Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Post: "Wrestling with Self-Image"

Last week I wrote about buying a house.

Its a "first-world problem" 
that can be both joyous and stressful,
but if you have ever struggled 
to overcome some huge problem in your life,
it might seem like an impossibility.

Ever filed bankruptcy?
Do you have a gambling problem?
Have you lost your job?
Are you addicted to meth?

I have come out of prison,
been unemployed three-years,
and now I am blessed to buy a house!

In retrospect, this never seemed possible.
There was often a quiet murmur in my ear,
whispering to me, "that will never happen,
you've screwed up too much."
And for a long time, I believed this lie.

But even in these days where it looks to become a reality,
I have continued to struggle with doubts, fears, and my own hubris.

It was only made clear to me when I listened to a presentation.
(If you didnt already know this about me,
I believe strongly in continual learning,
even when the topic seems far from my professional development.)

I paid partial attention to the online "sales-strategy",
attempting to do my best at 'multitasking',
when the speaker repeated her same words three times,
(ever notice the importance of something when it is told that way?)

To summarize, the presenter said we make many life choices
based on three key emotions that help feel:
1) Safe & Secure, 
2) that we Belong, and 
3) that we Matter.

When I heard these, I stopped to listen as I recognized a truth;
the argument my wife and I had about this new house,
centered on these very feelings.

And while my wife has little patience to hear my ideas,
she and I quickly agreed her desire for this particular house
was based solely out of #1- Safety & Security,
and a fear of 'what-if we dont get this house'.

But when that was done, I had to look at myself.
And when my analysis was done,
I learned something important.

While Belonging can be important to me,
(part of my family!)
as well as Safety & Security,
what is clear is that I want most to Matter.
And the purchase of this house threatened my self-image.

It seemed too small; not enough rooms to occupy,
and my fear the location may not appreciate enough,
to sell again on some future day 10-20 years from now!

So when I stopped to think long and hard about what this means to me
I discovered the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart, saying:
1) your future is Safe & Secure in God,
2) you Belong to God, and the greatest family of believers ever,
3) you Matter to God.
You Matter to God.
You Matter to God.

And Nothing you 'wear' will change that,
not the title of 'addict', or 'criminal', 
not the label of 'nerd', or 'meat-head jock',
not the behaviors you show most often,
such as 'angry', or 'consumer', 
not the clothes you put on each day,
nor the car you drive, or the house you sleep in.

I matter because God says so.
Because His love is shown to me by Jesus Christ,
and the constant reminder of His Holy Spirit.

Can you learn to find in God
your safety and security? 
And your fulfillment to belong and matter?

For a time, it may seems to come from other people,
from a job and the money you can earn,
but these wont last, and their is no secure future in these.

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