the Bible

PUTTING ON A FACE

PUTTING ON A FACE

Imagine a group of people standing in front of the two photos of old windows included with this blog. There would be a variety of opinions about the colorful presentation on the glass. Some people would consider the paintings quaint, clever, beautiful, attention-grabbing, or a work of art. Other opinions may edge toward dislike.

But no matter how much you like them or dislike them—what you are looking at is a fake. The drawings are representing something that isn’t there—isn’t real. There are no curtains. There is no vase or pretty flowers.

At a glance, the paintings make the world think they are genuine and give the house that lived-in look, an indication that happy times still exist. But they don’t. The pretty, painted windows hide emptiness, disrepair, shabbiness, and promote a lie.

How does this compare to life and people? Some people are a work of art but they are empty inside. Others put up a fancy front and hide hurts. A bold outward appearance may be a cover for insecurity. A jolly laugh might screen depression. The list goes on.

It’s very difficult to learn how to discern what is really behind the established faces. But as we get to know people, we can catch a glimpse of the pain, rejection, and hurts behind the make-believe. God loves the person behind the façade. He doesn’t just look at the outward appearance. The Bible urges us to look beyond the pretense and see the real person, the troubles, and the hurt. God’s word tells us to love everyone, not jump in with rags to clean them up. We can’t assume we have the ability to scrub their grief away, attempt major changes and overhauls, or redo them to suit our standards.

Behind the fancy painted glass there may be emptiness, but you can help fill it with hope and a better life. Ask God to give you the ability to discern when a careful painting is taking the place of a real face. We can express God’s love to those around us by reaching out to them and giving of ourselves.

“If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.” 1 John 4:12 NLT

Please scroll downward and leave your comments. Otherwise, how will I know you came to visit?

~Karen Campbell Prough

HIDING IN THE SHADOWS

HIDING IN THE SHADOWS

Have you ever felt so insignificant that you preferred the shadows? Do you feel more secure if no one sees you or asks you a question? Has skirting around a room and hugging the dimness of solitude become a habit?

Every single one of us suffers from some form of insecurity but a lot of us do a grand job of hiding it. We smile to cover what makes us quiver with anxiety. Insecurity can create loneliness or magnify it. Asking God to help us accept who we are, so we can enjoy the company of others, is the number one step. Why would he allow you to be born, only to push you off into the darkest corner? Such actions wouldn’t bring him glory or happiness. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. The Bible states this fact.

We’re made in God’s image and he created you. That’s why there’s something special about you.

We need to strive to be strong and accept who we are—so we can touch another person’s life. This world’s dismissal and lack of compassion for others makes it hard to focus on God’s value of us, as an individual. But remember, God doesn’t want you and I to fear what others think of us.

The healing of insecurity starts when we accept the wondrous fact that God loves us.

So, take the small steps, pray for strength, speak to a stranger, smile at the next person you pass in a store, or just take a walk in the sun. Let God’s creation of warmth soak into your skin and imagine that it’s God’s perfect love touching you. The sun helps lift your mood, but God’s Son paid the ultimate price, in order to lift your soul into everlasting peace.

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 KJV  Isn’t that a great verse?

What helps you overcome the feeling of insecurity? Please, scroll down and leave your comments so others can benefit from your victories.

© Karen Campbell Prough 2012 

 

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Finding the Extraordinary God in our Ordinary Lives