Tag Archives: Gods way vs the World view

Reflections in a Mirror – How do you see you?

Have you ever seen that cute poster that shows a little cat sitting in front of a full length mirror and the reflection is that of a huge lion? The point that this image is conveying is that how you see yourself is of utmost importance. But is that really true? Isn’t that a bit self-centered and egotisical?

With all the focus on “self esteem” and “self worth” and the “look-at -me” social media lifestyle we live with today, I took issue with this mind set. I took issue because God doesn’t teach us to be so self-centered and ego-driven. His Word tells us to be humble and modest and to place others before us. But when we look around and see the drug abuse, eating disorders, violence in schools, hazing and peer pressure and all the pain and suffering caused by negative self-image, poor self-worth and the desire for acceptance, I had to rethink my position.

I looked into the Word of God and found somethings I’d like to share.

   Psalms 23:7 tells us that:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

   There are many examples in the Bible of those who had either a very low self esteem or a prideful sense of self and God dealt with both accordingly. In Judges chapter 6 we see the angle of the Lord address Gideon as a “Mighty man of Valor!” yet, Gideon reveals very clearly how he sees himself in his response;

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel?

My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.

  Gideon says that in all of Israel his family is the smallest, weakest and least powerful family and as if that wasn’t enough – he is the least of them! He just opened his mouth and declared himself to be one of the least powerful, important or capable people in the whole country!! Wow! talk about a poor self-image. But keep in mind that this is not how God sees him. Thankfully, this is not the end of Gideon’s story. He goes on, with the power of God, to fulfill his destiny as a mighty man of valor and saves Israel – see Judges 7

But lets look at how Gideon could say such a thing. Jesus gives us insight into where such things come from –

For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Like 6:45

   So we see that Gideon said this about himself because that is what he really believed deep down inside himself. Regardless of what anyone else thought or said about him – he felt helpless and small. Thankfully God was able to turn his thinking around.

But lets look at an example of an over-inflated ego – King Saul

 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.  And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. 1 Sam 9:1-3

   Unlike Gideon, Saul was a handsome man who came from a powerful family and was taller than anyone else around. Add to that the fact that he was chosen to be King of Israel and you have a formula for pride, self-reliance and disobedience. 1 Samuel records the story of how Saul, ordered to kill the Amalekites and not leave alive or take anything. He did not obey. He let the men take the best of the livestock under the pretense of making a sacrifice to God with them. His pride and concern for public opinion among the men of Israel caused him to disobey God and that cost him the crown. He was rejected by God as king over Israel and later, a small, skinny boy would be chosen to take his place – David.

Young David is an example of a healthy self-image.

  With Saul rejected as King the Prophet Samuel is sent by God to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king. Jesse has seven of his sons stand before the prophet but God says no to each of them. Only after the young skinny son that Jesse overlooked was brought before Samuel did God command – Go, anoint this one! David began his journey as King of Israel. David, who even as a child had a good self image and knew how he stood with God. This is clearly seen in the way in which David stood up to Goliath even though the entire army shook with fear of that giant.

David declares that no one should be fearful about this man because he (little skinny boy David) will fight and defeat him! On the surface this might seem like a prideful statement but David was drawing on the confidence inside him because of his relationship with the One True God and past experiences.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:24-37

  David trusted in his own ability coupled with the power of God with him. Much like Daniel in the Lion’s den who trusted, come what may, in God’s Love to see him threw the situation ahead of them. Hopefully, you know how both these stories end. If not please look into it.

So, you see it’s all about a balance. You are not the lowest of the low no matter how you might feel and likewise, you are not he greatest one to walk the earth, even if you think you are!

Getting back to that cat looking at it’s reflection in the mirror.

He should see a great and mighty Lion in the mirror

as long as he also sees The Lord Jesus Christ beside him

otherwise it’s all and illusion!

Jesus said it best –

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

  Be blessed today as you go forth in the Power of the Holy Spirit to stand confidently in your place with Jesus by your side. Al

Further verses on this subject are listed here for our consideration.

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Pr 16:18

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time 1 Peter 5:6

Who do you think you are?

Who do you think you are?!?!

