"If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else; for each one should carry his own load." (Galations 6:3)
I'm pretty sure one of the largest obstacles in my life has been working with and having relationships with people who are more concerned with appearances and how they are perceived by others. Although I know that there are certain situations and circumstances in which we must maintain a certain behavior or "dress" accordingly, I believe our hearts, thoughts, and attitudes should remain genuine and real. It's unfortunate to me that people are perceived more positively the more attractive or upstanding they are, however I find that their faces do not exist in reality; they often realize that "something" is missing but are never quite sure what that "something" may be. As Christians, we all need to spend our time working for Christ rather than being preoccupied with our own schedule, needs, and the perception of others.
"Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." (1 Peter 3:4)
We've been discussing what our definition of "authentic discipleship" really means in our small group, and I believe it to mean having a sincere heart and genuine attitude, regardless of whether other people are around to acknowledge it or not. For so many years growing up, that was such an obstacle for me! I wanted to be recognized for every accomplishment and "good deed" I did, whether at home, church, work, or in the community. But I was missing the real reason for serving others or performing a task to the greatest of my ability. Growth, maturity, and worship have brought me a long way on living my life to please God and let my love for Him shine so that family, friends, and acquaintances can see Christ in me. I want to glow with love for Him, and to be known for a gentle and quiet beauty that comes from within which is so meaningful to God. (I still have a lot of work to do on that gentle and quiet thing!) :)
Every day I want to continue exploring who God created me to be, define and excel in my unique and authentic self, and use it to glorify Him. I want to fill my day with things that have meaning and happiness so that I can serve God and those He has chosen for me to serve.
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.
Be the living expression of God's kindness:
kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."~Mother Teresa~