I love it when The Lord reminds me of a lesson He has been teaching me. I don't think I will ever master some of them this side of heaven and that's why I need reminders. Today's reminder came from listening to my favorite morning show on the radio, KCBI with Jeff & Rebecca. I only get to listen for about 20 minutes in the car as I am taking kiddos to school and I always enjoy every minute of it. It is often a source of inspiration as it was today. I had been wondering what I was going to blog about and on this morning's program was one of those reminders.
As a child, I had an abusive step-father for many years. He often said these words to me: "You are so stupid! You are never going to amount to anything when you grow up." When he said this to me I would think "You just wait until I grow up and we will see who the stupid one is!" For a long time after, it seemed to me that I had been so strong in those moments, that I hadn't allowed his hateful words to crush me.
Over the years I have come to realize that, although I wasn't crushed by his statements, I was indeed broken because I felt compelled that I needed to prove him wrong. What he said about me couldn't be right and I would not allow it to be. That's a lot of pressure to put on one's self. It may look like confidence but it becomes bondage because when you are always striving to prove someone wrong, you are never free to just be who God created you to be.
That bondage also carried over into other relationships for me. I ended up in conflict with someone at a church I attended over something I was sure God had called me to do. This wasn't something I had taken lightly, I had sought counsel and prayed over it. Since I was already carrying this big chip on my shoulders, I was deeply wounded and offended when my motives were misjudged and I wanted to rise up and prove them wrong. God calls us chosen, blessed, redeemed. He wants us to step out in faith to minister to others. He gives us gifts and talents to do that so I also wanted to prove what God says about me was right. That there was a calling on my life. Because if I could prove God right, then that would definitely prove my ex-step-father wrong.
As I struggled with this "I'll show you mentality", God began to reveal to me that He already knows my heart. He knows all of my thoughts. He is my perfect judge and advocate. He is my redeemer, creator, loving father. And then He impressed upon me that I do not have to prove anyone else wrong, because God knows the truth anyways and what do man's opinions really matter? We are not to seek our affirmations from the people around us, we are to look to Christ for our identity, (Galatians 1:10). I also do not have to prove God right either. He is sovereign, almighty, all powerful. What can I possibly do to defend His honor that He can't do a million times better. What can I possibly do to force His purpose to be fulfilled in my life in my timing? Nothing at all. He is the author and perfecter of my faith, my calling, the purpose He has for my life. He simply calls me to submit to being remade in His image and to follow His lead. He is calling you to the same.
God loves you! It doesn't matter what the world thinks or what you are unfairly criticized for as long as you are chasing after Christ. There is nothing any amount of striving can accomplish so believe what God says about you and REST in it. You don't have to prove anything, you don't have to prove anyone wrong and you don't have to prove God right either.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession..."
1 Peter 2:9a NASB