His great deal

Can you resist looking at your reflection at every chance you get? A car window, a shiny building, the mirror in your room, or your phone screen? 

It feels so harmless. I tell myself, “Just check to make sure you look okay”—it’s not a big deal. However, when this becomes a habit—and it probably has for many of us—one of the best things we can do is recognize our weakness and give ourselves back to God. 

This does not mean that we should feel guilty every time we do a quick check in the mirror before heading out in the morning or when going to an event; instead, we should begin to question ourselves when the motivation for this habit begins to sprout from insecurity or even pride.

Insecurity, one of the many forms of fear, is all too common these days. But what does the Bible say about fear and God’s will? Though we may sometimes feel like giving up on ourselves, God, if we let Him, will forever fight for us. 

It’s easy to think of fear and that God only comes to our rescue in desperate situations. We think God is just there for the “big” or “important” problems like dealing with issues in our relationships or when praying for a loved one who is sick—and while all of this is true, I think that He is just as happy to take care of us when we are in an internal battle with our insecurities. 

Until about two and a half months ago, I had been in a hopeless and somber place mentally since the start of the school year. Soon after arriving at college, my skin broke out with acne, painful, inflamed, and overwhelming. I let it destroy my happiness and confidence—not only resulting in me having a bad relationship with myself but ruining a relationship I had with someone I cared for immensely because I didn’t think I was “good enough” anymore. I have chosen a verse from 2 Corinthians that I wish I would have listened to earlier, but nonetheless, it has helped me heal my relationship with God, myself, and to see that insecurity, as heavy as it seems, is a weight God wants to take off our minds. If only we let him. 

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

A short but meaningful reminder comes from 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). After reading this verse, many may think, easier said than done, but that thought is fear at work once again. 

Heading into my first year of college, I remember thinking to myself, “I totally got this!” or something like, “This is going to be the best year ever!”, but little did I know that in the next few months, my self-esteem would be tested as it had never been before. Not only was I struggling with self-confidence because I told myself I didn’t fit a certain image, but it was a time when I felt far from God. 

It is too easy to lose some faith at any inconvenience, little by little until you snap back into reality and into God’s arms. For example, just a few months ago I was very frustrated and disappointed with myself: I felt ashamed for feeling ashamed of myself—not very constructive, I now understand. I told myself I should feel guilty for worrying about my physical appearance when there were bigger problems in the world, thus trapping myself and leaving no room for reason or God’s word. It’s as if I forgot that His forte is precisely healing those who are hurt and weak. 

Looking over 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 again, it’s probably a little confusing to read, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” especially for those who may not be aware of how infinite and beautiful God’s grace is. Who and why would someone want the weakness of others? Well, Jesus does. If He died on the cross to wash the sins of all, who am I to doubt that He can’t take all my insecurities and weaknesses and fill me with His strength instead? Who am I to not trust that He has created me in His image? 

It’s amazing to know that He will help us out of our insecurity and love us infinitely without a second thought—we just have to be willing to surrender our weaknesses and accept His grace and strength. I’ve never heard of a better deal.

On the other hand, we also have to be willing to recognize when we may be falling into the trap of pride. Do you notice when other people are insecure? Do other people’s insecurities ever “help” you feel better about yourself? Sometimes we do this unconsciously; we forget that even though we may be feeling “on top of the world” at the moment, not everyone else is. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t be allowed to feel confident, but once you begin to forget about others or use their shortfalls to elevate yourself, you are no longer confident but prideful. This takes conscious effort, I know for me at least, but there are few greater feelings than knowing you are living a humble life, not simply for yourself. 

It is also important to know that this is not an overnight process for everyone: it took at least a few months for me to trust in God’s ability to love, forgive, and challenge us through our fear or pride, and I am still working on it. We could always use a little more patience and openness. It’s hard being vulnerable, yet God wants us to draw near to Him. 

I’ve been practicing. When I look in the mirror, I don’t want it to be out of fear, for I have given that to God. I challenge all of us to give our fear or pride—whichever it is that we struggle with—to God.

But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand. 
-Isaiah 64:8 NKJV

2 Comments

  1. Rita says:

    Thank you for reminding me that we don’t know how great Gods grace is.

  2. Wow. This a real life battle dear and am beginning to learn why God’s grace only sufficient in our weaknesses.
    It could be said due to the fact that our relationship with God could be argued as expected to be a work in progress,gradual transformation where the Potter takes time to look at the work of his hands,the clay while in the process of that grants the clay that room for growth and development, further knowing and growing in wisdom.
    This is not possible with a confident person,since confidence breeds entitlement while entitlement limits our growth.
    I love the piece and God’s blessings and Love.

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