I’ve gotten pretty good at honing my image.
It’s not that I’m trying to deceive you. I guess I just want you to like me.
But in my need for human approval I push down the real me. And, more tragically, I lose interest in the “me” that God is fashioning.
As Henri Nouwen put it, “When we start being too impressed by the results of our work, we slowly come to the erroneous conviction that life is one large scoreboard where someone is listing the points to measure our worth. And before we are fully aware of it, we have sold our soul to the many grade-givers. That means we are not only in this world, but also of the world. Then we become what the world makes us. We are intelligent because someone gives us a high grade. We are helpful because someone says thanks. We are likable because someone likes us. And we are important because someone considers us indispensable.”
My image-driven Facebook world is the perfect way to mold myself into the “right” image. I fine-tune the nuances of my words and edit my pictures and measure my success by number of likes.
I pause and wonder if that image is the real me.
“I will walk with integrity of heart within my house.” Psalm 101:2
Within my house. The doors are closed. The makeup is off.
It’s not the stuff I post on Facebook.
It’s the way my mind wanders. It’s how I respond to my kids when they are sick, and I am exhausted. It’s the tone I use with my husband when I feel misunderstood.
There is great freedom in laying down the image. Great freedom in being my messy, sinful, struggling self.
“I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Those living words resonate. They breathe hope in me.
I bare my true self to Him. As Oswald Chambers challenges, “Am I willing to reduce myself simply to ‘me,’ determinedly to strip myself of all my friends think of me, of all I think of myself, and to hand that simple naked self over to God?”
The real me.
Jesus is here.
Funny that I keep forgetting. Everything would change if I remembered that He is here. I would lean in and talk to Him and listen for Him and slow down and savor Him. I would be different. This spiritual discipline of “practicing the presence of God” is a game changer. A life changer.
It seems so simple. Just remember that He is here. Why is it so hard?
The ancient wisdom of Brother Lawrence encourages us to persevere in this discipline little by little. That’s what makes up integrity of heart. Little tiny choices. They add up into the character of a human.
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.” ~Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God.
Tender Jesus, You are here! Actually right now. Here.
Thank You. Amazing Love.
I am Yours.
Help me to slow down and acknowledge You. That I may hear You. And walk in obedience and the delight of being Your daughter.
For this moment.
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