We’ve all had times where we were shut down, told we were insignificant, had nothing to say or add, no importance in being.
I’ve had several areas where this has happened to me in the past, and I admit freely that I can see how those moments have kept me from many things I wanted to do, even changed how I viewed myself. I’ll give an example:
I used to dance in worship, and to many people that might be to crazy for them, but I LOVED it. Even as a child I had full confidence that I could, at any time, move in God’s presence and that He wanted me there. I remember a woman pulling me aside and saying that she had seen four big angels following my dance.
Over and over I’d been told that it blessed people. But then I had a series of people who were offended by my dancing, and a pastor who was trying (under his own convictions) to put guidelines down that eventually stifled all the dance in the church I was in at that time.
More and more I was shut down, until now I barely dance in worship even in my own home, and if I ever dare to dance elsewhere I’m in a back corner, trying to hide. I don’t want to offend, I don’t want to distract, I must be the problem, I’ll just fade into the background.
Were they right? Was my dancing an actual hindrance to others worship? I don’t know, but that isn’t really the point at the moment, you see I lost something infinitely more precious at that time, something I want so much to regain. I lost my confidence before God in how HE saw me.
I’m sure if you’ve been in a good solid church for any amount of time you’ve heard something about how important it is to know who we are in Christ. As I child I knew exactly who I was. I was His, and He loved me, He adored me. I identified myself through His eyes. But somewhere along the line that changed.
You see, I still KNOW all that, but I don’t have much confidence in it, and as I sit typing here it occurs to me why that could be.
Lets be honest here, when we look at ourselves we really don’t look at ourselves, I mean, we can’t. None of us can ever meet ourselves, we can’t walk up to ourselves without preconception and shake our own hand and get to know this person that we are. We can’t get to know us, we can analyze ourselves but by the very nature of being in our own heads we will never really be able to see exactly what other people see when they see us, and will always have blind spots about our very nature that are very obvious to those around us.
No, when we look at ourselves we really are looking at the image of how we think other people perceive us. The image of ourselves that we carry is filtered by every comment anyone has ever made to us about ourselves, even the off-hand barely thought out comments that so often spring out of someone’s mouth and pin us in our very hearts. When we look at ourselves, we don’t use our eyes, we use everyone else’s.
Now I’m not saying that who we are is defined by what people say, though I would definitely say our words affect people a lot more the we realize. Most people who’ve been told they are worthless their whole lives will in reality act like a worthless person. Which came first? That general attitude of worthlessness that gives rise to worthless choice making skills? Or the identity of worthlessness pressed on them by others?
So I guess my point is, that knowing all these scriptures about who you are in Christ isn’t really enough. The change comes when you stop looking at yourself through the wrong set of eyes.
When I first started this blog I knew I was supposed to have something to give the world in my words, but its so hard to believe it, because when I look at myself through the eyes of others I don’t think I have very much important to say, but God keeps telling me to just say His words. So I’m going to try to give you His words here, maybe let you see yourself through His eyes.
Have you ever been adored? Just completely and totally adored? Maybe when you were a child and did something cute and everyone just couldn’t get enough of you, or as a new bride with the blessing of a husband who seemed to look at you as if the sun set in your eyes. That is how God sees you.
As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. Song of Solomon 4:9
I’ve found that many people have a hard time looking at scriptures like that, because it just doesn’t seem right. They know these scriptures, they know the principles, but they don’t believe them, because the idea that they could be so loved clashes with every image they have of themselves. Sometimes they get comfortable with it by remembering that they are sinners God saved by grace, so really, they aren’t so worthy of being adored its just that God chooses them! Ok now they feel comfortable. The image they have of themselves fits now. We are worthless, but God loves us anyway.
How is worth defined?
No really! How do we define worth? By weight? Time? Money?
What makes money of value? It is, after all, just a piece of paper. What makes one piece of paper worth $100, another of the exact same measure and weight worth $20, another worth $1? What about Gold? Gold has value, but really, does it? What about Gold makes it more valuable then any other mineral? It’s density? Color? Rarity? How about gems? Crystals? The strength? Clarity? Oh you can recite lots of reasons these things have value, but honestly, the only value any of these things have is the value that has been placed on them.
This might be a bit hard to grasp but think it through.
A die hard fan of a particular movie star will find a tissue the star wrote on to be of immense value, and would pay greatly for it. For someone who didn’t care about the movie star the same tissue could have little to no value at all. What is just an old book to one is another’s family heirloom. In fact, some things that otherwise would be considered junk are, because of the value a person has placed on it, considered priceless.
Ok now, lets apply this to us, we see ourselves through the eyes of how we think the world perceives us. Through these eyes, we judge our value. And we might be considered valuable by this standard, but we find many flaws also, and our value diminishes.
So now, lets take a look at another set of eyes. How do we know what kind of value these eyes have placed on us? Well usually a good way to figure out the value you place on something is to see exactly what you’d give for it. Kind of like finding out that trade in value of your car. So, what is God willing to give for you?
I can’t really add to that can I?
In God’s eyes, you are priceless.
~Joy Aletheia Stevens