Do you remember in elementary school, playing the game “opposite day”? You would say to one of your friends, “you are really ugly” as they looked hurt by that statement, like an April fool’s joke, you would then shout, “HA! It is opposite day!”
Life with JESUS is kind of like an everlasting opposite day. I realize that when I write I speak much about my imperfection, flaws and weaknesses. I realize that those who do not understand JESUS will not understand where I am coming from when I talk about these things.
GOD made the world, the heavens and the earth and everything in it. HE then plopped Adam and Eve to look after it all. He gave them one command – just one! DO not eat from the tree of life. Well you know what happens when you tell someone “don’t touch that plate, it is hot”. Yep, you got it, the plate is touched and the fingers are burned. Well needless to say Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree.
It is in our nature to sin. There is not a one of us no matter how hard we try that will be free from imperfection. We are flawed. And you know what else? No matter how hard we try to be “perfect” it ain’t happening!
I am weak! I feel like I want to shout that on the rooftops! This is very opposite thinking in a world where being tough and handling everything is considered strong.
This is such a struggle for me. Somewhere in the core of my being, I still feel like I am need to be the resilient one, I can handle it all, and I have unending strength. I, I, I! It is one of my biggest impediments. Thank GOD, I see this more and more and am open and willing for GOD to transform this.
In a world where one is revered for being the smartest, the prettiest, the richest and whatever other “est” you can come up with, this concept can be a bit perplexing. It is much like that opposite game I played when a kid.
I do not have a great amount of self-esteem in my appearance. Through most of my life I would fake it but deep inside I felt like the ugly duckling. I also struggle with the feeling of being unintelligent. I have admitted this before but I do believe it is relevant. I dropped out of high school. I overcompensated for my inequities in being the “needed one”. I would be the good ol’ dependable Deni, the one everyone could count on. That was my self-esteem. The more I did for others, the better I felt. Hearing, “great job”, “You’re the best” and “What would I do without you?” were the fuel that fed me to keep this façade up. Frankly it was exhausting!
I do realize now that I do have many gifts and talents. I am very resourceful. I rarely will face something and say I can’t do it (unless it is sewing, gardening or decorating). These are all from GOD. These are all by grace.
You see, when I say I am not perfect, what I mean is I am free. When I say I am a schmuck and GOD still loves me; this too is extremely liberating. Why? I am made perfect in all of my weaknesses through CHRIST JESUS! It means when I mess up, I do not have to beat myself up. I do this less and less each day. ALL of us have something! When I say I am flawed, that does not mean I am not a caring and loving person! It does not mean I hate myself.
What it means, is that I realize that I am wonderfully made by GOD, just the way I am. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “he (JESUS) said to me, “MY GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that CHRIST’s power may rest on me.
Here is the summary! The more I fill with JESUS the better I feel about myself. I want to exude the JESUS in me so that when people look at me and ask, how do you remain peaceful in all moments? And I can proudly boast, because it is the JESUS in me who by HIS grace I am made perfect in my weakness!
I am Deni, short for Denise. I grew up in a Jewish home, in a Jewish neighborhood and a Jewish family. In 3rd grade we moved. We moved to a mostly non-Jewish area.... that is where JESUS found me. I say found me because I yet had not acknowledged it, but would find out later.......by grace, HE HELD ME ALL ALONG, just a lil Jewish girl from Philly.