Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Does God Love Wrinkles, Stretch Marks, And The Imperfect Life?

At the risk of taking scripture out of context I’d like to consider this week’s memory verse in a different light. 

“...but the voice spoke again, “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” Acts 10:15 (NLT)
“But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean.” Acts 10:28 (NLT)

In the post "Litter Box Thinking" I spoke about applying this statement to our personal prejudices and biases towards people of a different race, religion, or culture.  But what about applying it to ourselves?

Do you see yourself as inadequate, inferior, or just simply unclean?  Do you struggle with daily (or hourly) thoughts of insecurity; thoughts that you don’t measure up. 

Maybe you think you’re not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, fat enough, capable enough, disciplined enough, outgoing enough, or funny enough.  Do you feel you’re not a good enough mother, wife, sister, aunt, step mother, grandmother, or friend?

Do you think you’re not good enough at your job, or wish you had a better job?  Think your hips are too big, your breasts are too small, your ankles are too fat, your hair is too thin, or your nose is too big.  Do you look in the mirror and see chicken legs and a muffin top?

The list goes on and on.  It’s exhausting just thinking about all the insecurities we secretly entertain?  No wonder we’re tired at the end of the day!

Here’s what I’m suggesting.  God’s says, “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” (Acts 10:15).  If God says you’re “clean” it means you measure up, you’re good enough, and you’re perfect the way He made you.  Shouldn’t we believe Him? 

The gospel of John doesn’t say, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life...PSYCH...JUST KIDDING!"  And I guarantee you won’t find any scripture passage in the Bible that says “God made you perfect in every way...except your                                             .”   

Here’s what you will find:

“The Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With His love, He will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

“But now, God’s Message... Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.  I’ve called your name.  You’re mine.  When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.  When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.  When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end – Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.  I paid a huge price for you:  all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!  That’s how much I love you!  I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.  Isaiah 43:1-4 (The Message)

“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?  Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:3-5 (NLT)

 “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 (NLT)

What great images of love...God longs to give you joy, He celebrates you by singing. (I hope God can carry a tune better than I can.)  He traded His own son’s life because He loves you and wants you to live with Him forever.  We shouldn’t be wearing crowns of insecurity and inferiority; God gave us crowns of glory and honor.

Beth Moore sums it up nicely in this quote from her book, “So Long Insecurity”...

"God knows we're insecure.  But we do not need to be.  And He will not leave well enough alone.  He has enough security for both of us, and for those of us who call Christ Savior, He slipped His own secure Spirit within our simple jars of clay.  It is in you to be secure, dear one.  Do you hear what I'm saying to you?  You have it in you."

She also writes, “The enemy of your soul will never have to worry about what kind of damage you could do the kingdom of darkness if he can get you to buy the lie that you are incompetent, weak and inadequate." 

Have you bought the lie?  Trust scripture that tells you otherwise.  It’s time to give up negative thoughts about yourself and marvel in the fact that God loves you just the way you are; wrinkles, stretch marks, imperfect lives, and all.

Ask God for help...pray this prayer throughout the week.

Father how can I believe You love me when I feel unlovable?  How can I trust You to love me completely when others haven’t?  Insecurity has kept me chained in captivity too long.  Today I pray to be released from the bondage of my negative thinking.  Teach me to see myself as You do...created by You in Your own image. 

Take me beyond doubt to a place of experiencing Your unconditional love surging over me like a stream cascading down a mountainside.  Shine Your light in the shadows of my mind where insecurity lives and drive it out.  Today I trust in Your love for me.  Today I know I am your child...bought by Christ’s blood, loved by You, wearing a crown of honor and glory.  In Jesus name I pray...Amen.

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