Monday, April 25, 2011

Raging insecurities and the promise of a new name

I won't lie. Sometimes I have raging insecurities. This should come as no surprise because I hardly know anyone who doesn't have them. We do our best to keep the voices at bay. You know, the ones whispering, "You're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough." The ones who slowly engrave lies on the walls of our heart- "That thing you did? You'll never be able to live that down." Or- "That guy you think might like you? It won't be long before he figures out who you really are and walks away."

My personal journal is filled with admonitions to myself, to cling to the truth that Jesus thinks I'm pretty great. He thinks I'm beautiful. He desires to have me all to himself. But I confess that sometimes it feels about as lame and insufficient as the twelve year old boy complaining to his mom, "No one likes me." Only to get a response of, "Well I like you." "Thanks mom", he replies, sulking off to his room.

Sometimes, for better or worse, this is how I feel. But other times the weight of the idea that Jesus thinks I'm worth something comes crashing down and ruins all my paltry self deprecation. Revelation 2:17 talks about God giving a white stone with a new name on it to those who overcome, and no one knows this new name except that person and God. I've always loved when people in the Bible received new names but I've never really given much thought to what it will be like to receive my own.

George MacDonald further explores the implications of the new name:
" "God has cared to make me for Himself", says the the victor with the white stone, "and has called me that which I like best, for my own name must be what I would have it, seeing it is myself. What matter whether I be called a grass of the field, or an eagle of the air? a stone to build into His temple, or a Boanerges* to wield his thunder? I am His; His idea, His making; perfect in my kind, yea perfect in His sight; full of Him, revealing Him, alone with Him. Let Him call me what He will. The name shall be precious as my life. I seek no more." Gone then will be all anxiety as to what his neighbor may think about him. It is enough that God thinks about him. To be something to God- is not that praise enough? To be a thing that God cares for and would have complete for Himself, because it is worth caring for- is that not life enough? ....Surely to know what He thinks of us will pale out of our souls all our thoughts about ourselves! And we may well hold them loosely now and and be ready to let them go."

I'm done with allowing such silly lies to find a place in my heart over the truth. I'm not naive enough to think I won't ever struggle with insecurity again, but I am ready to hold my thoughts about myself with a looser hand. Jesus is not just an idea, He's a person. He really does know me, and He really does love me in spite of myself. Sometimes I forget that. 

* I googled Boanerges and it means fiery, passionate preacher. I generally have to google every other word when I'm reading MacDonald.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the encouraging thoughts Charissa! I especially like the George MacDonald quote. The Christian life is a constant battle of identifying truth and proclaiming it. While we continue in this struggle we must constantly remind ourselves of our true identities. I heard an interesting sermon dealing with the same subject. Something that stuck with me was a mentioning that the early church included many young girls. Apparently it was common practice in Roman society to discard female infants on street corners because of their perceived worthlessness. However, the early church took it upon themselves to proclaim the true identity of these abandoned children and love and value them as God created them to be loved and valued. It is interesting to think of the first gatherings of Christians as being made up of many children worshipping God for loving them in a culture that told them they are worthless.