This week’s focus was on seeing ourselves as beautiful—the way God sees us. These were the questions to be answered:
What is your initial response when anyone suggests you are beautiful? Do you find you engage in a lot of negative ‘self-talk’? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume? Has it ever occurred to you that you are a City Girl? How do you plan to use this knowledge? In what ways has your view of Godly beauty changed as a result of these Scriptures?
I praise God that, after many years of struggle, I can truthfully say that I’ve been delivered from thinking lowly of myself, and I’m quick to rid my mind of negativity. However, there is a part of this lesson that ministered to me so sweetly. The words were as follows:
…we are still ‘esteeming Him not’ today by continuing the beating that He has already taken. Some examples of how we do this are: Negative self-talk when we look in the mirror or step on the scale, mentally abusing our own intelligence, nurturing toxic relationships, and engaging in self-destructive behavior are but a few. Remember, thinking lowly of ones self is still thinking of oneself more than God. Reverse pride is still pride and the most dangerous form of idolatry.
This was so on point for me after ministering to the teenagers on Sunday. Personally, I’ve worked very hard to rid my life of people whose words don’t uplift, whose lives don’t inspire, or whose walk is stagnant. As I spoke to those kids, it became so important to me to impress upon them to steer clear of those who can’t speak positively into their lives. Sadly enough, it occurred to me that in many cases, the people who could encourage them the most are perhaps the ones pouring the least into them. I told my husband how sad it is that most of these kids talk to their feet, they mumble, and almost never make eye contact. I see parents dropping them off for mid-week service, and sometimes even on Sundays, and zooming off the parking lot. I also thought about my daughter, who’s only a year younger than several of these kids. I thought finally about myself as a young teenager, so anxious to have friends, so concerned about not being labeled the “smart girl”, “nerd”, or “geek”. Teenage years can be painful; when I hear people discuss homeschool and missing out on peer socialization, I think, exactly! The less time our kids spend with kids who convince them to conform to whatever is cool for the day, the more time I have to pour into them exactly what I tried to pour into the teens on Sunday:
Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Hebrews 2:6-7 What is man that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visiteth him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.
I’ve also reflected on bubbebobbie’s comment to my Lesson 1 post about the planting of seeds and the slow harvest. I’m looking forward to going back to that class, and in God’s time, seeing lifted heads, lifted eyes, and lifted spirits. If I minister but one message to those youngsters, let it be that they are beautiful to God, and should be beautiful to themselves. Please pray with me for our teens, as this is the time that they take on more and more independence, and sometimes less and less of God in their behaviors and their relationships.