We have become a society of mask makers and wearers.
We like when others think we have control over our lives.
We like to think we have control over our lives…
and we like to feel superior above others who don’t.
But God sees our reality.
He sees behind the masks that we wear…
and it’s remarkable that He still loves us.
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7b
The idea of control is truth twisted into a lie.
Yes, “self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit…
but this is not the same as “being in control” of everything.
There is truly very little in our lives that we can control.
Sometimes self-control requires us to put our idea of perfection aside
and embrace the tasks (even the messy ones) that
God has placed along our path.
We all have weaknesses…
and no matter how much we try to hide them…they are eventually revealed.
Sadly, sometimes we are the last ones to see them.
The thing about control (perfectionism) is that it starts out
seeming like a friend…
but is truly a cleverly disguised enemy.
Perfectionism may start out pretty…
but becomes a snare that devours our hearts.
When we allow the lie of “control” to seep into our lives,
it can do incredible damage…
to ourselves and to those around us.
It becomes oppressive and grips our hearts
with the fear of being seen as imperfect.
Fear of having our real selves exposed when
we’ve been so comfortable behind our masks.
(easier to hide our dirty laundry than to bring it out and clean it)
Fear of being judged and found unacceptable
(because we have judged others).
It hinders us from allowing ourselves to live a life of joy and freedom.
It makes us believe that mess is to be avoided at all costs:
Hindering us from teaching our children skills they need to know
(because it’s easier to do it ourselves…takes less time…makes less mess).
Hindering us from opening our homes to unexpected visitors
(because of the imperfect messes daily living creates).
Hindering ourselves from finding time to spend building our relationship with the Lord (because we are too busy trying to maintain an image of perfection).
Oh how lost we would be if Christ had been a control freak!
Can you imagine?
How many of those touched by His healing hands were messes
physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally?
He touched them anyway.
The crucifixion was beyond messy.
He endured it anyway.
Because knew His Father had a plan to redeem humanity.
He knew His Father was in control.
He trusted His Father and loved Him through His obedience.
He loved us, in spite of our flaws.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.”
When we make the commitment to follow Christ…it doesn’t mean our lives will become less messy…it means that we will learn to live and love
in spite of the mess.
To follow Christ requires that we give up the lie of control…
and embrace the truth that there is only One who is truly in control.
We can be so very, very grateful that He loves us even when we are messy.
When we yield to Him, He will train us to loves as He loves…
to love even when life is not only imperfect but sometimes quite messy.
When we yield everything to the Lord,
His Truth frees us from the lies that have become our chains.
Perfectionism has long been a thorn in my side.
I’ve written about it before…
...but I still find myself relearning the same lessons.
I pray that someday I will honestly be able to say,
and live every day in such a way that shows without question
that my hope is found ONLY inthe Lord, my God…
and that I can once and for all let go of the false hopes that hold me back.
“… put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption”
“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”
“Then Joshua said, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves
that you have chosen to serve the LORD.’
‘Yes, we are witnesses,’ they replied.
‘Now then,’ said Joshua, ‘throw away the foreign gods that are among you
and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.’
And the people said to Joshua,
‘We will serve the LORD our God and obey him.’”
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,
‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”