Guest author Marlisa Sanchez shares today in her no-nonsense way. As a wife and mother, Marlisa takes God's word very seriously and diligently applies His truth in her life. This blog post is like a life-giving, God-glorifying conversation with Marlisa. Enjoy!
You wouldn’t stare in a mirror for 24 hours, now would you?
By the way, if you said yes, then, girl, we need to have a separate discussion. Seriously, come see me. Although I’m quite sure that without hesitation most of you may be thinking, “Of course not, I’m not that vain!” “Who does that?” “Not me!”
Well, what if I told you that it’s possible you do……and so do I?
You see that’s exactly what we are doing when Jesus is not our focus. When everything we see isn’t through the lens of Christ, we may as well be staring at ourselves in the mirror all day! I know this may sound a bit extreme, but just bear with me.
First, girlfriend, step away from the mirror! This is sin. Now, before you tune me out or scatter like roaches, just hear me.
How often, as women, do we struggle with insecurity or being easily offended? Both are an example of that “mirror” I told you to put down. If you said yes to either or both examples (like me), then you, my friend, are suffering from L.A.Y.S. syndrome:
Looking. At. Yo. Self!
But don’t worry, there’s a cure for that!
Let me just clarify, I don’t mean to make light of sin, it REALLY is a disease. And, there REALLY is a cure. In fact, the only cure is Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All we have need of is found in Christ. He is our security. Not only does our Savior give us eternal life in Him, but He also makes us adequate to perform the tasks that He has given us to do.
2 Corinthians 3:5: “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”
When I was initially asked to write this blog post, I already said no in my heart. I had a ton of reasons why I was not fit to write this blog. Here’s a few reasons that I came up with:
'I’m a high school dropout, therefore I am not fit for writing…let alone blogging for others to see.'
'Girls from the hood don’t blog (ok, this one is kind of humorous to me).'
'I’m afraid that the grammar trolls will come for me (come on, you know the ones who get sensitive about grammatical errors...GRACE, people!)'
'Blogging just isn’t for me.'
Have you noticed what all my excuses have in common?
They are all pointing to me!
I should’ve put the mirror down before the first excuse fully developed in my mind. Those thoughts/excuses are indeed dishonoring to God and I should have been quick to replace them with Truth-- 2 Corinthians 3:5 to be precise.
When we allow insecurities to set in and remind us of what we can’t do because of [you fill in the blank], and we don’t do it, we’ve come into agreement with that insecurity. We have allowed it to rule over us. Instead, trust The Great I Am to see us through as we put our faith into action, and let Him rule and reign in our hearts!
If we are going to put off insecurity then we must get out of the comparison trap.
2 Corinthians 10:12: “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”
When we stay in the comparison trap, we are being foolish and that is not how we make the most of our time. God didn’t call us to be foolish women. He called us to be wise.
Ephesians 5:15-17: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Christ is where we find our security. For He is the One at work in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil.2:13).
2 Corinthians 3:6 “Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
It goes on to say in verse 17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” There is true freedom in the Lord like no other. Once we have tasted and seen this freedom, how and why could we turn back?! We can not allow our insecurities to keep us prisoners.
We say that we believe in God.
We say that we believe God.
We say He is where our help comes from.
We say that God is for us.
Then as my dad would say in his thick Louisianan accent, “Okaaay den!” By the power of God, let us walk in such a way to reflect this in our daily lives!
Now what about being easily offended? This is such a hard one if you are sensitive like me. Now don’t get me wrong, being sensitive can be very good. Like when it causes me to be aware of how someone is feeling or causes me to be convicted of my sin and drawing me to my knees in repentance. But if I’m not careful to put that mirror down, I will easily allow my sensitivity to cause me to take offense.
Perhaps you can relate? Maybe you didn’t like the way your husband or friend corrected you, or called you out on your sin. It just wasn’t nice enough. They could’ve used a better tone of voice. Maybe you’ve invested so much into a friendship and are starting to feel unappreciated, so you take offense. Maybe your co-workers or bosses are not godly leaders and speak to you harshly. Whatever the reason may be, we tend to justify why we have every right to take offense and act as though we are better than Jesus rather than looking to Jesus. I am guilty of this as well. Acting as though I deserve better.
I’m here to tell you that we really deserve worse. But thank God He does not give us what we deserve. Amen?!
This isn’t a “Me” or “You” world (we just act like it). You and I had no part in creating it. So, let’s stop making everything about us. I know it’s easy for us to make fun of all the college students with their “safe spaces”, because the sin is really just over there, right? Wrong. Truth is, we are no different. When we are quick to take offense; we may as well go sit in our “safe space”.
Good news though. For the believer we do have a “safe space”. It’s found in Christ.
Psalms 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
God is teaching me that when I take offense, I’m not trusting in Him. I’m choosing to hold on to something that I need to overlook. I’m putting myself first.
Proverbs 19:11: “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Philippians 2:4: “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
If I am so easily offended then how can I obey these verses? I won’t be able to. I’ll be too busy moping around in my “safe space”. Yes, I know that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m trying to show you the foolishness of our sin. It’s so ugly and it doesn’t care about anyone.
But God calls us to seek the good of others. That means reining in those negative thoughts about our brothers and sisters who are made in the image of The Invisible God, as well as the unbeliever. Just because you only thought it, but didn’t say it out loud, doesn’t give you a pass either.
Sorry, sis. Put that mirror down. We are called to love and be united in Jesus.
Philippians 2:2-3: “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.”
As I end, I want to remind you to always fix your eyes on Jesus. The next time you look into a mirror, I hope that you would see a woman who is being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. A woman who is in need of Jesus daily. A woman who is being sanctified and sustained by Christ. And when you look at others, do so with the love of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”