It recently dawned on me, after a number of conversation with various people, how hard it is for some Christians to find a place of being proud of who they are. Oooo Steph, you can’t talk about pride!! Doesn’t the Bible say “pride comes before a fall”?
OK. It does. But there are different types of pride. There’s the pride which tries to set ourselves above God – and that’s the type which will lead to a fall because ultimately, there is no other name higher then an God. And we can never, ever match who God is!
But there’s a type of pride which we shouldn’t be afraid of. It’s that sense of accomplishment. The peace in knowing who we are. The love of the life we are living. Because when we are fully restored in Christ, and we know who we are, it brings a sense of peace and contentment in our lives and the freedom to say, “Look at what the Lord has done. Look at how far I’ve come. Look at who I am becoming.”
In this we need to take ownership of who we are. And not hide behind fear.
Let’s start with how we look – and I’m kinda speaking to the ladies at this point as I know nothing about blokes body shapes!!!
On the radio the other morning, Chris Evans was saying that the number one New Year’s resolution in the UK, is to lose weight. Own your body shape. If you’re a pear, own it. If you’re an apple, own it. If you’re a rhubarb, own it. If you’re the hourglass, own it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about – own that too!!!
I remember one afternoon being with my mum when I was in my twenties. I think this was my baggy jumper phase as I’d put so much weight on I thought I needed to hide inside big shapeless jumpers. The problem was, they were shapeless and bulky and so made me look even bigger which made me feel even worse. And so I’d eat some more chocolate and buy a bigger, baggier jumper. And so the cycle continued. On this particular occasion I think I ended up taking off the jumper as it was warm, and some guy smiled at me. My mum laughed at my awkwardness and said something like, “Well, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.”
When we own our body shape, it changes how we dress. And more importantly it changes our perception of ourselves. Rather than trying to wear clothes which hide the lumps and bumps we wish we didn’t have, we learn to dress for our body shape and use clever styling which works with the shape we are. Own who you are on the outside, and it will affect how you see yourself on the inside -and it will help you feel better because it accentuates the good parts of our body instead of clinging to the bad parts!
If we are to let our “light shine before all mankind” then we can’t do this very well if we’re determined to keep hiding inside our spiritually baggy jumpers. How is this going to appeal to a people already living in darkness! Isn’t it time for the light of Christ to break through our spiritual hiding places so we can own who we are and inspire people to want what we have? To know that we recognise who we are, which causes us to walk with our heads lifted high instead of hiding away?
And who are we? My dear reader, we are co-heirs with Jesus. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We are royalty. We are holy. We are worth being flaunted by our Heavenly Father to the world as He declares, “Look at her. Look at him. They have definitely got it. They have definitely got Me.”
Recognising who we are, should instill a sense of the type of pride in us which causes us to walk tall in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Because we know without Him, we probably wouldn’t be walking at all!
My pride is in looking back over my life and seeing how far God has brought me. How high He has lifted me. It’s not in my own capabilities, for without Him I am incapable of much. My pride is in recognising that He who began a good work in me is working things out in me, according to His will and purpose. My pride is in understanding that He did not leave me in the pit, but raised me up and set my feet on solid rock. My pride is in Him.
And while there are still parts of myself which I’d prefer to hide under spiritual baggy jumpers, there is a work being done which gives me strength to be able to own who I am…
And walk tall in it.