I have oftentimes found myself acting in varying ways with different people. Once, I was in the company of friends and I realized that I had said something that I would not usually say. I had adopted a perspective that was not necessarily part of my belief. I was comparing myself to what I assumed was their idea of a good person, and acted accordingly. This led me to ask God if I was being a hypocrite and fake. I asked if He could help me change this part of my personality so that I could be more effective as a Christian. I was afraid others would pick up on my inconsistency and point it out as unrighteousness. I was always so afraid of doing things that would cost me the influence I felt I had over people and consequently devoid my testimony and render my ministering ineffective. God shared with me a picture of Joseph in his coat of many colors. The colors had faded and lost all their vibrancy. Upon closer inspection it turned out the colors were made of words, colorful and untrue words; the declarations people had labelled him with, now smudged and bleeding into the detail and fabric of his coat. God compared this coat to the thoughts I was having about who I had become. To God I was beautiful, just as the original coat, called and with purpose. Yet, It was only in my own thinking that I had somehow forfeited His gift by my actions. But God, with tenderness, reminded me that if there was any inadequacy, it was merely because I wore a faded and dirty coat, instead of the vibrantly precious one HE had given me.
Many times after, I have found myself needing the reminder that I cannot forfeit His gifts, and “wearing” the characterizations of inferiority was my own doing. God didn’t say to me I was a hypocrite, He didn’t point out any flaws or faults that led to my feelings of worthlessness. I was acting contrary, because I believed I needed some form of validation in that situation. This happened only because I was trying to find my value in people and how well they received me. I forgot that God is good, and that He made me good. God made us all unique, and we should celebrate diversity and embrace our individuality.
This has become my challenge; to say what He says about me. I endeavor to speak truth to my heart daily, to wear the covering of His approval and to refrain from allowing the skewed ideas that come from inferiority to muddy my coat of many colors.
James 3:9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God:
James 3:10 out of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Philemon 1:6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
What are you acknowledging about yourself every day? Sharing your faith and beliefs should serve as a catalyst, an activation of awareness of the good that is in every person. When I share my faith – what I believe to be truth- it should present someone with the realization of the goodness of God’s heart. The sharing of your beliefs include what you believe about yourself and who God made you. Every time I believe a lie about myself, that falsehood becomes the testimony of my faith, and I subject myself and others to an inferior reality where I am still just not good enough. I then create a reality where I need to strive and work to feel better, thinking that if I can feel better I am well on my way to maybe feeling that I might gain dignity and deserve some respect. This is a vicious cycle of doubt infused works motivated by the shame of not being enough, leading to the continued self degrading thoughts that you are in fact not good enough and trying too hard. Believing what He says about you is what produces the good, and sharing this faith brings the knowledge of and awareness of His goodness in others. The sharing of our beliefs is to benefit others, not to change them. Not to get them to be better. But to show them who God made them IS already better. The end purpose of your faith is the saving of your soul (1 Peter 1:9). Your faith in His goodness rights your thinking. It is imperative that we remain focused on the good things God has called us to be and do. We have to start living from a place where we KNOW for certain that He has made us good. We need to constantly be aware that He is good in and through us. By knowing that He has created us well and placed every good thing inside us, we eliminate every self-doubt. If we live from the awareness of His heart toward us it becomes easy to live free and bold. When we live with His love in our hearts for others, we are no longer intimidated by their opinions, but rather celebrate their unique hearts and perspectives. Living according to His heart for you will eradicate the need to perform for validation, because His truth is that you are good enough.