Whatever truths we lend to others about ourselves, whatever pieces of insecurities we decide to show, or whatever personality quirks we let surface—all of these tidbits allow others to build their own perception of who we are. A new year provides a chance for us to rebuild better versions of ourselves to flaunt. Maybe a more daring version, more adventurous, more exciting, or even more popular. You see, most of the time resolutions are made for appearances, rather than for what we truly desire to become. I can say this confidently because I fall victim to this lie every single year.
Instead of focusing on what I’ve been redeemed from, I dwell on all the areas in which I fall short. God designed the seasons, the rising of the sun, the span of our lifetime—and I take all of that and see how I can work it in my favor. He breathed the stars into existence, but I have no time to admire His creation because I am too busy improving myself. Making myself better. Whose attention do we seek?
Instant gratification often coincides with appearances. If I buy this popular item, everyone will compliment me. If I get my hair styled and colored, I’ll instantly look better without having to try. But renewing our minds, molding our character after Christ, and cultivating spirits of contentment – that’s the gritty stuff. Those are qualities we strive for continually, throughout our entire lives.
So do you know what that means? It means we are constantly under construction. God chips away at the hardest parts of our hearts to discover the parts of Himself He wishes to reveal. We don’t arrive on this Earth as a perfect, finished product wrapped neatly with a bow. No; we carry nothing into this world, yet we truly believe we can tidy ourselves up into a perfect image. Instead of showing others the areas of our life in which we lack, we mask it all under accomplishments and accolades.
There is beauty in redemption and letting others see the light that shines from your brokenness within. God heals all wounds and turns our shame into His glory. In all of our hurt, shortcomings, and guilt, God invites us into His kingdom.
It seems bizarre to me that we all compete to construct this picturesque version of ourselves when it completely and utterly stresses us out. But anytime a friend gets real with us and explains the reality of their life, we sigh in relief knowing we are not alone. So then why does it take us so long to get to that place of realness? We tiptoe around each other and give false impressions of what really occurs in our lives.
I know it can be daunting to show others the areas of our lives where we stumble. Not always having it together does show weakness, and weakness is a generally frowned upon aspect to reveal. BUT, our weakness shows we are in dire need of someone who can mend the shattered pieces. God wants to be your defender, your Savior, your Sustainer. Will you let Him into the messy places of your heart?
“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.'”- 1 Samuel 16:7
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