Rochelle and Ashley, erstwhile members of our Bible study group, are heading back to the US this coming Saturday. We will surely miss their fun-loving spirit, deep insight into God’s Word, and hearty appetite! In our last group meeting, Rochelle teased me saying, “I have some goofy pictures of you that I could post on Facebook.” I said, “Go ahead; my self-esteem is intact.” I don’t know if Rochelle will carry out her ‘threat’ but if she does, I’m sure we all will have a good laugh.
Many years ago, I would have despaired at the thought of having funny pictures of me being made public. I was self-conscious to the max. I was uptight. I had zero ability to laugh at myself. This all started when I was in fifth grade. One day, in response to a question of my Science teacher, I gave the wrong answer. I think my answer was so way off the mark that the whole class erupted in laughter! I was so embarrassed, I wanted to swallow my face.
Though none of my classmates teased me after that, somehow I felt scarred for life. I started to speak slowly and deliberately. I didn’t want to make a laughable mistake again. I began to stu..stutt…stutter. I began to take myself too seriously. I tried to be perfect. But that’s all in the past. In fact, many of you, including my wife, say that you don’t know when I’m being serious!
Well, are you taking yourself too seriously? Here are a few reminders.
- Accept the fact that God unconditionally loves you for who you are. God knows you are not perfect, yet he loves you just the same. Romans 5: 8 should cure anyone’s self-esteem woes–“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
- “A glad heart makes a happy face” (Proverbs 15:13). Take good care of your heart.
- Some of your mistakes are really funny. While preaching in Bolivia a few months ago, I used the word sucios, instead of socios, for “partners.” Sucios means “dirty ones.” Arrggh! But I have learned to laugh at myself and move on. Stop worrying.
- I read this wise advice somewhere, “Smile. One day it will be funny how serious you are.”
So, Rochelle … bring it on!