“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
One of the lies I used to believe was that I could not allow others to see flaws in me; that I had to be perfect to know I was of value. I never felt permission to be broken or in need of help. As a result, I had nowhere to go with my pain and would enter into cycles of binging and purging in order to find relief.
Compassion means “to suffer with.” In the past, I was able to give compassion, but unable to receive it. Offering compassion played up my carefully crafted image of “having it all together.” Receiving compassion threatened my feelings of security. My biggest fear was that if people knew how broken I was, they would reject me and, in effect, God would reject me too.
After a time of recovery, I felt God prompting me to tell my daughters about my eating disorder. For a time, I resisted doing this because I feared their rejection. Then one day, someone I trust challenged me to stop playing God and start allowing God. I decided to do the right thing and come clean with my girls. Through their tears, they told me how much they loved me and how sorry they were that I had struggled alone. They told me they were proud of me. Their compassion showed me that I was secure and valued in the midst of my flaws. The lie that held me captive was disarmed.
God knows everything about us and loves us anyway. He is in the business of turning crucifixions into resurrections for his chosen and loved people, as demonstrated by the sacrifice of his son, Jesus.
Father, help us accept your compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience so that we can know we are valued in spite of our flaws. In Jesus’ name, amen.