Shut Down – Shut Up – Shut Out

Has anyone every shut you up? I’m not referring to “shut you down”. If you’ve been shut down it is over one subject and their argument has rendered your defense mute. I recently was “shut up”. Someone in my life, whose opinion matters to me, pointed out occasions (multiple) where I’ve failed to act and/or respond in an uplifting way. Because I believe Plato’s philosophy that an unexamined life is not worth living, I value when someone I respect or care about holds me accountable for my actions.

Accountability should be an agent for positive change and growth as a person. And sometimes when someone makes you aware of mistakes you’ve made, it is wise to shut up for a while and process what you’ve been told. In this case however, I’m wondering if my response has been a shut down, as well as shut up. I haven’t merely shut up in regard to the matters brought to me; I’ve shut down from offering in service to others as freely as I’ve felt led to in the past. Which means, I’ve closed off the leading of the Holy Spirit and shut Him out.

Instead I’ve listlessly made agreements with ancillary lies. I’ve taken truth (the mistakes I’ve made with this person) and let Satan surround it with lies. The major lie is disqualification. I think this is a rather typical pairing. Your actions have hurt someone so you respond by playing it safe. If you don’t get involved in lives, you get rid of the possibility of making relational mistakes. And beyond that, if you feel regretful about your mistakes Satan can paint a broad brushstroke of disqualification over all aspects of your life. “Who are you to…?” In my case the “who are you to…?” has included “who are you to write?” and “who are you to minister to other women?”.

The agreement with the lie of disqualification is a disagreement with the biblical mandates to serve one another, encourage one another, and love one another.

Hebrews 10:22-24

“–let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and have our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

I need to shut out the liar so I don’t shut out the God of all truth.

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4 thoughts on “Shut Down – Shut Up – Shut Out

  1. Regarding Shut Down……. Great thoughts on the subject. In reading this I am once again reminded and so thankful that God knows our hearts and motives. Mistakes are a part of being human and trusting God to make all things right, in spite of whatever is going on in any particular situation, urges me onward with my eyes focused on Him.

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  2. So you only need to seek the forgiveness of god, not the people you wronged? Is it really enough to just hide behind the Holy Spirit with your guilt, instead of allowing the person closure with communication of your guilt and understanding of why things happened?
    I don’t think you should live in guilt; I’m just confused on how your decision will work in a real world sense. You seem to pass over the wronged person and go straight to God. Wouldn’t it eliminate the guilt if you actually faced them, talked it out, and allowed you both to put it behind them? Isn’t that part of the “loving and uplifting” that god commands? Or should good Christians just bury their pains?
    Sincere question.

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    • Good question Sarah. We definitely need to ask for forgiveness and deal with how our sin has hurt someone! The person we’ve hurt is more important than the pain of realizing we hurt them. Unfortunately, when I realized my wrong and asked forgiveness I hung onto the guilty feelings and started to withhold from others. (That added to my sin). My essay in no way covered the topic of repentance, forgiveness and healing. I was just observing how I internalized my mistakes and didn’t move on in the freedom of forgiveness. As to your last question – burying pains never allows for healing. If the person that hurt us is safe to go to, it is important to talk with them. If they are not safe or reachable, it’s important to get counsel from someone to receive healing. Thanks for giving me a chance to explain.

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