"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Monday, February 4, 2013

True Colors

When we speak of a person's true colors we often are referring to who the person reveals him/herself to be under stress.  He/she may usually appear to be a sweet and loving person, but under certain circumstances he/she turns mean and spiteful.  Recently, however, I've started to see this "who we really are" in a totally different light.

It's sort of like the colorful leaves in the photo above.  We say we're looking forward to the leaves in autumn turning yellow or orange or red, depending on the type of tree, when in reality small amounts of these colors were there all along.  It's the green that appears in the Spring and Summer that is the true "turning".  With warmer weather and more sunlight, leaves produce chlorophyll which then covers these individual "true colors" with a generic green.  

In my last post I talked about our righteousness being found in Christ, and because we're made in God's image our problem isn't what's in us, but what obstructs the good from coming forth.  Therefore, our True Colors are God-like.  Anything else is the fraudulent person.  Who you sometimes are--angry, unreasonable, unkind, etc.--is not who you really are.  Who you really are--your true colors--is a child of God--gentle, reasonable, kind, etc.

Here is another way to say it.  Mark Nepo reminds us that "Whatever our gifts or wounds or life situation....the core issues of our lives will not go away....There exists for each life on Earth a set of inner doors that no one can go through for us."  He says no matter what we do in life--he calls those things worthy distractions--"the last threshold we didn't cross within will be there waiting.....the very core issues we avoid return, sometimes with different faces, but still, we are brought full circle, to them, again and again." He writes about "struggling to adulthood with a domineering and critical mother."  He said it made him seek approval and fear rejection in all his other relationships until he finally realized, "I was destined to repeat the pain of rejection, no matter how skillfully I handled it, until I opened the door of self-worth."

Self-worth.  Going back to the beginning of this post I talked about our true colors actually being the good in us--our God-likeness.  If we could get this one issue settled--the inner door Nepo refers to--we would not "change colors" when someone treats us unfairly, badly, or even worse, ignores us.  Instead, we'd be able to recognize the fact that the other person is actually projecting their own lack of self-worth onto us.  It's not a conscious effort on their part, but rather a futile attempt to establish their own self-worth.  

But here's the thing....running someone else down will not make you feel better in the long run.  Someone else is going to come along to bring up this issue again (your low self-esteem) and in the meantime you are alienating yourself from other people which only serves to perpetuate your low self-esteem.

So, what's a person to do?  First, you really must settle this issue about who you really are?  If you don't believe you're worthy of love (not only from others but yourself), then you need to ferret out why you feel that way.  I have found it helpful to journal every day.  It's where I can be totally honest about what I think and feel.  Often that is enough to help me see the truth about my worth and realize where I first began to doubt it.  

I also recommend reading a daily devotional type of book where other people who struggle with this issue share what has worked for them.  The Bible is a wonderful resource, but sometimes it is helpful to have a contemporary example based on Biblical truth.  

Ultimately, it's the relationship you establish with the God within--the Holy Spirit--the Christ now in you--whatever name you want to call this true self that resides in your Soul--your Source of worthiness and the help to realize it.  

Father, Jesus prayed that you would send the Comforter to help and guide us--the Holy Spirit.  Our worth was redeemed and guaranteed.  May I, we, live as though it is real--for it is!

Link to scripture:  http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/14.htm

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