Friday, April 15, 2011

Friendly Friday: Caroline Flory

Caroline Flory is a swell chick I met via Twitter. Again, I think I stalked her because she was going to the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference (which is almost full, by the way!).

This hashtag stalking works. No joke.

Caroline is always an inspiring gal whose writing, frankly, makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing. She's ├╝bergodly, and I appreciate her insight. Check her out over at her blog, Under God's Mighty Hand, or follow her on Twitter! Either way, you'll find yourself refreshed in God.

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I seek affirmation.

Is it because I’m a “people pleaser?” Or because I so regularly participate in crumbling self-deprecation that I need someone else to build me up? Or because, as C.S. Lewis says, “When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him.”

I humbly hope it’s that one.

My heart – fully and deeply – lives, acts, and writes for God. To praise Him, bring Him honor, seek Him, and spread His name. I truly desire serving Him in these ways first and foremost.

But, then I still want affirmation. Sometimes I long for validation from the world, especially when tackling some new adventure or in a big project, like teaching or writing. Messages in the Word help me refocus on forgetting the world’s concerns. Yet, I still feel that other believers can provide godly affirmation, too. We can train and rebuke each other to better our walks with Christ. We can encourage and build each other up, strengthening our faith and boosting action on that faith.

So sometimes I’m still seeking someone to say, “Yes, these words and deeds of yours help, heal, encourage, point to Him.” But I feel guilty for wanting that confirmation.

Why do I seek validation from someone else when all I truly need are God’s true promises and His everlasting love? God’s word says:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (I Peter 2: 9-10, emphasis added).

We are chosen, by God! He calls us to live for Him, accept His love and grace, and trusts us to witness this love to others. Those truths seem quite affirming to me!

So, what are we to do if we find ourselves seeking worldly affirmation? I remind myself that the things of this world will fade away, but God’s grace and love are everlasting. We are given new life “…into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:4).

This holy sanctification sets us apart from the world by God. Being chosen to humbly serve Him signifies God’s affirmation of us. This affirmation does not rank us so highly that we exclude His love from others, but rather we are used as loved vessels to spread His glory to all people without inhibition.

From that realization, Colossians 3:12 instructs us to, “… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We desire to live with this kindness, humility, and compassion because He affirms us into this holy calling. When we take fervent hold of this sanction through this calling, our hearts focus on Him. And when we focus on Him in faith, we realize it’s not at all about us. That need for affirmation from the world fades when we only gaze upon God and His everlasting splendor.

© Caroline Flory, 2011

Thank you, Rachel, for hosting these words on your blog, and for consistently sharing your honest heart with us. I’m honored to get to you know you, and am excited to meet you this year at She Speaks!

5 comments:

  1. Hi Caroline! I was also stalked by Rachel through Twitter, lol & feel so blessed to have met her. I am a writer as well & attending She Speaks, so meeting other writers is another blessing. I am jumping on over to your blog to see if there is anything I can learn. I appreciate your honesty and bigheartedness in your writing, as I believe that is the only way we can truly be as Christ. Have a blessed day!

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  2. Katrina - Thanks so much for commenting on this post! I appreciate your kind words. And I agree, Rachel's a good She Speaks community builder!

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  3. I too am a "people pleaser" at heart but in spirit I know that's not who God created me to be in Christ. He created me new to live for Him in everything I say, do and think. Still a life long pattern is hard to break sometimes. Thanks for the encouragement written in such beautiful words.

    Rachel thank you for guest posting today. Your honesty is encouraging.

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  4. Julie - Thank you so much for coming by and commenting! You are so right... it's a stubborn pattern to break, but He made us new for so much more. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words.

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  5. Found you through FFFF
    http://shannonsfunpage.blogspot.com/

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