Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"I Like Me"

Welcome to Yes to God Tuesdays as I temporarily host for sweet Lelia the online study of Lysa Terkeurst's wonderful book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.

Chapter 14 Learning to Simply Like Me

As I read that title I thought 'Oh no! Yeah right!' Let's say I don't have a surplus of self-esteem and liking myself. But I do have more self-esteem than I've probably ever had in 35 years.

Lysa spoke of the unique spelling of her name and what comes with that. My niece's name is Maya so we know too well how hard it is to find things with that spelling. Lysa is such a hoot; one of the reasons I adore her so much. "I had a bubble lettered homemade sign on my knock-off Huffy. Nothing speaks cool like an index card surrounded by duct tap flapping in the breeze as you blaze the trails of childhood." I know about homemade, hand-me-down, make-it-your-own, kind of childhood. We weren't living in plenty either.

I dido exactly what Lysa says here: "I have had to learn to appreciate my own uniqueness and, over time, have grown to like myself." Faults and flaws...God can make them florish.

Lysa shares the counter sides of Matthew 22:39 and Matthew 16:24-26. The debate of whether we should love ourselves. Instead we should learn "how to make peace with who we are so that feelings of insecurity don't become a distraction to living our faith out loud." A distraction. Not liking who we are can actually distract us from the main thing: living the Gospel and spreading the Gospel.

Have you ever gotten a necklace tangled up so bad it takes forever to fix? That's exactly what the self-distracting thoughts do to our hearts: Entangle. Entanglements of self-distracting thoughts.

Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Hebrews 12:1

That means we are to throw off the thoughts of ourselves that distract, hinder, and entangle. How? Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2

Our eyes can't be fixed on ourselves and Jesus both. "Many of us spend years trying to hide or fix what we perceive as personal flaws." [my emphasis] Ahem. Perceive. Oh, how much of me I have perceived as flaws of mine. I still do. Super sensitive. Inquisitive. Very Curious. Just a few that come to mind.

Lysa tells us to think of things less appealing in us and how Jesus can use those for our good. I'm still baffled how He can use my curiosity and inquisitiveness. Yes, I gain knowledge (assuming my questions get answered) but how much does it bother those on whom I impose questions? Do others see it as me being interested or as a bother? I'm just talking this out but I know that I don't need to know how He will use my less appealing qualities but just know He will.

"Jesus would love for us to see ourselves as a package deal of unique qualities that He saw as necessary for the life He's calling us to live." A package deal you say? Necessary. My flaws and less appealing qualities are necessary for His calling on my life. Really? Hmm...seems I'd be better off without my irritating, damaging, inflicting flaws. But God knows best. He works it all out for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)

In addition to our self-distracting thoughts, we need to avoid past distractions. That is, those hurts, struggles, and trials from our past that distract, entangle, and hinder us.

Lysa's abortion early in life was one such thing for her. This statement is rolling around my mind regarding my own life mess ups. "Up until that point [abortion], the things that brought hurt in my life were caused by others. But the abortion was a choice I made myself." There is such a sense of guilt when we inflict pain by our choices, even those we don't even realize we are making. Revisiting the past pain, guilt, and regret is like continually banging our head on the wall. "We can't move forward with God when our past keeps pulling us down."

I leave you with the closing remarks of this chapter in full because it's so good. It's like an equation in my analytical, logical, mathematical mind.

"The more we see our life's purpose unfold,
the more we'll be secure in the person God created us to be.

The more we become secure in the person God has created us to be,
the more we'll be able to make peace with liking who we are.

The more we make peace with liking who we are,
the more we will be able to untangle self-distracting thoughts.

The less entangled we are,
the more effective we'll be for Christ.

And we'll start to see how we are
becoming more than just a good Bible study girl."

If you have more to share on your blog, please use MckLinky below to hook up. I would greatly welcome any comments even if you are not doing the study. You don't have to be reading this book to share your wisdom and insight to this post.

Trying to Simply Like Me,

© Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.


Lelia Chealey said...

Wow Paula...this is awesome. I loved all of what you & Lysa both said. You know I love your insights. They are always so wonderful and really make me think.
Thank you again for hosting this study for me. You are really an incredible woman of God.
Love you,

Pat said...

I like you Paula!!! This is a good post. It sounds like Lysa has hit her typical home run! I want to get this study. Thank you for your added insights and honesty,
Bless you dear!

Frank said...

Despite your blog format's most intense efforts to deter men from this site, I managed to enjoy your latest post. I do not remember how I ended up here, but thank you. Some of the kids in my youth group are dealing with major self-esteem issues and reading your latest blog post made me feel a little comfortable with getting ready to address them.

Paula said...

Amen, more of Him and less of me. I apologize for being so out of the loop lately. I am stalking (lol), I'm mean following you again. I promise to be more supportive in the future. Thank you for your kind comment today at my blog. How are you doing? (((hugs))) The other Paula :0)

Sharon said...

Wow this is good, I have entangles my life for a while now and I really need to break my self free from all of it. again I needed this post for my heart. Thanks

I also went back an read the other post, you have touched me today, and I have so needed it. I know when I read your posts my heart gets humbled everytime. you are so special!
Have a great weekend

Beth in NC said...

Great post Paula. I had to come over once you said the other P had left you a comment. lol

Love & hugs!