If my current spiritual growth was a book, it would have four clear chapters. Four clear topics on which I’m learning: Talents, Discipline, Insecurity and Pride. It literally seems like every scripture, sermon, or sentence in a book falls in line with one of the above topics and at the same time they are all magically woven in each other.
A while ago, Feburary 11th, 2007 to be exact, I was deeply convicted by the lack of boundaries and self-control IN ALL areas of my life. I sat on this conviction for way too long. But it wouldn’t leave me (thankfully). Recently, I started to put in place some boundaries… specific to the most problematic areas in my life: food and time wasted. We flew in from Florida on Christmas Day. The adults in our house decided not to turn on the tv until February (with the exception of sermons or Bible based cartoons for the babes). Best. Decision. Of. My. Life. For many reasons, but one I’ll highlight is what God was simultaneously prompting me to seek healing in my heart for: insecurity.
I had this horrible habit of walking by a mirror and allowing an onslaught of self-loathing “truths” flood my subconscious. I mean, pure disgust for my reflection would ensue. Turns out, in my experience, if you turn off the tv and put down your phone (specific to Instagram or Facebook minifeed surfin’) you have a lot more time for Bible readin’. And how refreshing is life without all the bombardment of images to compare yourself to? I didn’t have words to express this peace until reading some pages in a Beth Moore book last night. Allow me to draw from her for a moment on the evolution of tv (and our current culture).
Around the 1950s is where the explosion of tvs in every household occurred. Just think of it, our great grandmothers had access to compare themselves to maybe a few hundred women in their lifetime—women on their street, at their church, their friends. They didn’t have models on magazine covers in the stores where they bought their milk. They didn’t have social media #momgoals, #housegoals, #relationshipgoals, #fitnessgoals images at their literal fingertips. Beth says as a result, we get to feel inferior to thousands (which I would exaggerate to millions had I written the book) of women. In turn making us less and less satisfied with ourselves until much of our lives are lived on the “slippery slope of self-loathing”. Her words. Not mine. But 100% what was taking place in my soul. Anyone else? Just me? I had convinced myself that the images we see EVERWHERE are the norm and that I am part of the pathetic few in the universe who can’t get their life together.
Ironically, did you read my recent writing on self- love? How insane that we can be tangled up in self-love and self-loathing at the same time? Theologian Richard Winter says, “Low self-esteem and pride can coexist in the same heart.” If I stay here too long my head might explode, so I’m wrapping up but I hope to return to this conviction soon.
Until then, I’ll leave you with this lesson I’ve learned, in hopes you’ll try it on for size: We will never feel better about ourselves by becoming more consumed with ourselves. (Or others for that matter.) And we will never regret making time for the Lord.