One and One






(The following is a reflection on Steve Carter’s message “Find Rest in an Anxious World,” part I of Game Changers. The video and the transcript are also available to you.)


I think anxiety is unresolved guilt. Maybe, in the past, you can say, “I messed up.” But the enemy wants to say, “No, no. You are a mess up.” You might have had something happen in the past where you made a bad decision. But the enemy goes, “No, no, you didn’t make a bad decision. It’s because you are bad, you made that decision.” 


I have this memory.

It seems nonsensical to me today.

It happened all the same.

Some years ago, I sat in church.

Shame, it was mentioned.

And as absurd as it may sound, I, at the time, thought, I don’t think I have shame.

Bless her (my) heart, she (I) had no inkling what shame is. (And now I have no inkling what she (I) thought it was. But that bit’s not the point.)

I’ve found myself for hours and days and weeks and months now in a so-called “season” where this shame thing seems to just be... everywhereish. So if I’ve begun to sound redundant, well, the rub is, I’m still here.

It was last fall I started learning, in earnest, all of this Enneagram situation. And, lo and behold, I’m in the shame triad. (Brilliant.)

Few months later, I heard Brené Brown’s talk on vulnerability. You know what she studied? Right. Shame.

In both, guilt is defined as what says, “I did a bad thing.”

Shame is defined as what says, “I am a bad thing.”

That and fear of disconnection: “If people knew this about me, or if people really knew me, they would realize I am unworthy of connection.”


Funnily enough, Andrew, on Sunday, he spoke about masks.

The masks that we wear out of fear.

Out of shame.


But the two and two (or one and one) I hadn’t put together until now were these—shame and anxiety.

Of course.



...And this is not a complete thought yet, is it?

I’m still here.