Self-Image

One of the Most Important Questions

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves, is what God thinks of us.

One has pointed out that in every man, there are four different men:

the man whom the neighbors see,

the man whom one's family sees,

the man whom the person himself sees,

and the man whom God sees.

The Worm became a Splendid Butterfly

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your hearts on things above! Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things! Colossians 3:1-2

Paul reminds us that those who believe on Christ--should live a risen life.

We live on the earth at present. We walk on earth's streets. We live in material houses, built of stones, bricks, or wood. We eat earth's fruits, gathering our food from earth's fields, orchards and gardens. We wear clothes woven of earthly fabrics. We adorn our homes with works of art that human hands make. We engage in the business of earth. We find our happiness in the things of this life.

What Perception Do You Cling To?

What do you think when you see this little blue guy?

blue guy

I asked some middle school kids that question. Hands went up, signaling a number of insightful comments. The sign reminded some of friends or family members. A few said they wondered about the people who needed those parking spaces. One appreciated that we care enough to provide this simple aid for folks in need.

After they seemed about finished, one boy who might have been a stand-in for Dennis the Menace raised his hand.

“Technically, the little guy’s white. The background is blue.”

We all chuckled as he protested that he was just being observant.

Humility is a Two-way Street


Submission
In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known story, a frequently referenced model for Christ’s attitude of humble service to others. But there’s another side to the story.

Foot-washing requires a foot to wash.

In the story, Peter initially refuses to allow his friend and teacher to perform such a menial, degrading task. Jesus replies that submission isn’t optional—it’s an essential element in the interaction.

I don’t think that’s an accident. You can’t force someone to receive an expression of intimacy. If it’s a true act of humble service, the one whose feet are washed must submit.

What’s the Hardest Thing You’ve Had to Do?

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?

Have you ever wished you could gracefully get out of a situation? That’s how I felt when I arrived at my last speaking engagement.

The small church invited me to their men’s group, the sort of experience I usually anticipate and enjoy. I love the opportunity to connect and share in an intimate setting.

But that night I wanted to escape. The elevator was broken; ten imposing steps stood between me and the meeting room.

How Do You Help An Injured Porcupine?

How do you respond when your life gets interrupted by—well—life?

This isn’t the article I planned for this morning. I’d already written something insightful and thought-provoking—a certain masterpiece (at least in my mind). All it required was a few finishing touches and it would have been here to greet even the earliest risers.

And then—life happened.

I’ll spare you most of the humiliating details. Create your own mental image if your wish from an overview involving a shower, equipment failure, and a short fall to the floor in a somewhat “compromised” position. I was hopelessly wedged into a spot I don’t even know how to describe.

Envy (Self-Esteem & Shame)

It simmers in angst 'gainst any who steal
Attention, verve, ovation, praise,
It hungers to feel crescendoing zeal
And when deprived its hackles raise.

Unable to rest with unsettled scores,
Hapless, clapless, deeply annoyed,
Allies appear in gossip, half-truths
Searching the world for foes to destroy.

Reputations, torpedoed, fall
Amidst a din of warring words,
Slithering Envy, sated, slips
Unnoticed down a silent hall.

Its handiwork is plain to see,
How many Picassos, afraid to paint,
Bullied, shiver in shadows, reeds,
Bruised and battered, brushes castrate.

I'm Different: An Abundance of Eyes

eye2-2 God has given you one face, and you make yourself another. Shakespeare

Are you different?

As a wheelchair user, I’m probably hypersensitive to differences. Even after twenty-two years of rolling around, I still feel uncomfortably conspicuous.

My inability to stand up makes me stand out—or at least that’s how it seems to me.

Distinctions are interesting. They spark debate, generate controversy, and attract attention. Life would be bland and boring without the diversity that makes each of us unique and truly one-of-a-kind.

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