I had a conversation with a friend recently where we discussed the difficulty of seeing ourselves as God sees us. I wish I could say that few of us deal with this problem, but the truth is each one of us struggles with this reality. If we didn’t, we would already be manifesting the “greater works” Jesus promised us and we would look a great deal differently as the Body than we do now. What I am more and more faced with is this idea that God sees me as far more equipped and able than I do, and that I need to change my perspective to align with His.
For example, my friend Praying Medic and I spoke by phone about my recent Gemstones blog posts, and he suggested that I turn them into a short Kindle book on the subject. While I thought it was a cool idea, at first I struggled with the concept. “Who am I to write a book on this manifestation?” I asked myself, looking at my own doubts, difficulties, and insufficiencies. Then, as I thought a bit more, I said to myself “Very few people have MORE experience with this than I do, and even FEWER of them are writers. Why NOT write a book on this?”
I am discovering that the Church is extremely hungry not just for supernatural manifestations of God’s love, but for understanding and activation into these things, and I now believe I have been divinely positioned to release a greater measure of that into the Body of Christ. If I were busy viewing myself as someone who is unworthy or unable, I would be unprepared to help steward this forward by writing a book. The truth is that unless we are able to take a more impartial view of ourselves, we will very rarely come up with an accurate appraisal of our own skills and abilities.
I was recently visiting with family in a dynamic with my older brother where I found myself reviewing my own value and worth from a life-accomplishments perspective and internally trying to see if I “measured up.” I was listing off my accomplishments for my wife and she asked me “Do you feel like you need to prove something?” I thought for a moment and the answer was “Yes, I do feel that way, but there’s no reason why I should need to prove myself to measure up.” The reality is that I don’t need to compete with my brother in any way–we are nothing alike and I honestly don’t want to be like him.
He is an officer in the military with all of the perks and responsibilities, has a Masters Degree, a wife his age with kids, and is a member of the Episcopal Church. On paper he looks super-successful, but there is always a deeper truth behind appearances. He gets moved all around the country and world every few years and lives his family less than 50% of the time due to being deployed in the middle of the ocean somewhere. He is staunchly set in his religious ways and is not open to new ideas or revelation if they don’t align too closely with what he already thinks. He is so used to telling others what to do and having them follow his instructions without questioning that he treats other people that way as well.
On the other hand, I am 31 and still haven’t finished my Bachelors degree, have no kids, married a woman 24 years older than I am, and have no clear religious affiliations to speak of. However, I am a Registered Nurse who will not only be completing my degree soon, but have already been working in my field for years with very good pay with only an Associates Degree. My wife is older than I, but is much better matched for me than anyone in my own age bracket. I have three wonderful step-grandchildren who live with us and who I get to help raise. I have one book that is in the editing process to be published, over ten more ideas on the drawing board, and another two which are also significantly underway. I get to see my wife and family every day and only work 80% of a normal person’s work schedule. From a spiritual perspective, God has placed me on the cutting edge of some areas of supernatural thought and experience, and I relish in the new things that God brings in my path and the opportunity to test out and learn new things. In other words, I am happier being me, and comparing myself to someone else isn’t going to help me become more of who God made me to be. I’m not my brother and I don’t have the talents and inclinations he has, and he doesn’t have mine.
Having a clear picture of how God sees us is best developed by listening to God himself. It can be easy for me to see myself from my own internal view, but if I take time, even just a moment in a situation where I am having difficulty, to ask God what He thinks and feels about me, it is completely different than what I am usually expecting to hear, and over time it helps me have a different image of myself. As I gain a clearer picture of who I am based on how God sees me, my entire life becomes more functional as instead of living from inner dysfunction I begin to live from a place of inner wholeness.