Lately, I have been facing the big things that I never realized have impacted how I view myself and others. God has been working on me, and I am realizing how deeply impacted one little insecurity can have impact. Many times over, people think that if they show weakness they are invincible. Sure, they may that appearance but in reality they are weaker than the one who admits weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul’s strength was not in hiding his weakness, but admitting that he was weak and through that he came to understand that his strength is found in weakness. Paul was speaking about how we come to grips with reality, that we as ‘strong’ people really are not strong. It is in our weakness that strength is found.
For example. Many people think that beauty is the cultural style of beauty. That what the world chases is ‘beauty’. But what the world feeds those who run down that road is a bunch of lies, and deceptions. Really, it is sexuality, lust, and lies that the world feeds. Beauty is not necessarily being skinny, have a pretty face, or being squeezed into clothes to make you feel ‘sexy’. Beauty comes from the fact that we are all created in the Image of the Beautiful Creator. Our beauty is not based in the cultural norms, Christian beauty is based in the fact that God is beautiful and he created us in his image. Beauty is not something that can be replaced, because even the ‘ugliest’ person by the worlds standards, is beautiful because they are made in the Image of God. Imago Dei.
I have struggled all my life with this concept, and God has been unraveling me to reveal this fault in my view. In all my short years, I have come to realize this now. My beauty is not by the World’s standards, and when I deny my beauty, I deny God’s beauty. Now this is not to say I pride myself in being ‘beautiful’, but that I recognize the source of beauty–God. To deny being pretty (in terms of the physical) is to deny that God created me in his Image. Why would the beautiful creator of the world create his crowning jewel on creation as ‘ugly’? He does not, he would be a human if that happened. God is so far beyond our scope of understanding, and this little unraveling has revealed more about the heart of my issues. My perspective yet again…
This is why I have come to understand that beauty for ashes does not mean that we will not face pain, it means that God is taking those world standards that we judge ourselves by (ashes) and exchanging them for his beauty. Through God’s work, we are redeemed to be his beautiful creation where we exemplify God’s totality. He’s not just concerned about our souls…but also about our bodies and reclaims them from the standards of the World and into our world. He’s not just redeeming our souls, he’s redeeming the complete person when we accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
Sorry for the extended silence as of late, but that is what God has been working out in my life plus a whole lot of other stuff.
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