Friday, March 21, 2014

Lent Day 15: Who am I, anyway?

How do you see yourself?
  • As a hopeful individual? or as a person with dashed dreams?
  • As a failure? or success?
  • As a gifted participant in life? or as someone who "never gets it right"?
  • As part of a community to which you contribute? or as an outsider?

The way we view ourselves 
influences our responses to life. 

On the negative side:
  • If you see yourself as unworthy, you may become a doormat who lets others run roughshod over you (with all the resentment that entails). Or do you blame others when you don't reach your goals? Do you begin your resentments for ill treatment with, "If-only ... ?"
  • If you see yourself as a disempowered minority in gender, ethnicity, education, or another qualifier, you may look for offense - often where none is intended. OR have you become an overachiever who tries to get noticed "in spite of" that quality?
  • If you see yourself as entitled, you may become a bully. Do you treat others as servants for your wants and wishes?
  • If you see yourself as a victim, you may take affront at any slight. Do you refuse to forgive those who deliberately (or otherwise) hurt you, gathering the sins of others into a heap of self-ruin?
On the positive side, walking in freedom, we have been forgiven and set loose from our failures.
  • If you see yourself as God's child, you have a Heavenly Father who delights in you. Do you enjoy those around you as God's co-creations?
  • If you see yourself as servant of God, you will happily serve others in His name. Do you gladly help others out?
  • If you see yourself as worthy of God's attention, the attention of others will only be a bonus if it happens. Are you content with God's approval and surprised when others applaud you?
  • If you see yourself as an overcomer, you will rise to meet every challenge with God's help. Do you look forward to new things?
So, how do we change our persistent perceptions?
Covey's Habits (Click for link)
  1. Find significance in being yourself. God made you. God loves you. God gives you purpose and meaning.
  2. Boost your work with your personality and gifting. If you stock shelves, work an assembly line, are a scientist or an artist, build into your work the things you love. Talk to people (or pray for them) if you're an extrovert. Build your muscles if you're doing physical routines. Learn new things if you're a scholar (wherever you are). Design better ways to do your work if you're gifted in creativity or administration.
  3. Look for ways to enhance the work and profile of others. Speak well of people around you. Tell them when they do good work. Let others shine.
  4. Bring your spirit as well as your mind and body everywhere you go. Be honest about what you believe without being preachy. If others share their journey of faith (or lack of it), share something about your own walk with Christ. Part of wholeness is bringing all of your self along, wherever you are.
  5. Look for the best in your circumstances. Surely there's something good about your life, right where you are now! Count your blessings, name them one by one, says the old song. 
  6. Share your gratitude with others. Tell other people what makes you happy and things you are thankful for.
Start today!

Read more:

*But you, O Lord, do not be far from me; O my strength, hasten to help me! Psalm 22:19 (NKJV)

*Joyful are those you discipline, LORD, those you teach with your instructions. You give them relief from troubled times until a pit is dug to capture the wicked." Psalm 94:12–13 NLT

*He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV

*The Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 NLT

Moravian Prayer: Faithful Lord, help us to remember that when evil surrounds us and when dark thoughts bubble up within us, we can rely on your strength to set us right and see us through. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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