Here are my reflections on lesson two of the “I AM” study.
This lesson focused on our beauty… inside and out. Key verses for me were these…
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:2-3 NIV
“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” Psalm 149:4
Lisa put it this way: “Jesus became ugly, therefore I am not.” This goes beyond surface beauty, but gets to the heart of who I am as a person. There should be a peace and joy in our spirits that makes people stand up and take notice… we should be lovely. I have exchanged my filthy rags for His righteousness… and what a beautiful trade that is!
Something else that really struck a chord with me was this truth… “Thinking lowly of ones self is still thinking of ones self more than God. Reverse pride is still pride and the most dangerous form of idolotry.” When I belittle myself, I am focused on myself, rather than on the Lover of my soul. My Father has called me beautiful… I am a daughter of the King of Kings.. a PRINCESS. Why do I ever resort to living like a pauper? He has made me beautiful… He made Himself nothing so that I could have EVERYTHING. My prayer is that as I learn more fully what it means to take my identity from who I am in Christ, I will begin to see myself as beautiful too… the way He sees me.
Synopsis over… here are my answers.
What is your initial response when anyone suggests you are beautiful?
I usually roll my eyes… or try to pass off the compliment. I do this especially when my physical appearance is mentioned (I definitely do not consider myself beautiful, despite what my husband tells me), but even when someone mentions inner beauty. A few weeks ago a dear friend called and thanked me for having a sweet spirit… a genuine spirit. I squirmed. I try to revert the attention back to the Lord, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing… but I wonder if maybe I should learn how to do that, but in a way that receives the praise as well, rather than making excuses for why it’s not warranted. It’s like I try to brush it off, claiming it’s not me… it’s all Him… and it IS… but am I denying Him glory when I do that? I’ve never thought of it that way before.
Do you find you engage in a lot of negative ‘self-talk’? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?
I don’t think I do this that often. I know that I am a work in progress (and will be until He calls me home) and I accept that. I am thankful when He shows me attitudes that need to change… need to be altered (and altared?)… but I don’t constantly beat myself up about it. I take what He reveals, learn from the experience, and try again. His mercies are new every morning, and I’m grateful for that.
What is the most radical transformation you’ve witnessed in an individual after they were born again? It’s okay to tell about your own!
It’s so hard to pick one! I have several friends who have come to Christ and become new creations… totally – myself included! I hate talking about myself though, so I’d have to say my friend J. This sweet girl was always a good friend, even when she was out of control. But when Jesus got a hold of her life… He just completely transformed her. Not just her perspectives and world view, but her spirit. In His strength she has gone from a party girl with no boundaries, to a godly wife and mother who seeks the Lord’s will in every aspect of her life. She has conquered serious addictions (through Christ), dealt with difficult health issues, and gone from being a fearful mixed up child, to a confident God-fearing woman. The growth in her has been spectacular, and I am moved to tears as I look at her now, teaching children about having a dynamic walk with the Lord, leading a Christ-centered ministry for women battling with addiction, and always seeking ways the Lord can use her. I love you, J! I love Jesus in you!
The imagery of being a City Girl has absolutely changed the way I perceive my worth before God. Does it yours? Will you receive this truth and let it boost your righteous confidence?
A city girl, eh? Here in the boonies of New Hampshire, that’s a difficult concept to grasp. I’ve always hated the city. ;-) This city is different though. Instead of glaring streetlights and neon signs it will have the Son as its light! Rather than trash strewn pavement, we will walk streets like gold! Forget the poor indigents living in cardboard boxes, in this city there will be a home specially prepared for each inhabitant, and the Lord Himself will wipe away every tear. This is a city filled with hope… the hope of glory. Yeah. I can handle that.
I do need to think more of myself as a kingdom citizen. I want to live this life with a heavenly perspective. I want my actions here to be something that will make my Father proud… that will be accomplishing kingdom work. A verse that I stumbled across last summer made such an impression on me that I have it taped to the dashboard of my car. “‘…and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,’ says the LORD GOD, ‘when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.'” I think that if I could develop a deeper understanding of my “city girl” status, then this verse could become even more of a reality in my life. That’s what I want. I want to be a city girl!!