donovanmneal

Archive for March, 2014|Monthly archive page

Low self esteem and the Christian: Accepting the greatness in others and yourself

In Controversy is Christian, My two cents and Christian Opinion, Personal on March 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

One of the common scriptures that is heard within Christendom is found in Psalms 139:14

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

It’s a simple scripture really. A scripture that exalts the excellency of person-hood. That there is a duality to the craftsmanship that is you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

“I was naked and I hid myself.”

Often however we do not feel that way. It is easy in our American culture to compare ourselves with one another, and as such determine, we are not good enough.

“Who told thee that thou was naked?”

Low self esteem comes ultimately from someone telling us that we are lacking in some way. (Yes I know you can tell yourself. But you have to receive a message that something’s wrong with you external from you. You have to compare yourself against something.)

I’d argue that low self esteem is the result of fear that we are insufficient, inadequate–that we are simply lacking in some manner. When we experience this fear we hide who we truly are. We cover ourselves with the trappings of the others, and create false masks, to beautify what we now perceive as inadequacies.

I remember growing up feeling that I was too small. Being a grown man and thinking that I was not smart enough. Often times I saw myself and others putting others down, to make myself look good. But in the course of time when you spend time with God, you read scriptures like this.

“…round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” Rev 4:4

Reading scriptures like this makes me realize that God is not intimidated by other’s royalty. Why should he be, He is the author of royalty.  He is the King of Kings. I have found myself saying that realizing, I don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room. I am in the room because I AM smart. I’ve learned over the years that it’s OK to be one king among many. That your sufficiency in one area does not have to abase my own. There are billions of stars in the sky, and each is brilliant in its own way. Each makes its impact on its environment.

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Rev 4:10

Discussions about “who is the greatest” simply misses the point. You are a King, You can feel comfortable bowing before the one true King and placing your crown before him. I’ve learned that no one can beat me at being me. Nor is it necessary for me to lift myself up to make others look bad. To just walk in my own royalty. Learn what makes me unique. I figure when God made you, he recognized the world needed that extra something that was you.

Jesus the greatest king with all his power, and authority thought it nothing to take up a towel and wipe the grime off his followers feet.

Can you accept the greatness in others, and marvel at how fearfully and wonderfully made each person is? Or are you a star jealous that you are not like other stars?  I’ll just be content to let my own little light shine.

Something to think about.

Torn Veil version 3 (non-editable web-ready file)

Why the world needs more Samwise Gamgee’s

In Controversy is Christian, My two cents and Christian Opinion on March 10, 2014 at 7:00 am

samwise gamgee

If you died who would care?

If someone you knew no longer was in your life.  How long would it take you to see about them?

The tragic story of a woman who was found after 6 years mummified in the back seat of her car is heartbreaking on so many levels that one cannot help but ask where was her family and friends? (You can read about it here.)

What is so powerful to me about this incident is that basically her money was more missed than her presence.  It took money running our of her bank account before another human being stumbled upon her body.

I suppose I could take a holier than thou attitude and judge her family and friends and say shoulda, coulda, didn’t.  But as I get older in my own life, I find that I am simply less inclined to look at others failures when I have enough of my own, and must simply take this as an object lesson to apply to my own life.

I love Peter Jackson’s, Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  One of the characters that moves me emotionally is Samwise Gamgee.  In the movie, he tells his friend Frodo who looks like he has died to not go where he can’t follow.  It is a powerful piece of cinema, well acted, and you are able to see how close these characters are to each other.

They are so close, that despite earlier squabbles that put a rift in their relationship, Sam goes despite the danger ahead of him to actually look for his friend.  He braves creatures, and risks harm to himself to simply see about his friend.

And that to me this is the thing that is sad about this story.  Where was this woman’s Samwise Gamgee?   It is easy to take from this and reflectively ask do we have such a person in our own life.  Someone if we had gone missing would call to see about us.  Would track us down at risk of personal harm, and fight through terrors unknown to see to about our welfare.  It begs the question how long do thing have to get before we are noticed?  I would hope that I have loved ones that would see about me if they no longer heard from me.

We live in the age were we text, email, are photographed, instgrammed, facebooked, twitterized to death but despite all the means that avail us to connect this person got lost.  No one for 6 years heard from her.  6 years, let that sink in.

To me the biggest lesson I think this raises, is who are WE a Samwise Gamgee to?

Who can look to me, who can look to you to move heaven and earth and not be satisfied until we see for ourselves that the one we call friend is ok? 

That is the real question.  Not should we condemn this family, coworkers or friends on what they did not do or failed to accomplish.  But simply to look in the mirror and ask who am I close enough to, or who do I need to grow closer to, that I am their Samwise Gamgee?

After all we are so busy, it’s easy to forget the real human relationships of others.  Are we the priest or the Levite in the story of the good Samaritan?  Who is our neighbor?  Are we are brothers keeper?

Who are you Samwise Gamgeee too?

P.S. I love hearing from my readers.  Post a comment on this blog or better link it and let me know and I’ll enter you to win this months giveaway of  my novel, The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars!

D

Tearing down the veil

Torn Veil version 3 (non-editable web-ready file)