   There’s a saying out there which goes something like this –

What matters most is how you see yourself”

   We as believers understand that what truly matters most is how Jesus sees us but before we completely dismiss this seemingly introverted concept lets look at it in the light of scripture.

    For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he Pr 23:7 KJV

   So, the Word of God is telling us that our self image affects or actions but, thankfully, that is not the last word on the subject.

for man looketh on the outward appearance,

but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1Sam 16:7c KJV

In the Book of Judges we see Gideon threshing wheat in hiding from the occupiers the Lord sent to correct His people and we have an open window into the way Gideon sees himself when he responds to the angels greeting…lets listen in….

    And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.  And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.  And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?  And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house

Judges 6:12-15 KJV

  So, here we see Gideon in hiding out of fear and explaining that he is the least (perhaps smallest or youngest) in his family and that his family is poor in the tribe of Manasseh, which isn’t the largest or greatest of the tribes of Israel. Gideon sees himself as the lowest of the low BUT the angels’ greeting reflects the way God sees him – A MIGHT MAN OF VALOR! Those of you who don’t already know the rest of the story should take a minute to see how it turns out but for the purpose of our discussion I will leave it there.

God doesn’t want us to “think of ourselves more highly then we should” nor does he want us to live in fear, self doubt, or shame”.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are children of the Most High God. We are inheritors of Glory. We shall rule as Kings and Priests in the Kingdom of God to come. We are Blessed and Highly favored. But, we are to walk in humility with lowliness of heart and put others before us as we follow the example Jesus gave us of a servant not a master.

image

Distorted Selfie

As important as it may be for us to have a healthy self image it is how God sees us that matters most.

Be Blessed, Al & Betty

Hurray for Daddy!!!

Fathers Day 2014

It’s been a pet-peeve of mine for some time now how the media portrays Dads. From TV to Movies and even the blogosphere Dads are inept, incapable and incompetent. It’s there female counterparts or even their children that have all the answers, insights and wisdom. This is not the way it is nor should it be.

The Bible has much to say about the authority, responsibility and importance of Dad and his role in the family unit and community. Some would say that the Bible is a chauvinistic piece of literature written by men. That it’s demeaning to women by casting men in a preferential position over them. I suppose a cursory glance at some select scriptures might bring one to that conclusion –

 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18 KJV (also Ephesians 5:21)

Dad on the beach

But taken in its totality the scriptures resound with verses calling men to be sacrificial lambs for their wives, teachers of their children and protectors of the family. The following verses clearly illustrate two fundamental principals – we are to submit to each other and the man, as head of the wife is to behave “AS” Christ did for the body of Christ (the Church) which was He died for the church.

 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; Eph 5:21-23 KJV

Men are instructed to Love their wives and other duties while women are only commanded to submit (honor and respect) their husbands. (see also Eph 5:24-26 KJV and 28-29)

The Word of God cautions Fathers about being too overbearing to their children –Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord. Eph 6:4 

It further places the responsibility for teaching Spiritual things on the Fathers –And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up Deu 6:6-7 NKJV, and thereby puts the burden of their children’s salvation squarely on Dads shoulders. The Bible further state that a man (Dad) should be sober, of good behavior, apt to teach, not greedy or violent, patient and able to manage his household. 1Tim 3

Now, I am not saying that wives aren’t able to teach or manage a household or do any of the things that I attributed to Daddy here. In fact, I commend those wives and mothers who juggle so many tasks and responsibilities, either because there isn’t a Dad at home or because circumstances dictate.  What I am saying is that Dad’s are not portrayed in a favorable light in the secular media. Even The Today Show ran a segment about the disparity between men and women in the media. Check out this paper from Cal. Poly Tech on the subject.

The bottom line is this –

God created Eve from Adam’s side not his head or feet. Neither gender is to dominate the other but Biblically each has a role handed down by God and the Scriptures tell us that clearly in easy to understand terms – if we read all of it. Stereotyping men and objectifying women is just what the world does and will continue to do but it is not Gods way.

Learn what God says about relationships and family – and be blessed.

HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY TO ALL THE DADS OUT THERE!!!