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Posts Tagged ‘idenity in Chirst’

It has been 5 years since I regularly photographed, edited, and ‘published’ landscapes and architectural beauties.  But I can very clearly recall thinking others were very regularly over-saturating and liberally moving the sharpness meter.  I looked at photos–and I can recall thinking this of my now-husbands’ iPhone photos and edits while we were dating–and saw ‘this person doesn’t think God did well enough, they need to make more of it.”  Blades of grass were over-defined, valleys were too bright, trees showed the details of way too many leaves visible to the naked eye.

I got glasses this week.  My dad is an optometrist (across the country) AND I finally got glasses…this week.  And I learned: “Everyone else didn’t have a fake perspective, my eyes were limited to see the wonders of God’s creation, captured in the photography of others.”  I had muted God’s wondrous touch for years.

Many of us, at this point, are aware–whether from sermons, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, other readings, The Shack, relational interactions and observations, or by other personal life experiences–that we regularly perceive God through our own life experiences.  Most times we hear it as: “It is difficult for someone to call God Abba if they have/had a bad, harmful, or abusive earthly dad.”  God isn’t only a judge and discipliner, yet, for someone with a strict, physically abusive, unfair, unjust father, who was possibly ‘the town drunk’ or the guy who appeared all together to the neighbors and then behind closed doors took his own life hurts out on his wife and/or children, the image of God as anything but an unloving, disciplining, enraged, wrathful God is difficult to trust.

So, how do we clean up our viewpoint to see clearly, through our own life experiences, at the same time, withholding from judging and perceiving life through the measurement (expectations) of others and God living up/down to our own experiences (comfort)? 

Depending on where you are, the same picture looks different.

Depending on your eye sight, you’ll see through other’s glasses with ease or perhaps a splitting head ache, and may see life clearly or it may appear murky.  Either way, for you, it is a different experience than it is for the person whose prescription you’ve just tried.  We look through life, differently.  Each of us through our own lenses.  All trying to see the same things.

I always seek to see the other, yet I always find one picture in this image.  Do you see both?

There is one thing to say about taking one another’s perspectives as we approach decision-making and conflict resolution in the best interest of a friendship, marriage, or something happening in society. But rather than follow that stream of thought, I want to focus on the ‘false self’ and ‘true self.’

In his fourth decade of life, Peter Scazzero figured out how to be emotionally aware before God.  His books, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality/ Leader/ Church (and Woman, written by his wife, Geri), all focus on the foundational understanding that we are formed by the expectations placed on us, that we become who others want us to be to benefit them, to benefit the family or community from their perspective, and to benefit ‘us’ from their perspective.   In essence, we allow man to mold and shape what God has created. 

Can you remind me who is the clay Maker AND clay Shaper?

“Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person” (Genesis 2:7).

“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand” (Jeremiah 18:6).

I want to look into any picture or mirror at myself and to see that in what should be me, there is an authentic illustration of who God has created me, purposed me, and molded me to be in His presence for His glory.

Scazzero petitions that we must begin peeling back the layers, as if we were an onion, removing the masks of ‘false self’ built up by expectations, generational sins, and societal norms, and begin revealing the nature of who God intended for us to be.  Only from the core person are we truly effective for God’s work.

“I truly believe the greatest gift we can give the world is our true self living in loving union with God.” || Peter Scazzero

“You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver” that as a silversmith sees his own reflection in the material after working it, and refining it for some time, You will see Your reflection in me, in us (Psalm 66:10).  O God, I hope that I do not limit your desires of Kingdom work through me.  Might I be an open vessel, available, willing, and dedicated to Your good purposes.  Might I experience life as You have hoped for me, so that I may be able to reach the people You have molded me to be effective with in Your Kingdom work.  Disciples make disciples.  I must not be mute.  I must have joy in me to celebrate the advancement of Your Gospel news to all the world.  I must have peace in me to trust in Your faithfulness, Your presence, Your shelter.  Savior, I am clean, and I am clean because of You.  Thank You, Lord.  My life is better cared for in Your hands, I relinquish control, and I ask for discernment and resilience to withhold from the temptation that says ‘praise and criticism shape you.’  I know this to be true of the world, but You have promised me much greater than the world.  I have eternal life in and with YOU. There is no greater reward worthy of my service, worthy of my submission.  I live only by Your breath that is within me.  You have purposed me from the beginning, and I hope now, to be resilient to seek out, to discern, and to live according to Your good intentions for the life I have left before joining You in heaven.  And I ask this of You today: Continue to draw me closer to You.  That I may, in my love for You, grow in the discipline to read, to know, and to live from Your Word according to Scripture, the life of Jesus Christ, and the presence of Your Holy Spirit in me.   Thank You for such a follow-up gift, Lord Jesus, for sending Your Advocate upon Your departure, so that we may have life–without a moment apart from You. Amen.

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