Mean Church Lady told me about 5 years ago that I was hiding the glory of God in my life by gaining weight. I hate to admit I was flattened by her assessment. No one really has the “right” to say that “God’s glory is hindered” by another person’s weight. Certainly the enemy’s voice straight from the pit of hell was given voice and skin that day. It has messed with my head ever since.
I am not the only one that Mean Church Lady has evaluated…Someone I know was told by Mean Church Lady that she needed to consider having a breast reduction surgery.
This same Mean Church Lady was sure to hand out all kinds of approving comments as I released the weight. How kind of her to let me know that I had her approval. :-/ A part of me thrilled to it…a sort of “in your face” to Mean Church Lady…but I never should have bought into that at all….it feeds all the yucky stuff in me.
So…well, can you see where this is going? Mean Church Lady is so willing to offer approval or not based on appearance…so what would Mean Church Lady say now? I figure it is a matter of time before she says something to me now. Each week she is there…and I am confident that each week her magnifying lens scrutinizes every aspect of my body… heavy sigh.
Ok…so why do I care? Mean Church Lady needs to take a flying leap! Why does God allow Mean Church Ladies, anyhow?
When I really step back and consider Mean Church Lady’s approach to life and to other people, my heart is stirred by compassion. Someone(s) very significant in Mean Church Lady’s existence, no doubt, emphasized performance and appearance…withheld their approval of her based on her appearance. It really is sad. Maybe she still feels that lack of acceptance. 🙁
Mean Church Lady may not have ever known the total joy and peace of resting in God’s embrace based completely on what Christ has done for her (which is something I have moments of…and hope to experience more and more…it is a process…).
Mean Church Lady may be under so much self-imposed pressure from her own sense that she needs to perform or achieve and look a certain way to be acceptable that evaluating others based on the same standards is just a natural extension of the junk she struggles with in her own life.
I turned to chapter 2 in The Search For Significance again this morning in preparation for meeting with my accountability partner tomorrow. It was balm for my soul, given Mean Church Lady was at church again yesterday (she rarely misses)…I see her each week from the platform as I play guitar and sing on the worship team. The Lord has been teaching me to focus on his presence during that hour at church each week. That I have an audience of ONE and that ONE has declared me 100% acceptable. He delights over me and receives my praise and worship no matter what my size or what I am going through. Like I said, it is a process. When you have focused on the approval of others all your life, shifting to receiving the truth of God’s limitless and unconditional love and acceptance isn’t “natural!” It is TRUTH, though!
Isn’t it amazing that we turn to others who have a perspective as limited and darkened as our own to discover our worth! Rather than relying on God’s steady, uplifting reassurance of who we are, we depend on others who base our worth on our ability to meet their standards. Because our performance and ability to please others so dominate our search for significance, we have difficulty recognizing the distinction between our real identity and the way we behave, a realization crucial to understanding our true worth. Our true value is based not on our behavior [or size] or the approval of others but on what God’s Word says is true of us. The Search for Signficiance – McGee – page 19