Do my templates align with God’s Word? Do they limit me and my living out God’s purpose for placing me in this spot in this time? Do my templates stunt the expression of the fruit of the Spirit in my life?
These question occurred to me because I’m getting the sense that my hang-ups are the result of fears, fears rooted in desires of the flesh and in what the world says.
For starters, God says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:17
Here are a few of my tattered templates contrasted with God’s Word.
Template #1: I have to look pretty or I’ll be sad and unlikable.
God’s Word: Psalm 139:14 “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Genesis 1: 27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them…” Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.”
Thank you, God. That’s better than pretty! Your truth is eternal. Pretty fades.
#2: Everything I do must have a practical use or result, otherwise it’s a waste of time.
God’s Word: 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
WHATEVER I do! Glory to God
#3 Avoid crowds and (apart from friends) avoid people in general – get in, get out, hello, goodbye.
God’s Word: Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” And 2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
I’m a light-bearer! Light Bearer
#4 I’m naturally judgmental and, therefore, must try very hard to guard my thoughts and watch my tongue. Ps 51: 5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
God’s Word: Philippians 1:6… “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” And Matthew 7: 1-3 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again,” and Colossians 3:3 “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
I’m a work in progress, it’s not my job to judge, and because I’m secure in Christ I need not judge others in a useless attempt to elevate myself.
Many, many more verses destroy my distorted templates.
I pray that I no longer get hung up and that I keep my heart, soul and mind in God’s Word.
Thank you, Jesus.