Monday, May 25, 2015

The Standards We Carry By Sherri Sand

I had my feelings hurt today.

Do sometimes we need approval so much that we don’t stop to assess whether the approval giver is standing on solid rock? They may be a Jesus follower, but do their values line up with what Jesus values?

There is a lot of judgment in our world. We do a lot of judging. Many times not purposely. But we have prioritized standards we weigh other people’s behavior and choices against.

For some it may be clothing style. For others it could be how earth friendly people are—what kind of a gas guzzler they drive. Or it may be the amount and type of education others have acquired.

Each of us carry these standards, most often unknowingly. Likely a conglomeration of how we were raised and the type of personality we have.

My daughter is a fashion maven. Color and style come naturally to her artistic eye. Organized she is not.

We have several teenage drivers in the family, so making sure I end up with a car can be tricky. My son and daughter traded off at lunch. He got the family car, she got the Jeep. I asked her to swing by the house after lunch so I could take her to school and keep the Jeep.

Lunch came and went, and still I waited. Finally, I leashed up the dog and we walked the few blocks to the school. When I stepped into her classroom, an adorable montage of thoughts crossed her face, “What’s mom doing here? Oh, the car!!! Shoot! Ooops!”

Today when she was home for lunch, wanting to relive that sweet moment again, I asked, “What were you thinking when I walked into your classroom yesterday?”

She said, “What is she wearing?”

Yeah, shocked me too.

My daughter and I have different standards for public attire. Pony tail and sweats work for me, not so much for her.

Embedded in her comment was a piercing arrow that took me back to a time where the people closest to me put a high emphasis on appearance. When we don’t know our value, the weight of another’s judgment can be so damaging. Deepening insecurities and creating facades we hide behind.

Interesting how another’s opinion can impact us at such a deep level.

Logic is no help, and can actually keep us from freedom. When we’re found lacking, our minds will try to talk us out of being hurt. Telling us, “Whatever,” or “Who cares what she thinks,” as it attempts to keep the comment from burrowing in.

With our minds trying to push the hurt away, our hearts have no place to process the pain. So what does it attempt to do? Shut off emotion. Stop feeling.

Hardness of heart becomes our protector.

What we can’t feel, can’t hurt us.

There are so many negative consequences to this coping mechanism. One is a lack of truly intimate relationships in our lives. And another is the inability to feel deeply of positive emotions (when we shut off the bad, we also shut out the good).

Our freedom lies in taking our hurt and dumping it on God’s lap and asking Him to sort it out with us. He so badly wants to heal our pain and walk us into forgiveness and grace.

Letting His wisdom and love guide us keeps wounds from festering and gives us the ability to freely love.

Sherri Sand is an author and speaker. Her unique perspective unlocks truths and biblical mysteries to bring hope to the hurting and peace to the stressed. She desires to lead people into a deeper relationship with God, where living as victorious overcomers becomes the norm rather than an elusive desire. To read her blog and discover more about living in spiritual wholeness and about Sherri’s novel, Leave it to Chance, visit her web site.

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