Posted by: Ed Deiss | April 10, 2020

How Do You See You?

I remember those times in recess at school when it came time to choose teams.  There are two captains named and I wait to hear my name called, quickly.  As a kid, who did not love to be chosen while at the same time thinking ‘please don’t let me be chosen last’.  After all, don’t want to be seen as a dufus.  It sure hurts to be rejected, because we all want to selected.  Why?  For me, it gave me gave me self-confidence and helped build my self-worth.

There were many times I was not chosen as a kid and adult, or failed at something, or just roughed up and bruised. I am sure there are times we have all come face to face with hardships, difficulties, our faults and weaknesses.  And we all wonder if life will ever be different with the voice that says “no, this is who you are” being the loudest one we hear.

 “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

What you see is what you get; in other words, the way we think determines the way we act.  If I see myself through the lens of my faults and weaknesses, I can look forward to living that out and shrugging my shoulders.  If I see myself as a victim, might as well let others take advantage.  Research has shown that we tend to align our actions with what we perceive ourselves to be, and we often allow our perception of ourselves based entirely on how others treat us. The issue is we often are acting on false or inaccurate information about ourselves.

It is akin to each of us getting a clear picture of ourselves by how we appear in one of those crazy funny mirrors in the fun house at a fair.  Those imperfect mirrors serve as others in our lives, reflecting back distortions and inaccuracies.  We tend to believe those reflections and internalize them, while operating based on false or inaccurate information, thus allowing it to shape who we believe we are.

The point is, you are not alone. That is not who you are.

As I reflect on my past, I find myself irritated that I would allow the opinions of others have an effect on my self-worth.

The good news is our life is no longer defined by our faults and in our weaknesses, we can find strength.

There is an antidote.

“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.” – C.S. Lewis

From every wounds a scar, and from every scar a story.

She looked back, ran back to my car and said ‘I just want two more minutes with you.’ That was as Angela and I were ending our first date.  Having spent 7 years as a single parent, I shared that it was the scars that we each encountered through life, as kids and adults, which attracted us to one another.  We respected each other’s journey, knowing it is a part of who we are, and are stronger because of it.

We both experienced our share of Getting Through Tuesday, including being abandoned as kids by a parent and the pain of human betrayal as adults.

For me, and emotional scare includes witnessing a near death experience of my Mom with a gun at her head by my former step-dad, and the ‘what if’ possibilities if was not for a sheep dog named Katie (she will always have a special place in my heart), my brother and I could have been targets as well.

For Angela, she started planning her own funeral in December 2011 after being diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer; she was given a 35% chance to live. She has shared with me that through the aggressive treatments of multiple surgeries and chemotherapy treatments that death seemed easier, yet she kept going.  She is still dealing with and having to manage the aftershocks of it all, yet she inspires me with the way she treats each day we are alive as a treasure and her actions go from there.

Perspective and context is everything, and our experiences made us grateful for our strength gained from scars inflicted.

So what I have learned is that when I see myself the way God does, it makes all the difference in the world.

“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.” Frederick Buechner  

We all must make the connection between how we see ourselves and how we approach life.

I say, do the world a favor and be you. The world needs you, or you would not be here.

Stop letting your past, your faults and weaknesses, difficulties, or hardships define you.  Don’t allow a recording to constantly play in your mind of all your wrongs.  Lost your temper?  Gave into your addition? It seems there is a war that goes on inside us all, we are not supposed to go through life feeling wrong about ourselves when there is a lot more right.

What Easter reminds, and what we all can keep in mind at all times is how God sees us; this is the antidote.

  • I know for one he sees us as acceptable.  Why would I be here if God didn’t need me? Acceptance is not based on perfection or the approval of others.  I’ve already been accepted, and it won’t be any more than, or any less than, today. It is simply based on His grace.
  • He sees us as valuable. When I realize how much was paid for me, it is the greatest ransom ever.  When we think of how much we are worth, God exchanged his own son for us.  That is how much we are valued.  Anyone who told you that you’re are worthless is wrong. We are valuable and it simply doesn’t matter what anybody else has said; He sees us as valuable.
  • We are all lovable, though I know we do not think of ourselves that way with emotional ups and downs.  God’s love is consistent and unconditional; it is not subject to moods.  God will never love you more or any less than He does right now.  Great to be reassured that I am lovable!
  • He sees us as forgivable.  He sees it all and is willing to forgive, no matter what. That is what God’s grace is all about.  For those of us that still hold any grudges, God does not carry grudges.
  • He sees us as capable. If you start believing and acting on the belief on how God sees you are capable, and focus on the truth, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you. After all, whom are you going to believe? God? Or that fun house mirror at the state fair? That imperfect person? Let it go!

“You are too blessed to be worrying about your imperfections. Your original self is perfect in God’s eyes, and His opinions will always matter the most.” Edmond Mbiaka  

We all have them, faults, weaknesses, difficulties, regrets, mistakes, and the list goes on.  I have shared some of mine with you and I am grateful that God doesn’t focus on them.  Rather, he looks at our hearts, as that is all that matters. God made you flawless and as long as we remember that, you will project what you believe.

This is not a traditional Easter hymn by any means, however the lead singer of MercyMe, Bart Millard, put it well…and I think the one thing we miss is that grace says “no matter how beat up you are, no matter what you go through in life, no matter how difficult life is, the cross made you flawless.” The day you came to Christ you were made brand new. It’s all in place for the rest of your life.

The video shares heartwarming stories on what it means to look at ourselves through God’s eyes, and the message of Easter.  

 

Happy Easter and Until Next Time,

Ed

I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.  (Philippians 3:13)

*(I would like to thank Steve Merryman of Reunion Community Church in Peoria, AZ for helping frame this blog)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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