FOCUSING ON FLAWS

In today’s world, models, athletes, actors/actresses have defined beauty, perfection and skill. Television, movies and magazines have delivered these images into our homes, businesses and into our minds. Oftentimes, we allow these representations to define who we are. The bar is set very high to meet the likeliness of these well paid icons. We know this highly beautiful, well chiseled, abundantly skilled and excessively paid individuals are not perfect. However, many strive to be just like them. When the desired expectations do not reach the levels of these modern day idols, low self-esteem and self-worth; despair and depression may occur.

Flaws are imperfections. We all have them in some kind of shape, form or fashion. Some flaws cannot be changed. You may see being short is a flaw. Center your attention on the concept that you may be short, but you have small feet, you can always get shoes in your size. You may have a birthmark in a visible place, look at it as a natural tattoo that was given to you because you are special.

Focus on the fixable flaws.

  1. Pray to God on how to change and allow Him to guide you.
  2. Stopping striving to be perfect. Be all that God created you to be.
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be a better you.
  4. Don’t put yourself down. Learn to be happy for who you are.
  5. Don’t dwell on the negative. Focus on your good qualities and abilities.

The world is fixated on perfection; to have the perfect hair, complexion, size, weight, and height. If you fall short of any other these things you are pressured to buy products, or perform acts to achieve these goals. Focusing on flaws, or attempting to be perfect, robs you of your peace. Because you are always concentrating on looking better, being better, acting better, being perfect, peace cannot be present.

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalms 139:14

Peace comes when you come to terms with who you are and with all of your fallibilities and blemishes. Stop trying to be what others dictate who you should be. Remember, God does not make mistakes. And He knew you before you were born.

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:5King James Version (KJV)

 

PRACTICAL PATHS TO PRESERVE PEACE

In my previous posts, Serenity Now and Before the Peace, I explained the definition of peace, the importance of knowing who gave the gift of peace and why it was given. And last, how to obtain the presence of peace.

We know that the devil wants to rob us of all good things, including our peace. He will use anyone and any situation to carry out his dirty deeds.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (KJV).

However, the biggest culprit who deprives us of our peace is ourselves. Because we allow 3 main factors to come into play. We grant others to plunder our peace. Our emotions hijacks our peace. Or, we permit situations to take possession of our peace.

Ponder how peace is pilfered.

  • Fear
  • Pride
  • Focusing on Flaws.
  • Habits and addictions.
  • Trying to impress man
  • Meditating on mistakes and failures
  • Thinking negatively
  • Comparing yourself to others.
  • Having a distorted sense of entitlement
  • You don’t like yourself
  • Blaming others for your unhappiness.
  • Being envious of others

In this newsletter and May’s Newsletters, peace robbers are identified and practical ways to preserve your peace. I dedicated three months of newsletter on peace (March, April and May). Why? Look at the world, do you see peace? Consider your homes, jobs, relationships, is there peace in those areas? I identify more stress, mess and distress than peace, quietness, and confidence. When we know we are the righteousness of God, peace follows.

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. Isaiah 32:17 (KJV)

FEAR IS THE FARTHEST POINT FROM PEACE

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions that rule us. Fear can seep into our bodies, minds, and heart and can flow like the blood in our veins. Fear is an impediment of life. It is crippling. It can incarcerate. Sometimes it is masked by an emotion like anger or sorrow. It can actively be known or concealed. Fear is to be afraid, to expect or worry about something that may or may not happen.  It is something that God did not give us. It’s a tool used most often by the devil to stop us from reaching our destiny, achieving our goals, or just living a good life. Fear stops us from taking chances, living outside of our comfort zones and laying down our security blankets.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 (KJV)

Fear is a peace robber. Peace is to remain cool, calm and collected no matter what. Fear is to be anxious, worried and afraid, all the time, about something. There is no way to have peace in your heart if fear dominates your thoughts, behaviors, and actions.

