Sometimes, in moments of doubt, fear, frustration and when I’ve just flat out stuffed too much inside…I spill my guts.
This happens because the me who wants to hide has battled with the me who wants to be known, and the me who wants to hide finally loses.
I guess I’m at that place again.
The me who wants to be known is the me who wants to be accepted for who she is. I have a sneaking suspicion, I’m not alone in this.
We take our parking ticket to the lady behind the desk to get it stamped, validated so we don’t have to pay for parking. In the same way we bring ourselves to those we know, who sit behind a proverbial desk with a stamp of approval. We show them the thing we want validated hoping for that same type of stamp of approval. We do this because we want to be right. We don’t want the embarrassment of being wrong or the guilt that comes with it, especially if we’ve taken action based on our sense of being right and it was less than stellar.
We’re all looking for our lives, our actions, our words and feelings, what we do, who we are, to be validated. We all want someone to come along and say, “You’re right” to feel that way, to have done that, to think that, to respond that way, etc. As humans, we’re all in the process of learning how to live this thing called “Life”.
When the person behind the desk validates our ticket, we breathe a sigh of relief, having a sense of being justified and absolved from having to pay. In a similar way, we all want to be validated for who we are. We want someone to acknowledge and affirm that as far as humans go, we’re ok. Just give me my stamp already!
As Christians, the dichotomy of dying to all things that we may live for Christ and fully living our lives as the ones whom Christ died for can be a colossal, inner tug of war. We are to deny ourselves on one hand and yet on the other know who we are in Christ and walk in the fullness of that understanding.
One word: ACK!!!
I’ve been noticing a trend amongst Christians on the internet to validate others in who they are as women and the roles that define us. I think this is a good thing. However, it can be a dangerous thing. Here’s why:
On one hand, we need to silence the voice of our flesh and of the enemy in order to hear how the Lord truly sees us. On the other hand, if done incorrectly, we are doing nothing more than puffing up egos and validating the wrong things inside women everywhere. Something this big has to be done with extreme care, humility and a deep understanding of scripture and human nature.
(It should be pointed out that if we are encouraging and building up the body with care, humility, in wisdom and in light of scripture there will be those who misunderstand and who will misuse the information. Be aware of this, pray for these people and let God be your advocate. Those people are accountable to God in the same way their hopeful encouragers are.)
It is vitally important we know who we are in Christ. It is also vitally important we know who we are not in Christ.
I agree with how Charles Spurgeon defines true humility: “Humility is the proper estimation of oneself.” Which means we don’t think of ourselves as and better or any worse or any grander or any lower than we are. We can know what this looks like when we know who we are in Christ.
The best way to do this is to point people to scripture, the infinitely infallible word of God. God’s words clearly defines who we are in Christ and who we are not. Sometimes, we want our own words to be the ones validating. I want to encourage us to let God’s words do all of that for us.
The best way to let the power of scripture change a life is to just let it do it’s work.
Obviously, there are times when we partner with the Holy Spirit to impact others with the light and truth of Christ. I’m not negating, downplaying or doing away with any of that. What I’m saying is we need to balance and use wisdom to know when God is calling us to “help” or to simply let Him speak through His word.
Another way to put it is this: God doesn’t need us for anything, after all He IS God. BUT, He delights in partnering with His people to help care for His children, His body, His Church, through encouragement, exhortation, edification, correction, guidance, healing, counsel and by showing His greatest attributes.
The lies of the enemy play like a broken record, constantly screaming in our ears. We need to replace those lies with truth, the truth of God’s word. We can’t do it alone, we need each other. We need to change the record by replacing it with new sounds, the music of God’s love, forgiveness and validation of who we are in Him.
“Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak.The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”” ~Zephaniah 3:14-17
As we seek to encourage one another in Christ, may we remember to do it with all humility, looking to God’s word for our ammunition in the fight against our adversary who wants to destroy us. May we partner with Christ, who is our Shield, to defeat the lies that bombard us and may we in brotherly and sisterly love come alongside one another, standing firm in the heat of the battle!
“Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” ~Psalm 108:13