Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Joe and Graham at 'The Bridge' in Chicago Posted by Picasa

When Insecurity Grows Up…

When I was a kid, I was super sensitive. People could absolutely crush me with their words… in fact, I’m pretty much still that way and I’ve discovered that it’s all about insecurity. I want to be cool, I want to be liked and I want to feel that I’m special and have value. When people say things or do things that hurt me, I can stand back and see my hurt from the outside and understand it. When I was little though, I wasn’t able to see it that clearly … I just knew it hurt and I wanted the hurting to stop, so I coped in the only way little kids know how… by saying, “I know you are but what am I?”

Do you remember doing this? We had all kinds of little things we said to help the pain go away… “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” And then of course there was, “You gotta be one to know one!” The only problem with those coping methods was that they weren’t really band-aids for our hurt, they were just weapons we used to hit back and hopefully cause as much hurt as we were feeling. Now we’re all grown-ups and I don’t think I’ve heard any of those old sayings in years and years, because as Paul said, “When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

But today I had a blast from the past because someone busted one of those bad boys out on me and I was wondering if I had been dreadfully transported back to third grade… then I realized that it was nothing at all like the old days. It wasn’t a defensive outburst against me, but rather a tidal wave of encouragement… See, I was talking to Graham who is teaching my high school Sunday School class this week. I was thanking him for his willingness to help me and teach the kids and I wanted him to know how awesome I thought he was, so I said, “Hey man, thanks for building into the lives of kids.” And then he hit me with it… “I know you are but what am I?”

It was so unexpected and so awesome… I hung up the phone and thought about what had just happened and realized that he had doubled my encouragement (meant for him) back on to me so fast that my head was spinning and my heart lifted as I realized the implications… “Graham thinks I build into kids lives… Graham thinks I’m awesome.” To be honest, my encouragement made my own day because those childhood coping methods had grown up into vehicles of encouragement right before my eyes.

People need encouragement like they need water… they need to be strengthened and built up. Even when Paul had to bust people, he still encouraged them… like Philemon, for instance. That letter was basically a tactful and masterful elbow drop, but do you remember how it started? After the greeting, Paul launched into thankfulness and prayers and then in verse 7 said, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

1 comment:

codyblair said...

Lee your words here always always encourage me, even 2 states away. Words are powerful; they can cut deep, but also lift us up. Thanks for building up the lives of kids, and for building up both Emily and I. We love you guys--be blessed

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