Recently, I have been challenged in the area of relationship.
Relationship, I believe, is the single, most important aspect of our lives. We relate to Father God, Creator of the Universe; we relate to ourselves, learning to accept ourselves in entirety and to surrender to God so He can refine us; we relate to others because, surrounded by people, we must learn to get along. Relationship motivates us, excites us, gives our lives meaning and purpose.
But what do I do when I’m called to work with someone that I don’t naturally connect to? Or worse, that is so like me that I feel like I’m looking into a grubby mirror and all the worst aspects of me are being reflected back?
That is when the hard-earned self-esteem I’ve pursued and developed – after years of feeling inferior – reveals its value and I display that with God all things are possible, even learning to laugh at difficult circumstances and to surrender the outcome to Him. That is when I practice the grace I’ve received from God the Father and from His other children toward the person I find challenging. That is when I dig down and pray for the relationship and for the very best in our process together.
When I am confident in my identity, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength’ (Phil 4:13), and I can enable others to do the same by demonstrating patience, love, peace… and all the fruits of the Spirit.
Developing self-esteem is a paradox. When you discover God’s unconditional love, you recognize how perfectly He made you (see Psalm 139:16, 13). When you realize how far removed you are from His perfect creation, you aspire to be all He’s created you to be, so that the ache and shame of imperfection is washed away by the grace and love you experience from Him.
I recognize that God has created me perfectly, even though life experiences have molded me imperfectly. I can find both confidence and humility in this awareness.
We are on a learning curve, together, and the LORD is calling His children to work together. Together is how we grow and how God reflects His love and His will. In order to work together most effectively, our flesh needs to bow to our spirit, so that our spirit can yield to His Holy Spirit. We can be His hands and feet most effectively when we love one another as we love ourselves.
Let’s face the challenges the sovereign LORD puts in front of us, aware that we are just as much a challenge to others as they are to us. Let’s fight the good fight, let’s finish the race (2 Tim 4:7). Let’s enjoy one another, working together to do His will, walking His way, through the grace and power of His word.