Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
I realized after the “Believe the Best” post the Lord had more to say about what we believe about ourselves. See, it’s hard to believe the best about other people when you believe the worst about yourself or that God thinks the worst of you. In fact, it’s impossible! When you or I don’t know or forget the peace we have with God through faith in Christ, we get consumed with our faults, mess-ups and inadequacies. No one can stand a constant rehearsal of what’s wrong with them so for relief we point out others’ faults, especially if we think theirs’ are “worse.” As one who was my own harshest critic, trust me when I say that’s no way to live. Good news is God is not thinking about our faults at all.
In fact He reminded me of I study I did a while ago on the often quoted love description found in 1 Corinthians 13. I used several versions of the Bible to make the description of God’s love for me more real and relatable. Something in particular caught my eye in the Amplified. Its interpretation of verse 7 says: “love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person…” I read that phrase over and over and like turning on an energy saving light bulb, the revelation got brighter and brighter with time. God believes the best of me!!! It’s not that I think He’s blind or unaware of my faults; it’s that He doesn’t dwell on it because He’s already punished my sin in His Son. Now that I’m clothed in His righteousness, all He sees is Jesus’ perfection whenever He looks at me. Same goes for you, if you’ve put your faith in Jesus.
Immediately I wondered “what is this ‘best’ He believes about me?” Just as fast He referred me to Philippians 4:8, NIV again. It lists some amazing attributes, we’re told to dwell on, that certainly apply to Jesus. He is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy; always has been and always will be. Wouldn’t say those things about myself at the moment, but that’s not what God wants me to think about. He wants me to remember that Jesus embodies those qualities and “as He is, so am I in this world.” It doesn’t say that I do as He does, but I am as He is. It refers to perfect standing not perfect performance. See, what I believe about Him dictates what I believe about me. What I believe about me affects my behavior. As I identify with the qualities revealed about Jesus in the Word, the Holy Spirit transforms me to reflect those same qualities.
This is not an overnight process. By necessity, I regularly listen to sermons revealing the glory of Jesus’ finished work at the cross because it builds my faith. We live in a world that is performance-driven; equating who we are and our value with what we can do and how well. Our carnal nature also self- evaluates using those same criteria. It takes time delving into the pool of the word of Christ to discover the depths of who Christ is to us and who we are in Him.
We are deeply loved by God to include being thought of in the best light possible…the light of Christ. Now that’s something to think about!!!!
SOUL FOOD (Scripture References)
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
2 Corinthians 5:21
1 John 4:17
2 Corinthians 3:18
Romans 12:1, 2
© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.