I know I’m not the only one who struggles with swimsuit season—whether it’s figuring out how modesty is involved, picking a swimsuit that's cute and trendy, or determining who we’re trying to impress—the hot lifeguard or our great aunt. With that being said, perhaps you can relate some of the fears I’ve experienced pre- and post-swimsuit season.
Our relationship—or, rather, the fantasy of our relationship—became the thing I depended on. Not God’s real love for me. Not His real faithfulness to me. Not His real truth for me. I was overly dependent on a fake love, a fictitious faithfulness, and a false truth.
In Bible study, we focus on answering the questions in the book. In Sunday School, we discuss prayer requests about our travels and job transitions. In small group, we talk about the weather, sports, or politics. But, believers are not going to grow in their faith by talking about the weather, sports, or politics.
There’s no way to avoid insecurity or delay it. We can’t expect it to go away when we get older, and we can’t better ourselves so that we no longer experience it. But here's the truth about insecurity that nobody has told you.
I stared at the group of college students across the cafeteria as they ate dinner together. At the full table, I couldn't help but observe how many eyes were glued to phone screens. The scene was saddening but not unusual in our society. When did eating a meal together stop revolving around rich laughter, deep conversation, and friendly encouragement?
I know it’s hard to be honest in a high-and-mighty Christian society. It feels like the Christians who set unrealistic goals for other Christians never talk about their sins and their hardships. It causes us to wonder if their struggles even exist. Friend, just because people don’t talk about their issues doesn’t mean they don’t have issues. Not only am I guilty of inwardly judging others for their sins, but I’m also guilty of hiding my sins from them.
Even with the people we know…with the people we trust…with the people we are supposed to be unified with…we try to hide. We are silent. We conveniently forget to mention that we are struggling.
All I know is that life is perfect in Disney…but it isn’t in reality. In movies and TV shows, life is exciting and full of adventure. It includes trips to Paris and falling in love and getting paid to write poetry. So little boys and girls, like myself, create expectations that lead to disappointment and failure. We discover that traveling to Paris is incredibly expensive, falling in love also includes heartbreak, and getting paid to write poetry rarely happens. Unlike what Disney has told us in fairytale movies, our dreams don’t always come true in reality.
We have lost our honesty and authenticity because many of the things we post on social media are based on a lie. They only reveal a tiny part of who we are. In fact, social media mainly reveals who we wish we were.
I place too much emphasis on my bank account. I am a hoarder when it comes to money. I don’t want to give or even tithe, though it’s silly when I really think about it. My money isn’t even mine, yet I save it like it is.
I hate spending money. If I could, I would save every penny that I earn or receive. But what good would a bank account full of money do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My penny-pinching behaviors make no sense, but I continue to pinch pennies nonetheless.
Don’t feel like a failure if someone you care about doesn’t listen to your advice or outwardly show appreciation for your concern. Though it may feel like you’re being rejected, you never know what God is doing in his/her heart. Maybe He is using your encouragement so he/she will change. Only that person can make a choice to change. Only God’s work in their heart will make them live differently.
It’s easy to brush off the advice from a friend or the warning from a parent or sibling. It’s easy to feel like you’re being bossed and pushed around to do what you don’t want to do. Sometimes, the thing you don’t want to do is the exact thing you should do.
Yesterday, I was sitting in my church pew, waiting for the service to start. I had the perfect opportunity to go say hi to a new girl at my church who recently became a Christian. My thought process went something like this: “What will I say to her? I have nothing important to talk about. I really don’t feel like walking two rows up to say hi to her. Ugh.” So I made things complicated for myself. I made a deal with God.