Saturday, February 6, 2010
"You're my son, whom I love..."
This semester I am helping lead a women's chapel at ACU that is about learning to see yourself and others the way that God does. This week I have been reflecting on where this distorted image came from in the first place. Why do people (and especially Christians) compare themselves to others, spend all kinds of time and money on outward appearances, look to others for affirmation/value/worth/satisfaction?
When I look at the Bible I can easily see a couple of things: (1) God does, has and will always love ME, (2) God does, has and always will love YOU (whoever and where ever you are), (3) God wants me to love HIM, and (4) God wants me to love YOU (again, whoever and where ever you are). If you read this blog or know me, you know I'm not very sure of much when it comes to the Bible. However, I am certain of those four things. And yet I find myself constantly battling self-doubt and judgment.
But, since the beginning of time the Evil One has been filling us with this doubt that God loves us and knows/wants what is best for us. In Genesis 3 the serpent says to Eve "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'? You will not surely die! God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Satan always seems to know just how to get to us. After Jesus was baptized the Heaven's opened up and God said to Jesus "You my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Immediately following this encounter (at least in the Book of Matthew...) Jesus goes to the desert to be tempted. Satan tempts Jesus in several ways. He says things like "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread" and "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down." "If you are the son of God" vs. "You are my son, whom I love." Some say that the first temptation of Jesus was food, but I think Satan is really testing his identity.
And isn't that what Satan does to us everyday? So we find ourselves looking at how we look in others eyes rather than in the eyes of the father. Judging ourselves and others by outward appearances rather than by the heart. Seeking to please men rather than seeking to please God. Convinced that if we were more popular/ prettier/ in a relationship/ running a marathon (btw when did this become the next big thing? haha)/ making better grades/ had more money than we would finally fill that empty feeling we always seem to have. Man, I hate that guy (Satan, I mean).
The only way to contradict lies is with truth. And, the truth is:
"I am fearfully and wonderfully made" Psalm 139 "The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Sam 16 "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." 1 John 3 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Gen 1 "You are altogether beautiful; there is no flaw in you." Song of Solomon 4 God's love is "wide and long and high and deep...and this love surpasses knowledge —so that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Eph 3