>What Do You Think?

>I saw this hanging on a wall today:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

Does this make your heart sing?
Are you confused?
Should we put much thought into this, or is it just Oprah spirituality?
Is this Biblical, or is this just self-help?
Are we all really that powerful?
Should we shine all of the time?
What about humbleness?
Can we shine and still be humble?
Is “shrinking” sometimes a good thing?
Is the glory of God truly in everyone?
Are we the ones doing the liberating?

What do you think? I’m interested to see if this will generate any kind of discussion. Leave a comment…rant, rave, rejoice…do whatever you want.

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5 thoughts on “>What Do You Think?

  1. >Well, I just wrote a really long and carefully thought-out response, but then the commenter function crashed and deleted it. So I will just repeat the gist, which is that I have found it helpful to remember that whether we are in the habit of thinking too much or too little of ourselves (both of which deceptions hinder God's work), it is probably a safe bet that we are simply thinking too much about ourselves in the first place.I think God wants to turn our perspective outwards, to our neighbours, and that His ultimate goal for us is to be able to appreciate things and people (including ourselves) for what they are: as His good and glorious creations, each with its proper place and unique design. Despite the marring work of sin we can always still see traces of the Master's handiwork. At the very least every person bears the image of God, whether or not they acknowledge Him. And that's a pretty huge "least".One of the best and most succinct summaries of how all this works which I've come across may be found in C.S. Lewis, in "The Screwtape Letters", chapter 14 (pages 69-73 in my edition). It is brief and to the point, and really worth reading, to get some idea of how Satan can trip us up and to be reminded of God's ultimate goals for us. I wrote out some long quotations from it but I think that's what crashed this thing…

  2. >Two things came to my mind when I read this:1: one day we will all stand before God and give an account for our lives. Those of us who are found in God's book are forgiven but not off the hook. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" Eph. 2:10 God wants a work based faith erupting from his grace and privilege as adoption as sons. There is no reason not to expect God to do great and huge things through you because the same spirit that conquered death lives in us. No life fully given to God in the power of the spirit can be a small thing.2:God knows the heart (ps. 44:21, Acts 15:8). We can't trick God in desperately grasping after fame in his name when our own pride is on the throne. God's glory shone through a teenage peasant girl who he chose to bear the son of God and live a life of simple dedication as well as it shown through John the Baptist calling out Harod to repentance and being called the greatest man who ever lived.In the power of his spirit we can do anything. God ultimately has a plan whether big or small. But God also calls us to ultimate humility and its the men and woman who know they can always do more even when it seems that they have conquered the world that have a "well done good and faithful servant" waiting at the throne of God.

  3. >I must confess I don't have nearly so many, or so insightful things to say as the previous gentlemen. BUT.It is such an inspiration. We live in an "I can do it on my own society", and the fact is that we can't. However, through the Holy Spirit, God, we can do ANYTHING that God would ordain. But what happens is we get caught in between, striving to be counter cultural, but not fulling embracing the literally unlimited power available, and present IN US, that we have through the Holy Spirit. I've been reading Francis Chan's Forgotten God. Says some brilliant stuff about this. So what I'de say is that if we take it from the perspective that through the Holy Spirit we are meant to shine more than anything else in this world. Each of us. Then it should be a most encouraging thing to remember. Alright. I've run out of insight. Fantastic Post.

  4. >A few quick thoughts: John 8:12 states that Jesus is the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. The source of light is the Holy Spirit in us. In Matthew 5 Jesus speaks to his disciples and calls them the light of the world. Matt 5:16 Let you light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven. When I read the terms brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous they are not directed to God but to the person. The person is getting the glory, not God within us. I love the verse in Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. When we allow God's spirit to work in us, transforming us to be more like Him then people will glorify our Father in Heaven. Henry Blackaby says that our world is not seeing God because we are not attempting anything that only God can do.With regards to everyone having the light of the glory of God in us, Ephesians 5:8 states that for you were once darness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. then there is the great chapter one of John which tells us the source of the true light and unfortunately the world did not recognize him.The message of this kind of statement makes everyone feel good. It takes away their accountability to their creator God, seeking His truth, His light, His way. It also neglects the sinful nature that is in all of us with our natural propensity to do evil. With regard to the shrinking: John the Baptist said it best, "He must increase or become greater, I must decrease or become less. That is my prayer!Thanks for posting this and providing an opportunity for us to think this through with a biblical world view. I think we are all challenged by this way of thinking each day. God Bless!

  5. >I've always loved C.S. Lewis' take on humility. This is from Screwtape Letters:"Thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools…God wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. "

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