These are 10 quick tips to stop:

  1. Trusting in yourself- Trust God!
  2. Relying on your strength and power. And release the power and authority God gave you through His strength.
  3. Being concerned about things you cannot change.
  4. Agonizing about things that may or may not happen.
  5. Being nervous about tomorrow. Take stock in today. Tomorrow is not promised.
  6. Obsessing about other people’s problems. Pray for them and keep it moving.
  7. Worrying about how others feel or think about you. Meditate more on how God values and cherishes you. And He is all about love, mercy, grace and forgiveness.
  8. Dwelling on past failures, wrong choices and bad decisions. The past has past. The future is ahead.
  9. Thinking about things you may lose. Remember, if you are doing God’s will the things you lost, He may grant them back a hundredfold. Or, He will award you with something bigger and better.
  10. Fearing the unknown. You may not know how things will work out, but God does. Trust Him.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34King James Version (KJV)

Meditate on the things above. Are you in the fear danger zone from the list above?  I heard people say things like I am worried because I don’t have anything to worry about? Or I am afraid of everything. Do you see how these items can rob you of peace? Fear is the hot emotion that cools off peace. Get rid of your fears and preserve your peace.

I realize the list above, is easier said than done. Is your way working? Don’t you think it’s time to make a change?

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 (KJV)

WHEN PRIDE IS PRESENT PEACE IS ABSENT

Pride is another peace robber. Peace is a gift from God that promotes confidence in Him. Pride is a distorted emotion that encourages reliance on self. Pride is a feeling that you are more important or better than other people, an inordinate self-esteem. Thinking you are better than others can lead to coveting bigger and better possessions, educations, careers, families, spouses and lives. This attitude causes worry, stress, and harm (which is the opposite of peace) because you may be purchasing things you can’t afford, pressuring your children to be more than they are capable, aggravating your spouse to no return and propelling yourself to a point of self-destruction because you must always be and have the best of the best. There is nothing wrong with wanting great things in your life, but when you are constantly comparing your life with others and /or belittling others to exalt yourself, or your worth is always measured by what others dictate it should be, there may be a problem of pride. When pride emerges, devastation is near. When pride is present, peace is not. With pride, you will always have something to worry about and that takes away your peace.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18King James Version (KJV)

True peace will not reside in the hearts of the proud. Pride is all about self. Thinking what you accomplished you did it alone. You credit yourself and your abilities for your achievements. It’s all about you, your job, your money, your house, your husband, your children, your solutions, your wisdom, or your way of thinking.  You and yours. There is no room for God with the proud. And definitely, no place for peace.

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. Psalm 10:4King James Version (KJV)

Pivot pride into peace.

  1. Don’t applaud yourself for your accomplishments. Eulogize God. He gave you the skills to accomplish all things.
  2. Be thankful for what you have. Lean and rely on God to direct you in pursuing and obtaining greater things, at the right time.
  3. Be patient. We want things now. Sometimes, planning and waiting may need to occur.
  4. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. (Today it’s termed keeping up with the Kardashians). You don’t know what people have done to get what they have. They may make it seem simple. Generally it is not. Behind closed doors you may find these people are not as happy as they portray to the world. Stay in your lane. Stay in your budget, mindset and capabilities.
  5. Stop allowing the world, society, government and the news to tell you what, when and how you should do things. Permit God to dictate your moves.
  6. Stop waiting and expecting others to praise you. Wake up every morning and praise God.
  7. Stopping thinking everything is about you and your feelings. It is not always about what you accomplished, what you are getting or where you have been. Complimenting and encouraging others, takes the focus off you. Let it be about someone else. Learn to keep quiet and allow other to talk.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 8:13 (KJV)

On the other end of the spectrum of pride is humility, the state of being humble. Reflecting, expressing or offering a spirit of submission. Submission? Today who wants to submit to anything or anyone? Children refuses to submit to parents. Spouses forgo submission to one another. People decline to submit to the employers, rules, laws or procedures. However, overspending, overeating or excessive drinking, people easily humble themselves to those negative items. Due to this deference of submission, that may be one the chief reasons why people do not seek God in all matters. Everyone wants to do things their ways. And when it goes wrong, then people blame God. We must humble ourselves to God’s Word, wisdom, will and ways. Remember, God loves a humble heart.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10King James Version (KJV)

Today, all populations, governments, societies and all of us need God in this world we live.

 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)