I love the haunting song from the classic musical “Oliver.”  Ever wonder where love is?  One of my favorite and yet – horrible memories as a child in school was Valentine’s Day.  We’d make decorated envelopes and tape them to the front of our desks and classmates would put a Valentine in them to be opened during the Valentine party.  But many times that joyous party brought pain. My classmates could be cruelly direct in the kind of card and message they left. I received nice cards for the most part, but I also received lots of messages that weren’t so nice and it stung. I would start to calculate in my mind how much I was liked as the day turned into a competition to see who was the most popular. It fed my insecurities as I seemed to never capture that title. What was wrong with me.? Why didn’t they like me?

Can you find your worth and love yourself in spite of rejection?  Sheila Walsh said,  “How you think about yourself is a reflection of how you think about God.”  Guilt and shame can destroy your life and keep you from living an abundant life.  Are your eyes on the great and perfect Creator and how He sees you?  It’s a conscious choice to move past crippling shame that is holding you back from all God has for you.

We feel guilty when we do something wrong but we feel shame when we believe we are bad.  Shame sends us running and hiding behind anything and everything that will keep us from facing the truth. I see this in many Hollywood industry professionals who work hard on their careers but then can’t get past shameful choices or events in their past that haunt and hold them back from success in their career. They blame others, make excuses, and begin to use various substances – drugs, alcohol, food and shopping addictions, etc. to avoid the conflict and truth. Hiding flaws becomes a priority especially in the age of social media.

The deceiver is cleaver and subtle. He wants you to have a “pity party” so he keeps badgering you with all your faults, poor choices, inadequacies and failures.  He wants you to feel ashamed.   Romans 8:1-2 says, So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”   Have you confessed your poor choices, failures, and given them to Jesus?  If so, claim freedom, stand on the power of the Spirit and turn from the destruction of the deceiver.

Valentines Day is a perfect day to remind yourself that you are valued and created in God’s perfect image and are loved by the most important person who ever walked the earth – Jesus.  It’s His opinion that matters. Every time that small evil voice tells you differently, choose to listen instead to God’s voice and His promise of restoration and forgiveness. Have a real party this year- the best Valentines Day of your life. Don’t let the shame keep you back any longer from God’s abundance, contentment, success, and overwhelming love He has for you.  You don’t ever have to wonder anymore where love is.  You found it in Him.

Here’s a new Valentine card for you this year….“Valentine, Forever…You Are The Love Of God’s Life”