Do you care?
Some people don't, I know.
but most of us do....
It isn't something I'm proud of, but I've always been overly concerned about what others think of me. Even worse, I am concerned about what I think of myself!!! I know it sounds crazy..... but my thoughts about myself at times have been destructible. And so I have found myself calling out... "I want out! Get me away from myself! I want to be free of me!"
To be free of me. What exactly does that mean?
Well, for starters it means that I no longer have to put up a front--- pretend like I am someone or something greater than what I really am.
The opinions of others... why do they matter so?
The acceptance of others and even of myself.... why is it so meaningful?
I can trace it back to early years and the experiences I have known. And so the internal conversation goes...
"Mirror, mirror... what do you see?
Am I pretty? Will I fit in?
Daddy, daddy... look at me
Am I worthy? Do you love me?"
"Hey world! I'm trying, I'm really trying to make you love me.
I want you to be pleased with me.
I'm trying to have you hear me. My words are so.... witty.
I can be smart and also funny.
I'm trying to show you just how great I can be."
That's my history.
And still I learn that the world... 'like grass...it flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more' (Psalm 103:15-16, paraphrased)
And I'm convicted by John 12:43, "for they loved praise from men more than praise from God."..... and by Hebrews 13:6, "...The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
Truly, what can man do to me?!
Yet as of lately. It's been a long while actually...
I've given up on trying to measure up.
The cost that comes with is just too much.
So much so that at times, I've lost myself.
I've been lost within myself.
To try to measure up, I've cheated and I've lied.
I've turned my back on others, and I've dared to walk the very thin line.
Facing the dangers of losing my life. Still forced by the fears inside.
The fear of not being enough.
And so I wish to be free of me, and then I read, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:25
And in response, I call out... "Yes Lord, I want to find it! In You, I want to find it..."
And I do find it. You see this is what being free really is. I give up my will/my life/what matters most to me for the sake of finding a better life in Christ. I surrender what I've created and perceive to be me in exchange for the life that God has purposed for me. And I experience freedom when I am living out that life that He has prepared for me. Any other existence, keeps me always falling short. Any other person's perception of me cannot measure up to the grace God sheds on me. And the value I had placed on the opinions of others, tumbles down to nothing because of how God sees me. Nothing else matters because through God, I'm truly free!