Have you ever felt like you were never going to measure up to some invisible standard in your mind, no matter how hard you tried?
And the feeling could hit you like a smothering blanket of damp, dismal fog no matter what you are doing affecting every part of who you are.
Such feelings cause us to feel shame about ourselves in the very core of our being; drive us to perfectionism, making us feel insecure in all our relationships, our work, and affect every area of our lives.
And as sure as anything they are not from God for in the beginning after He finished creating everything, the Bible says, “And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
God’s word says that we are “Fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)
Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Is that not a beautiful thought?
Of course, my sin is not beautiful. But Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and to forgive and defeat the sin in my life.
This includes the negative thoughts about myself that the enemy throws my way to try and discourage me from fulfilling God’s wonderful plan for me.
For that is the enemy’s purpose. To disparage and discourage the people created in God’s holy image; people that Jesus Christ died to redeem and set free from sin and death.
No good thing may live in our sinful nature, but in Christ, in the spirit we are made brand new creations!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” ~(2 Corinthians 5:17)
We are beautiful to Christ. He no longer sees the sin. We are forgiven. He covers us with His robe of righteousness.
Jesus is not looking for things to condemn us for, but for the good in us.
We tend to criticize and condemn ourselves and each other.
But that is not the Spirit of God.
Jesus said, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)
Jesus Christ is always looking to ENCOURAGE US!
The difference between the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of evil is that the devil wants to criticize and find fault, but God is looking for the positive.
God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.
God is love. He is looking for the good. He does not gossip or bad mouth people or speak evil of His children.
He does not contradict His nature and His nature is found in Jesus Christ and in His word.
This does not mean that God ignores evil where it exists. It means He is looking for the good. He knows how to discipline His children who go astray.
He wants us to look for the good in others just as He does.
Everyone has at least SOME good points.
And God is the only One who has the right to judge the human heart, not us.
(Philippians 4:8) “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
God is looking for these very qualities to build up and strengthen in each of us, to make us like Christ.
Wherever we focus, that is where our aim will be; wherever we put our thoughts, that is the direction our path will take us.
So if we keep focusing on negative things about ourselves, our circumstances, and other people, we will continue to be unhappy.
So let’s try to do what God’s word asks us to do: let’s see ourselves and others through God’s eyes; through the Philippians 4:8 lens.
I call that scripture my “God Glasses.”
Let’s apply this scripture to ourselves, our work, our country, our leaders, our work, our coworkers, our relatives, our neighbors and in all other things.
May we find things to thank God for.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us remember that we are Your workmanship and that You call everything You make good. Thank You for making us Your image-bearers, the crown of Your creation! Thank You for loving us more than we can ever imagine!