Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Opinion of Me

The gospel frees me of my opinion of myself!

This is indeed GOOD NEWS!

When I first heard this one-liner it immediately resonated from two directions. 

First, Lies – As I grew up, Satan very craftily seeded some lies in my heart that seemed pretty  believable. I remember story after story from childhood and into adulthood that substantiated them. The plain and simple truth, I just wasn’t good enough!

Like all good Girl Scouts, I peddled cookies every year. And I sold A LOT. But never enough to be a delegate at that by invitation only camp in the summer. I kept a stiff upper lip and a tissue close by.

Would you believe I tried out for color guard in high school and marched the entire routine on the wrong foot? Big time embarrassing. I wasn’t selected.

In college I rushed sorority; and I received an invitation—after going through rush for the third time.

You get the picture, I wasn’t good enough. I carried that baggage with me down the aisle and lived its reality in our marriage. Life was hard. And God was gracious.

In the midst of all that drama, I heard the voice of God and responded. I acknowledged who I was, His child. My religion became a relationship and is morphing into a close friendship. It is good.

I began to acknowledge my lies: I’m not good enough; ministry is activity; I need a uniform or a role for significance and more. 

The naming of them was important. As each one felt the spotlight of the devil, God began whispering truth. At first it was too good to be true. But unlike most too goods to be true, this truth was TRUE; this truth began to take root in my heart and a slow smile began to creep across my face. 

I reviewed, and reviewed, and reviewed—to this day I review this truth. It is written in ink in my leather journal. Eventually what I instinctively knew in my heart became believable and the journey to my head sped up. The gospel was freeing me of my opinion of myself.

  Second, Truth – How I missed this all these years, I don’t know. But there was truth that I needed   to believe, that didn’t relate to the lies. 

  This transforming truth was a big ah-ha moment for me in a course I was taking. I am righteous; I  am  holy. You are too if you know Jesus. 

Romans 3:21, 22 – “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”

I Corinthians 3:16, 17—“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? … For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

I penned these Scriptures into my leather journal. My journey continued as the gospel was freeing me of my opinion of myself.

A few years back I was introduced to Joan Anderson through her first book, A Year By the Sea. I underlined and starred these words from chapter 7, “I couldn’t help but imagine what my world might be like if I looked at the human beings I was closest to as holy and treated them with the same sense of respect. … I try to look deeper into his heart, at the human being behind the roles of husband, father, educator. Seeing him apart from the mortal agendas permits a sort of genuineness of spirit to float about the room.” (hmmmm, not sure about those last 5 words)

But her wisdom of seeing who people really are behind their roles … and often behind their masks connected with my heart long before I ever labeled myself or you with the word holy. 

The gospel is freeing me of my opinion of myself!

 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God
                                                  and not from us.”                                                                                                                                                                                    II Corinthians 4:7 NIV, 1984



  1. Excellent. Anne Lamont also has a great quote, "Other people's opinion of you is none of your business." I may not have the quote or the source of the quote correct, but I think you were saying the same thing in such a powerful way. I struggle with seeing myself as God sees me. I know I am not alone. We need reminders like these.

  2. P.S. "A Year By The Sea" is one of my favorite books. Have you read the entire series?

    1. Hi Sally,
      I think I have. Well no. She has a brand new book out that I don't have.But I've read her others and I really think a year by the sea is the best. BTW. Check out II Cor 5:21 ... that really should have been my verse at the end. YES, we need each other. Love you, sue