I don’t wear glasses, but I always notice when my friends get new ones. There’s something distinctive about the frames someone chooses to wear. It’s a fashion-statement of sorts that someone wears nearly everyday. So it’s kind of a big deal when new frames are acquired. A new season of life has begun and personality changes come on display – someone can go from ‘hipster’ to ‘corporate’ instantly.
So what happens when I change my frames? You’re right – I don’t have glasses (20/20 vision is a gift that I hope lasts a while longer), so how would I change my frames? Great question – I was hoping you’d ask.
It’s all about perspective, really. Thought-patterns are as easily habitual as diet. A prime example would be recently wanting to cut out some calories, so I’ve been ordering a plain latte over the much tastier caramel-macchiato. However, you would not believe the number of times that I’ve had the intention to order the healthier latte, yet the words “I’ll have the caramel-macchiato” end up making their way out of my mouth.
Habits die hard. Let’s apply the concept of habits to my thoughts now.
When thinking about the future, it has been custom to anxiously attempt to problem-solve everything. I have dreams, for example, such as marrying a Godly woman, raising Godly children, becoming a published author, teaching the Good News, and winning free Starbucks coffee for life (I’d say I’m kidding, but…). Having goals/dreams is a great thing. The way I’ve thought about them in the past is a bad thing. Instantly, every obstacle that may come in my way becomes my burden. Anxiety has taken the place of faith. Well, not anymore (or at least, I am in the process of prayerfully willing myself in a more faith-filled direction).
You see – it’s time for some new frames. The perspective/frame through which we view our world makes a huge difference. And lately the Lord has really been changing my frames for me. Remember the Asian kid from “School of Rock”? The famed quote, “I’m just not cool enough” comes to mind. I’ve always made it come down to me and my own resources/talents and then rightfully assumed that they are not enough. Yet, I’ve easily forgotten that it’s not about me anymore. And these dreams that I’ve come to acquire are to display God’s grace to others – for His glory, not for my own. So I’ll write poetry, short-stories, and blogs – maybe even a few book manuscripts – until God calls me home, even if not a single physical copy of those works ever sells. Even if I never end up being called into vocational ministry. Because these passions are a form of worship for me. Because if God wants something to happen in and through you, it will happen. Because our resources will often be inadequate, but when the Spirit moves, there is no mountainous obstacle that can stand its’ ground against Him. I’ve learned that you should never underestimate what God is capable of doing in a man that reveres Him – in a man that has surrendered all.
Once again, let’s re-frame things.
Insecurity is like an ill-fitting shirt that never seems to make its way entirely out of my wardrobe. Yet it’s time to set fire to it. Refining fire, if you will. Lay to ash what is unclean, and make purer what is already pure.
A Facebook post of mine from earlier this week sums up what I’ve been learning in this regard:
“If you live for others in an attempt to win God’s affection, you’ll burn out. Live for God due to your security in Him and you’ll bless many. It’s not about you, but it’s not about pleasing others either. Worship The Lord alone in all you do – place no other idols before Him (including being liked/approved by so-and-so). Insecurity derives itself from a lack of security in Yahweh. It’s time to press our hearts closer to His and to ask the Spirit to help us, as we oppose the darkness of apathy, mediocrity, and the lack of intent.”
There is no room for insecurity in the hearts of the saints. You cannot claim the Promised Land of inheritance, if you do not first find the courage to do so. You want courage? Look to Jesus. The Lion. Sweating blood, He faced execution, yet He did not waver from His resolve to save His people. “It is finished,” was the Lion’s roar heard throughout every cavern.
Thomas doubted, so Jesus graciously showed His scars. An interesting thing about scars – they serve as evidence that something happened. Tell me you’ve survived a motorcycle accident and I MIGHT believe you, but show me your scars, and I WILL believe you. We all have scars. The mental scars of my own insecurity do not have to serve as a dauntingly dark reminder, but rather, can be used to glorify God. “Look what He did! You see the way I used to think? Have you heard the stories of the ways I used to live? Do you not see the way I think and live now? I am a different man. A new creation. How? Jesus. That’s how!”
No one can argue with your testimony. Well, they can, but it’s your story. Nor can anyone refute the evidence of your very life. A witness is not called to testify just for show, but is called to the stand because they have a first-hand account. They EXPERIENCED. They KNEW. They are CERTAIN.
So, I’m changing my frames. I’m burning the ill-fitting shirts of insecurity and dressing myself in security, Himself.
What is your insecurity? Do you feel the need to change your frames, too? Let’s live out our faith boldly, together.