Tue Sep 17-Our Shadow Side

Jesus the Prophet Sermon Series graphic

Isaiah 45:9-11 (CEB)

Doom to the one who argues with the potter,
    as if he were just another clay pot!
Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?”
    or “Your work has no handles”?
Doom to one who says to a father,
    “What have you fathered?”
    and to a woman,
    “With what are you in labor?”
The Lord, the holy one of Israel and its maker, says:
Are you questioning me about my own children?
    Are you telling me what to do with the work of my hands?


All of us have parts of ourselves we don’t particularly like. After melting down or blowing up AGAIN, in the same way you have so many times before, have you ever argued with God about it and said, “Why did you make me this way?” The Franciscan priest and spiritual teacher Richard Rohr talks about the negative elements of our personality as our “shadow self.” But he makes an important point about this shadow self that can be incredibly grace giving: typically the things we like LEAST about ourselves are just the flipside, the mirror image, of some of our BEST qualities. Anyone who has ever had to answer that old interview question, “What is your greatest weakness?” already understands this. Isn’t the trick to give an answer that actually points back to your strength? We should never expect to know strength without weakness, and we should never expect to see light without shadow. The two always travel together in every human life.

For Pondering & Prayer

Today, can you give God thanks not only for your strengths, but for your weaknesses? Try praying a prayer of thanksgiving for your weakness and see how it feels.

Can remembering this idea of a “shadow self” help you to recognize someone’s good qualities and extend grace to them today? Who in your life needs this?

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