Friday, February 13, 2009

Excuse me, do you validate?

When I was pregnant with Gracie my doctor's office was at a local hospital. I always parked off campus and just walked over for the exercise and because I hate navigating parking garages. Oh, and I didn't want to have to pay for parking. :)

It was my first encounter with the practice of "validating" parking. I hadn't realized until they explained it to me at the desk that if I parked in the garage and had my parking validated by the doctor's office it would be free to me. They just need to give a stamp or sticker to affirm that you were there for a valid reason and not just scamming a parking space I guess. I never did go into the garage to park, it was just easier to continue to park across the street.

Sometimes I would like to be validated anyway.

I looked up the word and it means:
1. to make valid, substantiate, confirm;
2. to give legal force to; legalize
3. to give official sanction, confirmation, or approval to

and some of the synonyms are attest, authenticate, back, bear out, corroborate, evidence, justify, substantiate, testify, verify, warrant, confirm.

I've spent a lot of time searching for that validation. I tried getting it from people, thinking they would see something in me that I hoped was there but feared wasn't. I've fished for compliments and tried to look like I know a lot or at least like I was a teensy bit cooler than I am.

I've tried to find it in different roles I've held hoping the act of volunteering or having a job worth bragging about would somehow make me feel better about who I was and what I was doing.

I've tried to find it in stuff thinking that the accumulation of better stuff would satisfy me and make people go "She's okay!"

I tried finding it by losing weight and looking better because you know you're not anything unless you look like a supermodel.

No matter what course of action I took it seemed I could never find a peace about who I was. It's especially hard when you are surrounded by people who seem to be gifted at whatever they touch! Ever know someone like that? No matter what they try it turns out golden? Makes you kind of sick doesn't it? ;)

Everytime I would place my hope for validation in men or the things of men I would find myself not only lacking validation, but on many occasions feeling worse about myself than I had in the first place!

And yet I was foolish enough to try it again, and again, and again.

2 Corinthians 10:12 says, "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. "

I looked up the Greek for that word wise and it means "not mentally put together".

Um, yeah.

So now what? Where do I go from here?

I have to look to Christ alone for my validation. He is the only One with the authority to "stamp my card" as paid in full. He not only paid the price for me but now He imputes His righteousness to me.

That is such a nice, short little sentence to type but not so easy to live out when you've conditioned yourself to seek the praises of men! Or when you have been living with the fear of men so long you don't recognize that you can live without it. Fear of rejection, fear of failing, fear of not being good enough, they're all ways my mind has been conditioned over the years and they're hard habits to break.

But there is hope.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

He also says in 1 John 4 that perfect love casts out fear. These aren't magic bullets that will automatically release me from this way of thinking but they are a start. God doesn't want me in bondage to fear so it's reasonable to believe that He has provided the antidote, right?

He has.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 2:2

If we read, memorize and meditate on scripture, scripture that is God's message to each one of us, then we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds. He will change my way of thinking if I let Him. I need to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

So what is true about me according to God's Word?

I am loved (John 3:16)
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am God's temple (1 Cor 3:16)
I have been justified (Rom 5:1)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor 3:9)
I am complete in Christ (Col 2:10)
I am God's workmanship (Eph 2:10)
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor 6:17)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God) (Eph 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col 1:14)
I am the salt and light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation (Rom 8:1-2)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom 8:31-34)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:18)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph 2:6)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom 8:28)
I have a future and a hope. He has plans for me. (Jer 29:11)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph 3:12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15:1-5)
I am confident the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1:5)

I'm not there yet, I still struggle with those old ways of thinking but I am learning how He sees me and I finally know Who validates me.

*Special thanks to Bill and Glory's Haven for letting me steal your list. :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me Fran of His perfect love. I miss you sooo much! ((Debbie))

Pam said...

This is a great blog! It IS so hard to let go of that need of "approval" not only is it frustrating but very exhausting. More than once I have found myself seeking the rest of my Lord who love us unconditionally. Thank you for sharing this.

Kim said...

I love this. Thanks, Fran.
Love ya.