Today’s Bible reading

For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, — Romans 8: 5-6 (NET)

More thoughts for meditation 

Attention

Ultimately we become what we pay attention to, and the options available to us at any time are myriad, the most important of which being located within us. Paul, in his letter to the Romans knows this, stating flatly, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8: 5-6).

To have one’s mind set on something is essentially about paying attention. What do I pay attention to? Paul says that what we pay attention to doubles back and governs us. Hence our attention is deeply associated with either death or life.

Suggestion for action

Taking Inventory of Shame

In order to do what Jesus did requires that we seek shame where it hides. We do not wait for it to find us. An exercise I frequently use is called the shame inventory. It is a simple exercise using a 3 x 5 card and a pencil. Throughout the day, any time you encounter shame, make a mark on the card. The purpose is not to analyze what led to the shame or the larger story surrounding it. That form of analyzing, ironically, tends to feed the shame cycle. The purpose is to draw your attention to the fact that it has occurred. Remember, shame uses clandestine operations. It would be happy for you to experience it without it taking any credit. Its objective is not to be famous but to destroy you.