My Biggest Insecurity Is...

My Biggest Insecurity Is...

We're told to embrace our insecurities, I'm just not sure how
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Everyone has things their insecure about. A few of mine are my thighs (I’m Charlotte from Sex and the City), my sense of humor, and my intelligence. Overall of those insecurities, there’s one that is above the rest, and it is my ability of being a good person.

My mom is the most amazing person you will ever meet. She is like Mother Teresa to me. She is the person that does the right thing no matter what, even if she knows she is going to get screwed over. For years, my mom has demonstrated what it means to be a good person, and honestly watching her, I have absolutely no idea if I have what it takes.

A lot of people are scared of becoming their mom, but I’m scared that I won’t be like her. Everyday I think to myself, WWLD (what would Lee do?) when I’m faced with a tough situation, and most of the time it turns out okay. Other times, I just choose not to think WWLD, and that is what gets me in trouble.

Overall, I think that I am a pretty good person, but I don’t know if I am the best. It drives me crazy sometimes when I think at night of how I could be a better person that day. It’s almost as if I’m looking in the mirror and thinking how I could get my thighs smaller. Like I said, it’s not that I’m not a good person I do as much as I can for other people, whether they deserve it or not. I just know I can be better, and I’m insecure because I don’t know if I will ever get better.

A lot of people say insecurities are all in a person’s head and if they want to fix something about themselves they should do it. I get that. However, some things are easier said than done. For me, I am too emotional. Some may think, that I’m a raging female dog and am the worst person ever, but it has everything to do with the fact that I’m super sensitive. My sensitivity makes me act more on my emotions, rather than what’s the right thing to do.

Being a good person is being able to accept those emotions AND still being able to do what is right. I worry a lot, that I will not master that concept.

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The Truth Behind The Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, And Strengthsfinder In Christianity

What does it mean to discover ourselves?
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As a human being, it seems natural to want to learn more about yourself. Why you are the way that you are, what you really enjoy, who you have been created to be.

But some see this as selfish. "Fleshy," if you will.

To focus on ourselves, even if it is not our central focus, seems to warrant condemnation from those who see their lives as focused on a higher something, something that isn't in the world, the world that they consider defiled and broken.

And yet, is it selfish?

Is it "wrong" to learn about ourselves?

To learn our Enneagram number, our Myers-Briggs calculation, our Strengthsfinder, or the myriad of other self-discovery tools available by popular demand today. Is that not okay? Is that too worldly?

What if...?

What if in learning about ourselves, we are learning about God?

What if we are not being "selfish" or "focusing only on the flesh," but we are seeking our Maker?

Even those who claim to be non-religious have it in their bones, this desire to know and be known.

Is not the artist much more interesting? Doesn't the artist hold much more depth at the end of the day?

Their artwork is a window into their heart.

We are the artwork.

Our Maker is the artist.

We are all interested in our individual paintings, or the paintings of others.

But in exploring the painting, we are given insight into who the painter is.

Looking to the Ultimate, through the penultimate, we can be discovered and we can discover.

At the end of the day, regardless of whether we see it or not, we are not just learning about ourselves.

We are learning about our Maker.

And that is pretty spectacular.

Cover Image Credit: Laura Peck

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Men, God Values Your Emotions, Not Your Toxic Masculinity

Holding back tears is a no-go in God's Kingdom.
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Over the past couple of months, I have found myself on a journey to discover what I truly believe: as a Jesus follower, the process of reading through the entire Bible cover to cover, digging into the original languages and contexts and genres the Scriptures were written through, has revolutionized my beliefs and how I engage with both God and other people of differing faith backgrounds.

What has become of utmost importance to me is to not just learn theological facts, but to allow this journey of wisdom and teaching to transform my very character. Anything that I currently say or do or think that goes against loving God and loving others needs to get out of me; I want to truly be transformed.

But just recently I've begun to more critically observe how I operate as an identifying male Jesus follower. This brings me to one of the most pressing issues that is poisoning other men who follow Jesus: the way toxic masculinity, as a culture, pressures men into suppressing emotions.

An essential part of following Jesus is seeking to become and embody God's original design for how human beings should live, accepting and welcoming His beautiful intention for human life.

One inescapable intention God makes clear to us through the Scriptures is that men who follow Jesus express their emotions and healthily work through them. God's Word very clearly shows a masculinity that not only is fully God's intention for men to exercise, but also goes counter-culturally to specifically modern America's toxic, hyper-masculine culture.

In the Gospel according to John, a story is told of Jesus going to a community after a man named Lazarus passes away. Jesus arrives to a scene of grief and heartache, as Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha along with the whole community are saddened and processing his death. What follows is a powerful display of Jesus' demonstration of Godly masculinity.

He is brought out to the tomb of Lazarus, where Mary falls to Jesus' feet and weeps. When Jesus sees her and all of the Jews who came with them weeping, he internally, emotionally responds, as he "was deeply moved in spirit and troubled" (John 11:33 NIV). He (and the Scriptures) recognize the emotions He is feeling.

After asking where Lazarus has been laid and being invited to go closer to see the tomb, Jesus himself begins to weep. He allows Himself to physically express His emotions in the way God intends for us to do. Literally, we are told that "Jesus wept" (John 11:35 NIV).

And because Jesus chooses to healthily express what He is internally feeling and processing, the community of people around Him respectfully see His emotions and how He is feeling. When the Jews see Jesus weeping, many recognize "how He loved [Lazarus]" (John 11:36).

I think this interaction shows us the beautiful process God allows us to enter into when we, as men of God, take on the Jesus' way of masculinity:

We allow ourselves to recognize the situation and our response to it. We don't build up a wall of apathy and detach ourselves. We are there, in the thick of it, allowing ourselves to truly be troubled and affected by the pain others (and ourselves) go through.

We also express these emotions in a way that is safe and healthy, and one that also shows others (in an appropriate and time-sensitive way) what we are feeling and processing.

No matter how simple that may seem to every Jesus-following male out there, what Jesus does here is incredibly powerful and runs strictly against the "men shouldn't be overly emotional" stereotype that is perpetuated by toxic, hyper-masculine cultures.

When we claim to follow Jesus, we really are saying that we are working to spread a culture that is of God's intention and plan to bring His vision of restoration and justice and goodness fully back into this world. In recognizing where we participate in the anti-God culture of toxic masculinity, we can then reflect and bring these areas of needed correction to God. We can allow Him to correct our course, acknowledging that as men of God, we too need to sometimes simply weep.

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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