Took the Words Out of My Mouth, and Old Lessons Re-Learned

There’s something affirming about someone taking the words right out of your mouth, especially when that someone is really Someone!

In July, I wrote a post called, “Love Isn’t What You Thought It Was”.

(To be honest, God has been dredging up a lot of old lessons for the past few weeks: Walking, Loving, Good Works, Calling and Purpose to name a few.)

A few days ago, I received my daily subscription from Desiring God. The sermonette was written by John Bloom, the president of Desiring God.

His title caught my eye: Love is Not a Verb. 

Funny, I think I wrote something like that…

So, I went back through the archives of Predatory Lies and discovered that indeed, God had spoken that same truth to my own heart: “Love Isn’t What You Thought It Was“.

I won’t go so far as to say that great minds think alike, but I will revel in the truth that our God never changes. His truth is always the same, yesterday and forever.

What do you think Love is?

coming SOON, the paperback of The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor’s Story

Serving Servant

I am a disciple of John Piper, as you have probably read here before, many times. On Piper’s blog, he often hosts other godly authors and pastors. One such pastor is John Bloom. Last week, I got the blog updates in my email with a featured post by Bloom.

I have confessed that I struggle diligently with pride. I like to think that I have lessened its influence on me over time. When I was young, and living at home, I raged with prideful indignation toward one of my sisters. She seemed prodigious. Everything she touched turned to gold. Every feat she attempted crumbled beneath her capable, confident strides. As her old sister, I felt like an ant, searching for the sun, while shrouded in the shadow of a greater being. Eventually, I quit many things – softball, piano, swimming; and I shrugged in resignation when it came to school, friendships and ambition – I could never be her equal.

Through a unique type of prayer, called Theophostic Prayer, many years of impotent counseling and self-effort were finally surpassed by Christ’s truth. Jesus, Himself, spoke to me as I relived the memory of my pain and bitterness:

“If there is something I gave her, I didn’t intend it for you. I don’t give to all the same. I give out of pure unbiased love to fulfill the needs of each. Not the same for all.  Don’t let your heart be bruised by things that don’t matter.”

At that moment, that conversation, the jealousy that I had stoked with every failure, was squelched. Unfortunately, I am still human. I live in a fallen world and I am apt to forget things. I don’t see this sister regularly, and so I began to slip in my vigilant obedience. Instead of Christ’s truth, I started looking for things I can DO to prove myself. Little lies that were mere echoes of earlier screams, told me, “You could be a better wife. All of your sisters are working, why aren’t you earning an income? What good are you? You’re home again? Inferior!”

Jesus doesn’t forget – anything. He hasn’t forgotten my tendency toward self-pity. He hasn’t forgot the exact purpose he designated for me. And so this morning, in a blog post by John Bloom, He reminded me. Maybe this time, with Andrew as my mentor, I can remember.

Serve In The Shadow God Placed You

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

There’s a pervasive, subversive lie,

That all of us will quickly deny.

“It’s not about me,” tongue in cheek, we reply.

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by: John Bloom

taken from: Desiring God

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Remember the story of Narcissus? He’s the proud, beautiful man in the Greek myth who saw his reflection in a pool, fell in love with it, couldn’t tear himself away, and it killed him.

Mirrors are very dangerous for proud people. Believe me. I speak from experience.

But mirrors present most of us with a different danger than Narcissus. When we look into a mirror we do not see enchanting beauty, nor do we see the glory of God imaging forth in the indescribably complex, ingenious, phenomenal, spectacular miracle that is a human being. What we see mainly are defects.

The captivating power mirrors wield over us is not what we see, but what we want to see. What we see is deficiency. What we desperately want to see is sufficiency.

And worse yet, we see mirrors are all around us. Fallen, proud hearts turn just about everything into a mirror. Whether we’re gazing at magazines or malls or mutual funds or someone else’s immaculate lawn, impressive children, beautiful home, successful business, or growing church, we see ourselves. We see ourselves wanting.

And as we look into these mirrors, seductive messages are whispered into our heart: “Fix that and you will be happy,” or “Better yourself and others’ admiration, acceptance, respect, success, or attraction will save you,” or “Improve yourself and you will please, or at least appease, your god.”

These are the promises of every false gospel. Which is why mirrors are such effective messengers of false gospels.

But happiness, salvation, and peace will never be found in beholding an image, even a relatively improved image, of ourselves. That’s because we are designed to be satisfied when we look at and believe in Jesus, not us.

The Apostle Paul tells us that the true gospel is the “gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). John the Baptist instructs us to “behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). King David sings, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

It is not a better you that you need to see. You need to see Jesus.

Narcissus is a pagan parable of a real danger. Beware of mirrors. Look at them as little as possible. Instead, open the window of the Word and “Look to Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1). He is the Savior (1 John 4:14), the peace (Ephesians 2:14), and the gain (Philippians 3:8) you are looking for