Hey, friends. At the end of Tuesday’s post, I said something about taking a little hiatus from blogging so I can recharge and get back into school.
However, I’m back for a few minutes today, because I had a few things to say.
Sometimes, a day’s worth of writing is made up of a lot of staring at blank pages and waiting for the words to come.
And some days, it takes so much energy to do simple tasks, to check things off a to-do list, to convince ourselves to do things we know we need to do.
And on those days, the ones filled with procrastination and lack of motivation, we can often let ourselves be overcome with guilt.
Guilt. The opposite of freedom.
Welcome to the second to last week of our weekly Hebrews Bible Study, right here on Scattered Journal Pages. It’s almost over, and I can’t believe it.
These Tuesdays with all of you, spent digging into the Word of God have meant so much to me, as has your support. I adore the book of Hebrews, and the soul-level truths discussed in it. While I could never do the book proper justice, I have been loving taking the extra time to really study Hebrews and see points I would’ve missed if I hadn’t taken the time to slow down and really read.
Welcome back to the Hebrews Bible Study, friends, and thanks for joining me for week seven. Feel free to jump in now if this is your first time here, though you’re also welcome to go back to the beginning and read through it all (and I’ll leave links to each post) and start there. It’s a blessing to have you on this journey along with us!
Welcome, friends, to week 6 of the Hebrews Bible Study. Feel free to hop in any time; we’re so glad to have you!
Last week, we covered two main points – two to focus on, instead of the usual three-to-four.
*Jesus is our representative before God – and He gets us, because He Himself was human.
*Jesus is the source of eternal salvation. No one else.
And our weekly takeaway: “We are redeemed by Jesus – our mediator, our brother, our Savior.”
Maybe it’s a silly notion. Though I’m sure we’ve all felt it.
Unworthy. Undeserving. Afraid of not being enough. Not good enough to be loved.
Because deep down, we know we’re not truly “good,” in and of ourselves – and that’s a terrifying thought. But that fear doesn’t have to destroy us.
I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday again! Happy Hebrews Summer Bible Study, my friends.
Grab some coffee (or the beverage of your choice), and come sit outside with me and as all of us study the scriptures together.
If you’re new, you’re welcome to hop right in where we are now! You don’t have to have done the first two weeks if you haven’t done them yet, but of course it’ll only help and give you a chance to get a feel for what we’re doing here.
The empowering cultural message of today is “Be Yourself.”
And to be honest, that’s a pretty positive idea. Don’t try to fit yourself into the mold that everyone else is already in; be authentic and not fake; be uniquely you, in only the way you can be.
And in a world of unrealistically photoshopped models on magazines, pressure to be at the top, and an obsession with all the glitz and glamour of fame and riches, there’s a stark comparison of ideas we’re hearing: “Be the best,” and “Be yourself.”
“Be yourself” is generally much healthier of a message.
But it’s not where we can stop.
See, there are two sides to this issue.
The first? Don’t let anyone tell you who to be, or put pressure on you to be a pseudo-version of yourself.
But the second is toxic – don’t change who you are because only you know who you want to be.
Perhaps the word “toxic” is too harsh, but the point remains. If we think we’re all set with no room for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we mislead ourselves.
I know this verse is somewhat out of the context of the passage, but the truth remains:
1 John 1:8
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
By nature, we’re flawed, sinful humans. By simply embracing our selfish selves, we let sinful thoughts and actions reign over our existence. I’m not saying that we’re not saved, we’re just not going to mature and become more Christlike.
If being yourself means being snarky and self-centered, rude and “liberated” (aka do-whatever-you-want-without-limits), then no, you shouldn’t be yourself.
By gratifying the natural desires of the flesh, we decide that we know better. We make the decision to reject the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives and instead, indulge in attitudes and engagements that will end up hurting us later.
So where does that leave us? Is it good, or is it bad to embrace who we are?
It’s great to be yourself. In fact, if doing so helps you to maximize your life to grow in your faith and serve God, then by all means, go for it. We all have different personalities, appearances, passions, and dreams for a reason.
But if being yourself gives you the excuse to express yourself in ways that stunt your growth, give power to sin, or disregard the leading of the Holy Spirit, then stop.
Before listening to the so-called “empowering” message of embracing ourselves as we are, let us look above the noise and onto truth.
Will our actions lead us to God, or away from Him?
Will we be using them to serve Him, or just ourselves?
Will the glory go to us after all, or to God?
Does this help us to become the person God has for us to be?
In the end, these questions can only be answered by you. What are your intentions in embracing your inner self?
We can either use our lives to serve God, or serve ourselves – to scream about freedom in Christ or freedom in worldly living – to listen to the Holy Spirit or to listen to the Devil.
What will you choose today?
Today, I choose to think before instinctively being “myself.”