We receive messages about ourselves from the important people in our lives. We internalize these messages and carry them with us, repeating them to ourselves as if they were gospel truth. When the messages are shaming messages then the internal chorus chants "You are not lovable. You are beyond repair. Even God cannot help you."
This chorus is a chorus of lies. The psalmist rejects these lies. And we need to begin to reject these lies as well.
The Lord is a "shield around me", the psalmist says. A shield protects. It comes between the blows of an enemy and a person's vulnerable places. Most shields are small and can only protect a limited area from attack. But the shield which the Lord provides completely surrounds us. We can let this shield protect us from these attacking messages.
The psalmist also says that the Lord "bestows glory on me and lifts up my head". Heavy burdens of shame, neglect and abuse have bowed our heads. The Lord listens, pays attention and cares about us. God's love counters the voices of our internal shame-chorus so that we can lift our heads. God replaces our shame with glory. It is a picture of a ragged, neglected child whose head is bowed and shoulders are bent. A king sees the child and goes to him. The king gently lifts the child's chin until his eyes meet his own smiling eyes. He asks the child to come home and live as royalty with him. The child is loved, honored, protected. You are the child. God lifts your head and bestows glory.
God help me to stop listening to lies about you.
Help me to stop listening to lies about me.
Be a shield around me.
Lift up my head.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery