You are not an Apology
The title of this post is admittedly strange…you are not an apology? What the heck does that mean? This is a phrase that God gave me to describe a phenomenon we may experience in seasons of our lives that is a direct product of shame. We may not realize that it is shame, but if you look closely, you’ll see shame written all over it.
There are times we make mistakes in life. Some of these mistakes are made out of ignorance. We can honestly look back and say I did the best I could with the information I had. Other mistakes are made out of willful disobedience. There comes a point as a believer where we acknowledge our mistakes, repent and make the decision to allow God to give us a course correction. This act of repentance often lends itself to new seasons and transitions in our lives.
But sometimes after repentance has taken place, we still find ourselves stuck in the “apology syndrome.” I walked through a season like this recently. There were some apologies I needed to make, for sure, and some ways in which I needed to humble myself. That was all well and good. BUT…I found myself always apologizing. I was more or less apologizing for who I was. I felt it necessary to apologize for the fact that I take risks and that I make mistakes. There was something in me that just wanted to say to the world, “Sorry, I’m like this. Sorry I’m not better at life. Sorry I haven’t figured this all out.” I allowed the previous season to put parameters around me and to start influencing my belief in who I am and what I could do.
The “apology syndrome” manifested itself in many ways. Anytime someone would speak to me about my future or my calling in life, at some point in the conversation I would insert a “yeah but…” and proceed to tell the person what I mess I am. Anytime someone pointed out a strength of mine, I would be sure I told them at least three or four of my weaknesses. I would be sure to apologize profusely to those close to me for taking up their time, for being too much, too annoying, too broken, blah blah blah. I was in the business of disqualifying myself from all future brightness. I think my biggest goal was to simply blend into the background without creating too much of a disturbance. God is a good daddy though. I am amazed at the times He has called me from the back of the room to the front and spoken to others about my destiny, while I tried to put a cloak over it.
The most significant place this apology syndrome manifested itself is in my relationship with dad…Father God. I found myself starting every prayer apologizing for the same things I had already brought before Him in repentance months prior. It was like I felt I needed to know that was my place. I know I messed things up. I know I missed the mark and got it wrong, but would you mind helping me out with this? I’ll do my best not to disturb you Father, but if you could just help me make it through all this, then I won’t ask you for anything else. If you just help me make it through, I’ll be content to sit in the background and not make any waves.
Over time, I realized I was right about one thing. I do not deserve a blessed thing on my own merits. But I never have apart from His love and His grace. I realized that I was viewing myself through a very faulty paradigm. Kris Vallotton discusses this kind of thinking in his book The Supernatural Ways of Royalty. He talks about our tendency to have a pauper mentality, rather than embracing our full identity as princes and princesses in the Kingdom of God. He writes, “To go back and say that’s still who we are is to deny what Christ did for us. Doing that is no longer humbling ourselves, it’s undercutting the resurrection power God has given us to live like Him.” Boom.
I don’t really understand how this whole thing works. But basically, when we chose Jesus, we became God’s kids. No matter the seasons we go through in life, no matter how bad we messed it all up, no matter the mistakes we made, He loves us. He chose to stick life out with us…through the ups and downs, the good and bad. He is committed to our growth in this process. And He never leaves us. It has never been about what we deserve. It’s about who we are. The moment I surrendered my life to the Lord, I became a princess because I was adopted by the King. Everything I go through in life is royal training. I wasn’t always a princess and I don’t always behave like a princess should, but my faithful Father is showing me the ropes. He is loving, faithful and patient with me.
Again, all of this is because He chooses to love me. This part is the most difficult for me to comprehend. I know me. I know all of me. And there is some stuff in there that I find difficult to love, but God loves it all. It remains a mystery to me, but it is a mystery I am happy to live with. The mystery called Grace.
So stop apologizing for who you are. Stop apologizing for not knowing all the answers. Stop apologizing for being messy. And stop disqualifying yourself. You are royal. You are loved. And you are becoming refined through the process. He chose your heart as a home for His resurrection power. His life lives and breathes inside of you. And as we see Him for who He truly is, we discover we are not an apology. Our true identity as royal sons and daughters is finally revealed.
Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ. And as Christ himself is seen for who he really is, who you really are will also be revealed, for you are now one with Him in His glory! (Col. 3:3-4 TPT)