This morning I was thinking of advertisements regarding the perfect weight and size; then the perfect clothes and hair-style and cosmetic. This goes on and on and on. With all of the media focusing on comparisons of what beauty is. Even compliments like “she looks like she did in school” which could have been years earlier. Is there really a surprise that so many people are unhappy with the way they look? This time of the year one would certainly not want to turn down food at loved ones homes for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Then they consider the weight they may put on. Matthew 6:28,29 reads “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
The more one frets over his looks and size, the worse he looks physically. True beauty is from within and includes love of oneself and others, gratefulness, generosity, kindness and humility. This will be my thoughts today to put into practice. Joy has nothing to do with how one looks.
This morning I am working and praying with Leviticus 19:2 which reads, “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am Holy.” To my thinking, that says we are complete. There is nothing to do to become complete or Holy but rather a realization and gratitude for this. Also, there is nothing we have done to deserve this, but by our very being, it is so. Humility is also key to this since this was not done by manipulation but by the grace of God.
It is often very tempting to harden one’s heart when in trouble. That is the exact time, that hardening should be replaced with humility. We should never rejoice in the fall of an enemy. Luke 23:34 reads “Then said Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.'” This was at the Crucifixion! Shouldn’t we do likewise?
“Be still and know that I am God.” is from Genesis 46:10 and is how I begin each morning. With that verse, outside thoughts can be quietened as I listen for God. The first thing that is overcome is fear and doubt, which is mesmerizing and hypnotizing. Sometimes, it takes longer than others, but my thinking needs to be receptive and humble and can only reach that stage when fear is gone.
When I realize that God is always here, not just when I need Him to clean up a mess that I have made but He also preserves Good, which is ongoing. There are times, when it is less obvious, but when I trust Him completely, He reveals what I need to know and always has. My heart is filled with humility and gratitude as I see proof of Him everywhere.
Gratitude and humility are keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and dissolve any and all anxiety. We need to always rejoice because we cannot see the entire picture yet that God has in store for us and it is always Good! Philippians 4: 4-6 reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Pride and fear will never enter in and are dissolved by Love and Truth.
This morning I am praying and knowing that man can never be separated from God. God never changes nor leaves us and we don’t have the power to leave Him. How reassuring is that? The Bible tells us that throughout! Psalm 139:1-4 reads, ” O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”
That is unconditional Love and God knows our heart, never condemning but patiently waiting for us to awaken. My prayer today is to release “self-absorption” and hear what God is directing me to do and see. Gratitude and humility will be prayer.
When Eve was tempted by evil or error to partake of the fruit of the tree of “good and evil”, she and Adam had every thing they needed, but that wasn’t enough. She wanted to be able to judge! Even today, the thought of judging is often so seductive that we are willing to give up our peace in order to have a human opinion and voice that opinion. Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And God said in Genesis 3:2-4, “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
There are so many times we want to focus on what we do not have rather than on what we do have. Isn’t that what Eve did and that removed her joy and peace? Today I will focus on gratitude and humility and that should keep me busy!