Were you aware that until the 13th century, artists didn't know anything about how to create true perspective? They just made whatever they thought was important bigger than the other objects in the painting. Sometimes they would put things in the foreground or background, but not in a regular or accurate way. It was always skewed and inaccurate.*
Last night, I put the batteries in the new scale, set it down, stepped on it...and reeled.
The number was NOT what I expected and NOT in a good way.
Honestly, it was only about 5 lbs. different. However, between my 6 week postpartum appointment (when I was actually lower than my pre-pregnancy weight) and my newfound resolve, my complete abandonment of all things related to reasonable eating had done more harm than I thought. Praise God for great supplements or I'd probably be looking at an even bigger challenge.
I hopped off the scale, looked at Josiah, and grappled. "I will not cry." I said. "This is just a number, just a starting point. I will not cry. I will not let this stupid number defeat me."
And then, I did something that, at some points in my life, would have been emotional suicide: I had Josiah take a couple before pictures of me...in just a sports bra and underwear.
I said a quick prayer for strength and then I looked at them...and do you know what I saw??
I saw an overweight body and an out of shape body, but just a body. It just didn't have the power it once would have, and for that I am GRATEFUL.
This morning, my Bible reading led me to Romans, and this Scripture popped out at me:
For though they knew God,
they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude.
Instead, their thinking became nonsense,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
Claiming to be wise,
they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for images resembling mortal man,
birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
Most of the time, I think we have a tendency to look at this scripture as a "them" verse. THOSE PEOPLE who don't love God think they're wise, but THEY are just foolish.
Or maybe, we're wise enough to see that it applies to us (because really, the first part of Romans is just there to show us we're ALL jacked up and need Jesus), but we still kind of skim over it.
Because we're not worshiping idols, right? No golden calves for us!
But then, as I looked at the Greek, one word stuck out to me: fools.
It's the word "moraino," and it's pronounced mo-RAH-ee-no...and obviously, it's where we get the word "moron."
Hehe...God called us morons, I thought.
And then I saw the other meaning of the word: to make flat and tasteless, of salt that has lost its strength and flavor.
OUCH. Can you feel that? The sword that is God's word cutting deep into your heart? I know I did.
This verse then BROKE OPEN for me, and it looked something like this:
They know Me, and they say they love Me,but they don't treat Me like they love Me,putting Me in my rightful place,and they certainly aren't grateful for all they've been given. No.Instead, their thoughts are clouded by a bunch of nonsense and are darkened.They have ceased being salt and light.They claim my wisdom, but they act no different than the people around them:hopeless, worrisome, grumbling, and lost.They have stopped seeing me, and instead,see only the idols they've set up for themselves:physical beauty, success, earthly comforts, and self-loathing.
And in that, I see me...or the me that HAS been. I am convicted, but also, set free!! I see how God has been working to change my perspective and I am so incredibly grateful.
There were certain areas of my life I had raised up as idols and certain areas I had just laid down in defeat.
But let me ask you something: can you physically lie down and walk at the same time?
No. Not possible.
You cannot walk in the victory of Christ and lie down in defeat at the same time. It's just not possible.
How do you see yourself? Are you claiming the identity of a child of the living God, but also consider yourself:
- just a person with no self-control?
- just an alcoholic?
- just a worrywart?
- just an addict?
- just a failure?
You are "just" lying to yourself. You are "just" keeping yourself in chains that Jesus has already unlatched, and you're holding onto them for dear life.
And what does that say to the people around you? Do your words and actions reflect a close walk with Christ or your acceptance of defeat.
It cannot reflect both.
I'm not saying you need to be fake. I'm not saying you won't go through things, HARD things. But might I suggest, if you're constantly stuck in a place of defeat, you've chosen the wrong perspective.
Like artists before the renaissance, we paint the pictures of our lives with skewed inaccurate perspectives, as though our lives are not enlightened by the light of Christ at all.
Instead of placing ourselves at the feet of God, and seeing only Him - His goodness, love, kindness, grace, mercy, and wisdom - we've placed ourselves on the throne, and we're looking only at the obstacles, discomforts, successes, and failures.
And if that's the case, if that's they place we're operating from, we're no different. We're saved, yes, but our lives are no different. They have no light, and our salt has lost its flavor...and we sit around wondering why the world is falling apart.
The world is no different because WE are no different.
But that's not what I'm claiming today for us, friends. NO.
Because we ARE children of the living God, and we DO have victory through Christ the Son, and we DO have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
And therefore, according to the riches of God's great love and mercy, I declare we will be empowered, not through ourselves, but through the Spirit of God that lives in us. I declare that we who love Christ would place Him on the throne of our hearts, and we would grow our strength in Him. (Ephesians 3:16-17, highly paraphrased).
I pray we choose a godly perspective in that, we trade being our own gods for seeing ourselves and our circumstances through the eyes of the One true God.
Because perspective is truly everything.