Sometimes I can equate what God thinks of me based on what others think of me. In a given situation if someone is angry with me, isn’t attracted to me, or simply doesn’t want to be my friend (from my perception), I can feel unlovable or inadequate. Not only to them, but to God. I need to be reminded that God’s love for me, for us, is perfect. We are perfectly flawed; there is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. I also need to remember that when people reject me for a job, friendship or romantic interest, sometimes it really has nothing to do with me. When my self-perception is not rooted in God’s perception of me it throws off my perception of others and prevents me from being my true self.
Is 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
When I am confident in God I can continue to enjoy life and give to others despite the circumstances. I can live whole-heartedly and not waver even in moments when it feels like I am less or not enough. Knowing God believes in me helps prevent me from falling into the trap of performance to gain self worth. It frees me to just be me and give of my genuine self. It also enables me to protect my heart and value it more.
1 Samuel 16:7 Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Whenever I have to be told not to consider something I’ve already considered it and made a judgment. The above verse prompts me to pause and check my heart. I can look at others and make judgments, good or bad. When it comes to people who I find attractive, men or women (not in a romantic sense), I can let my perception prevent me from taking more time to get to know the person’s character. I can draw my own conclusions without using discernment. It’s like the kid that is warned not to take candy from strangers. If the stranger has a nice smile and is appealing then clearly their motives aren’t that bad right? Wrong. Just as others will consider and test my heart before they trust me, I need to do the same and give in proportion. It’s about striking a healthy balance.
As I make decisions that effect my career, it is exposing how much validation I can get from what I do. I love my work, I’m good at it, and it produces good things for God’s glory. However, I am approaching a season in my life where I need to make some changes that require me to step away from it. This may mean finding other sources of income and it will definitely mean less travel. The situation has exposed how scary that truly is for me. What I did made me feel somehow more interesting or valuable and as I step away I am seeing that God is showing me that it is not about what I do, but about who I am. We play many roles, professional or personal (parent, spouse, friend, etc.) but these roles do not define us and when we fall short in them we can still stand tall because of God’s love.
Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Sometimes I will fail; I will seek attention or affirmation from the wrong sources. I will fall flat on my face and attach my worth to the wrong things. There will be times when I will completely overwhelm someone with my overzealousness and high energy. In either case God stands in the gap, he covers it with his grace. God is there the next day for a new start. When I make him my all, He is there holding out His strength for me to pickup; his peace allows me to pull back and push him before me.
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