Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Friday, April 04, 2008
I don’t have tons and tons of really vivid memories from being a little kid, but the few that I can remember all have to do with what people thought of me. I can remember hating this one dude who used to call me a wimp when I was in third grade. I can remember how great it made me feel when my teachers, relatives or my parent’s friends said I was good at drawing or that I was funny. I don’t guess I’ll ever forget the way I felt when my neighbor said I was “way behind in school” because I couldn’t answer some math problem she whipped at me out of nowhere one day. I can’t even remember my teacher’s names until about seventh grade, but I can still remember the way it felt this one time when someone told me I was “annoying.”
Let’s face it: we care what people think about us… a lot. It’s why we go bananas cleaning up our houses when people come over. It’s why we don’t put our runny-nosed kids in the nursery even though we know it’s only allergies and not a cold. It’s why we wait with baited breath for feedback from anyone and everyone on who we are and how we did. I think I have pretty much always been insecure. I wish that I was like one of those rock-solid people who knows exactly who they are and could care less what anyone else thinks… You know, Anna’s that way, and I don’t think it’s just her age, because I remember being very small and wanting affirmation like oxygen. One time Anna was telling us about her friend Samantha and she said, “You know what me and Samantha both have in common?” “What?” we said, and she answered, “We both love me!”
You know, I can honestly say that in my life, the dumbest and most hurtful things I’ve ever done have been because I was trying to get somebody’s approval or esteem. I was on the prowl for applause from people around me and if I didn’t get it, I tried harder. The things in my life that I wish I could take back… the hurt that I’ve caused others and myself has happened because there was someone I was trying to impress or something I was trying to prove. Maybe you know what I’m talking about… Maybe you know what it feels like to have tons of voices in your life all the time giving you deadlines, giving you stress and giving you standards you have to live up to; defining you and evaluating you…
Way back in the day, when Israel was on the march from Egypt to the Promised Land, a messed up king who didn’t want ‘Moses and co.’ trespassing through his territory hired this messed up psychic/fortune teller dude named Balaam to do a little Voo Doo, say a little Abra-kadabra and curse them back into the desert. There was a ton of money in it for Balaam, so he tried three times to curse them, but God wouldn’t let him do it. When Balaam looked out over these millions of wandering Israelites, the words of God Himself flew out of his mouth and he said, “How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places , O Israel! Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters.”
What if we just listened to what the Lord has to say about us instead of what anyone else says? What if we were looking for His esteem instead of some contrived and borrowed self-esteem? No matter what anyone says, He calls us clean, free, acceptable, loved and beautiful! Now that’s what I’m talking about. You know, if the only opinion about you that you really cared about was His, you’d always be encouraged!