Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Lowly Things

Photo Credit La Melodie (creative commons)
The Lowly Things 

Emily Walters Laney

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like a loser. I messed up again, I didn’t do something right, I can’t find a good job. I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, or perfect enough to actually be used by God to make a difference in the world. Mind you, I don’t always feel this way, but I definitely have my moments where I don’t feel like I measure up. Sometimes it comes from other people, like that one friend who always makes me feel bad about myself. But most of the time, it comes from me. It comes from that seed of insecurity that I keep buried inside, just waiting to rear its ugly head when something mildly frustrating happens. And sometimes it comes from the images and the ideals the world puts forth that seem to bombard us from every side.

Take away those wrinkles! Shrink those love handles! Make yourself look sexier, more desirable! Lose 15 pounds in two weeks….. the list of messages could go on and on, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen these messages plastered everywhere. We are obsessed with perfection, even if that perfection is fake. And it doesn’t have to be physical either. It could be that voice that says that you are never supposed to show weakness, especially to your friends at church. Or how you are supposed to have a perfectly clean house and happy, well-rested children along with a from scratch, organic home cooked meal waiting when your husband gets home from work. Or maybe you’re supposed to do all of the above while holding down a full time job (or two!) just to make ends meet. The possibilities are endless, and the stress we put on ourselves is ridiculous. And at the end of the day, if we mess up one time or feel like we don’t measure up in anyway, a small voice in the back of our heads tells us that we aren’t good enough, that God could never use us.

But guess what? None of that really matters. God doesn’t expect perfection from us. He doesn’t expect us to have it all together. I really needed to read the passage at the beginning of this post the other day. I needed to be reminded that God chooses the lowly, the weak, he wants to use us, even if we aren’t perfect by the standards of the world. God wants our strength to come from Him; he wants our boasting to be in Him, not in our own strength.  All throughout history you can see the thread of this truth. God uses people from all walks of life to change the world. On those days where you feel like you can’t continue for much longer, you can rely on His strength. When someone in your life makes you feel like you don’t measure up, remember that in the eyes of God, you are his precious child. And on the good days, when you’ve accomplished something great, remember that your boasting is in the Lord, because He held you up on those days where you didn’t think you could go on.

Christ is our cornerstone, our foundation. God uses us even if we feel like we aren’t “good enough”. Rejoice in HIS strength sister! He’s got this, and He’s got you.

Emily Laney is a social worker, educator and justice seeker. She has worked with vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad and loves to help startup nonprofits reach their goals. She is a Passion City Church door holder and leads a team of abolitionists at Not for Sale Georgia.  She loves her husband Brent and their rescue pup Biscuit. Sunsets and Sushi make her happy.
You can connect with Emily on twitter @emilylaney or on her blog

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