Getting dressed for church….

Getting dressed for church….

This morning we will get ready to go to church. We’ll put on makeup and do our hair. We’ll stand in front of our closets wondering what to wear. And all the while we are getting ready for church, we will be talking to ourselves.

Most of us will complain about how we look. We’ll tell ourselves that we’re too fat, too old, and out of shape. Many of us are having a bad hair day and are wishing we had hair like Jennifer Aniston. Others are noticing new wrinkles for the first time. We may even ask our husbands the dreaded question…..

Do these pants make my butt look fat?

We are feeling insecure before we ever make it through the church doors. And when we get there, we may even start feeling  worse about ourselves! Maybe the lead singer is young and beautiful. Maybe the pastor’s wife has fingernails and toenails that match her Chico’s So Slimming outfit. Maybe the lady behind us has on the same summer dress and it accentuates her curves perfectly while it makes us feel fat and frumpy.

Even while we are singing praises to the one who made us in His image we are rehearsing   our own insecurities.

As James would say, sisters, it isn’t right for things to be this way!

He goes on to say……

James 3: but the tongue no one can tame — it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison! With it we bless Adonai, the Father; and with it we curse people, who were made in the image of God.

Sisters, it’s not just those ladies who intimidate us who are made in the image of God—–We are made in his image too! It’s actually impossible for us to stand in church,  singing praise to God while we are cursing, belittling, and berating ourselves! We might be singing the words, but our hearts and minds are way too occupied with our own insecurities.

So now our insecurities have stolen not only our confidence and relationships with other women but they have also stolen our praise and worship!

This morning, I’m going to confront the lies that I tell myself every Sunday morning with the truth of God’s word!

Psalm 139:14 I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders — I know this very well.

And guess what? These pants make my butt look fine!

self-acceptance

How many of us accept ourselves as we are? Maybe it would be better to ask, “how few of
us accept ourselves as we are?”

I struggle with this because I fear that if I ever accepted myself as I am then I would become stale and stagnant. I’d stop trying to become a better version of myself.  I think I would give up and give in to life as I know it instead of searching for ways to experience the abundant life that I’ve been promised.

For me the better option may be loving oneself. And I’m not talking about selfish or self-centered love. I’m talking about loving oneself like we  love family, friends,  or  neighbors.

Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 Loving oneself allows the pursuit of  abundant life. Loving oneself prevents accepting things as they are and encourages each of us to seek out the best that God has promised in His word. Loving oneself encourages positive change and leads us on the journey of becoming who we are created in to become in Christ.  Loving oneself demands that we dethrone the goddesses of doubt, despair, and discouragement and give ourselves the love, joy,  peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and  self-control  that we wish we could give to others.

Loving oneself demands that we take care of ourselves. We feed our bodies nutritious foods, we exercise, and we schedule sleep so that we can have the physical strength to enjoy God’s creation, our families, friends, and, quite simply, the life we have been given.

When we love ourselves enough to receive God’s best, we have the strength to give it away.

When I was a pastor, I accepted people as they were when the first came to Christ. There was no condemnation for past choices. Yet, I never wanted them to stay the same. I wanted to see every person become a better version of themselves and to live a better life then they had ever experienced up to that point.  I wanted to see everyone around me reach their full potential in Christ and in the world we live in.

And I want that for you and me too.

Scripture References:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.