Self-esteem and Effective Collaboration

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.

God bless.

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Hope, Bright Future – as God intends

FREE TO BE who we were created to be….

Jesus set us free from ALL sin and death. We who are born again are alive in Christ, that we might live and move and breathe freely, to be the people we were created to be, in order to do the things we were created to do.

However, if we are to be trusted with complete freedom, how can we be sure to be ‘good Christians?’ The truth is, that is not our real concern. It is our job to be loving – not ‘good’ – but rather to be loving toward God, our neighbor and ourselves. It is God’s job to prune us, so that we walk in grace toward others, just as He’s given grace to us. But we are saved, and as such we are saved not only from spiritual death, but also from shame, guilt, oppression and low self-esteem. We are not meant to walk with a cloud over our heads but to walk with the sun and the Son in our eye line. We all are on a learning curve, celebrating Jesus and learning how to be more like him. But there is not a right style to follow. We have personality, and the way we reveal Christ will be different for each of us – because each of us is different.

Whatever you strive for, whatever you have thought of yourself, God makes no junk. So, we can rest assured, we are free to be who and what we are right now and He’ll transform us as we dig deep into Bible Scripture, pray in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and trust Father God and His son Jesus with our lives and our learning.

We aren’t called by God to follow rules. In fact through Christ we’ve even overcome the law.

My  greatest concern and passion is to ensure that we allow ourselves and one another to be authentic, to accept who and what we are. I say this – you are uniquely made, carved and crafted as an expression of God’s love and creativity. You can sin and harm yourself and call it freedom. But true freedom is allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you (Zech 4:6) toward the unique and full calling of God on your life. ‘If the son has set you free, you are free indeed.’ (John 8) You needn’t try to get it right but rather be. Be who you were born to be and allow Him to reveal how beautiful (and how fragile and vibrant) you truly are.

There are steps to learning who you are, where you’ve grown from and how to live in the freedom God intends. Beginning as I did, you will find that when you experience revelation about God’s sovereignty, your perspective on your past may change significantly, and you will begin to break free from expectation and walk into the acceptance and wholeness of salvation. When we are all walking in the freedom God intends for all people, we will begin to be a mightier force for the world. It begins with you, with me and with a journey alongside the Holy Spirit, who lives and breathes and has our being.

God bless.