, just waiting for you to tune back in to the love He’s sending your way.