Nov 3, 2017

Posted by in Awesomeness, Encouragement, Fruit For Thought, G.I.G., Selah, Wisdom | 0 Comments

Dying To Be

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Dyingtobe

Photograph Taken by Kiyah C Photography

 

I’ll never forget that summer I burned my left leg, just above the knee, with a curling iron. You see, I was trying to curl my hair into tiny ringlets, and I was using a curling iron with a barrel about 3/8 inches in diameter to achieve the look I had in mind. All was going well until the piping hot iron slipped from my hands and branded my bare leg before landing on my bedroom floor. I remember the pain, the unsightly bruise filled with puss, and the repeated application of cocoa butter to help it heal prettier. That was eons ago, and, although its faint now, my left leg still carries that scar.

I know you’re probably thinking, “Melissa, that makes no sense! Why in the world were you trying to curl your hair in tiny ringlets when your hair does that naturally?! God created it that way.” Answer: I haven’t always worn my hair in its natural state. I didn’t stop using chemicals to alter/straighten my hair until I was 27. Up until then, I had no idea what my hair’s real pattern looked like. So, in essence, I was burning my hair AND my body to acquire what I already had. I was dying to be what I already was.

In the same manner that I was striving to be a curly-haired girl when I already was one, you and I, who’ve accepted Jesus, are sons and daughters of God, who often kill ourselves to be who we already are. Okay, yeah, I get it. There are days that you don’t feel like or even look like a child of God, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are a child of God. When I used to straighten my hair, I didn’t look like a curly-haired woman, but as much as I changed the shape of my locks, it didn’t permanently modify my hair’s makeup. Every new strand that grew from my scalp bore the true identity of my hair – curly. Likewise, even when you don’t look like or feel like a child of God, every morning bears mercy and another opportunity for your true identity to be seen.

Alright, so it’s settled – you’re a child of God. Now what?

 

Accept Your Identity & Walk in It

Sorry for the ongoing hair analogy, but it’s helping me bring home the point lol… Shortly after making the decision to stop using chemical straighteners, I discovered what my hair really looked like. And, although I had allowed my hair to grow out in its natural pattern at the roots, on the ends of my hair I was still holding on to straight pieces that were previously altered by chemicals. If I really wanted to embrace my natural hair, I had to cut off the old hair. All it did was weigh down my natural new growth anyway. And, the two textures looked nothing like each other, which meant they could not successfully co-exist for long. So, I did it, I cut off the old hair. And, from that point on, I had to start acting like a person with curly hair (i.e. I changed my mindset towards my hair & changed how I cared for it). Don’t get me wrong, if I choose to treat my hair like it’s not full of coils, it won’t change that fact that it is. But, because my hair is curly, I treat it as such. 

Likewise, you and I are children of God, but in order to walk or, shall I say, run in it, Paul tells us to strip away every weight that trips us up (Hebrews 12:1). Many of us don’t feel or look like children of God because we’re still carrying around all the weight from our old life – when we were spiritual “orphans,” before we became children. And, this is what we do: Instead of stripping away the old self, we try to do things to qualify us and make us look and feel like children. Yikes! Colossians 3:9 -10 ERV says, “You have taken off those clothes — the person you once were and the bad things you did then. Now you are wearing new life, a life that is new every day. You are growing in your understanding of the One who made you. You are becoming more and more like Him.” Every time you renew your mind with the Word (i.e. – allow God’s way of thinking to replace your old way of thinking) you’re stripping off the “old clothes.” And, you begin to do right things not to make you acceptable, but you do right things because you are a child and you love your Father (John 14:15).

So, I want to encourage you to go from striving to be who you already are to acting like who you already are. Striving works to win something. A lot of believers work, work, work to win the affection of God in hopes that He will look at them like a proud father. But, acting like a child is knowing who you are through Christ and walking in that identity with the knowledge that your Father is already proud of you. As a child of God, I love Him and I do what’s pleasing to Him because I am His child and I love Him (I don’t do it qualify me as His child).

Remember the hair visual: Striving was me taking a curling iron to my strands and trying to make them spiral (when my hair already had the ability to do so without me doing anything). Something else you should know is that whenever I tried to curl my hair, it looked super amateur (the curls were uneven), they lasted all of 30mins, I had to redo the curls several times, and I damaged my hair AND body in the process. But, now, on the other hand, when I walked in who I already was, I cut off the weighty, old hair, which allowed my new strands to curl freely. I didn’t have to do anything to make my hair curly because that’s what it was. I just began to carry myself like a woman with curly hair. Selah. **G.I.G.**

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