The first time I did a live video, I was so stinking proud of myself. Not because it was terrific or of exceptional quality. Nope, just the fact that I did it amazed me. For me, this was an extreme act of bravery. I choose courage!
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Having spent my life hiding from being seen. – it was time to choose courage!
I am overly aware of my flaws. Hoping and praying others wouldn’t see them. Even within our Christian circles, in the hyper-competitive culture of our world, it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits of judging ourselves and others harshly.
Before you know it, you permanently set your inner monologue to negativity. You feel dissatisfied and out of sorts with everyone and everything. And that’s no way to live your life! In the face of my own flaws, I often tend to notice others’ flaws. Instead, I needed to choose courage!
My own flaws were simply too overwhelming to face. How could I choose courage?
But when we finally do face them? Our courage skyrockets and self-acceptance starts flowing within. As I embarked on a more courageous way of living life, I learned to accept imperfection in myself and other people.
Indeed, I have chosen to leave that negative mindset behind. Without a doubt, courage is required in the face of our flaws. Bravery is needed to launch your life entirely into the lane of acceptance.
Becoming Conscious of Your Thoughts – Choose Courage.
If a negative viewpoint has become your default setting, you probably don’t even realize when you’re doing it. I didn’t. Take a minute to tune into the voice in your head and heart for a moment. Pay attention to the words you’re using and course-correct for more positive language.
Switch Up to Positive
Consciously change your inner monologue to focus on positives, gratitude, and the bright side or silver linings! That may sound like a bunch of platitudes, however, they are helpful ones to live by! As we walk in faith and into the women God created us to be, Instead of focusing on differences of beliefs, understandings, character traits or personalities, and seeing them as flaws, we can choose to see what is good in the other person.
“And so it is in this belief I will fight—not with fists swinging, but willingly sacrificing my human right to wallow in anger, fear, and sadness. I will choose to love boldly. I will choose joy, peace, and patience. I will choose kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Leslie Verner, The Mud Room Blog
If your go-to is to criticize their weight or hair, or the way they speak, reset your view by finding something to admire. More often, we may find ourselves critical of their way of thinking or accomplishing something. And in our ever so angry and split culture, we see a difference of opinion as an unresolvable relationship killer.
It takes courage to love and accept those outside your beliefs or understandings. As women, we have a choice to model love and warm-heartedness to all or to continue the great divide. I choose courage!
Retune to an in ‘Living Color’ View of People
It’s easy to fall into the habit of seeing things as right or wrong, good or bad. It is also easy to fall for the lie that everything is acceptable and even good.
- There is black and white.
- As so Right and wrong.
- And there is good and evil.
The challenge to our bravery comes in accepting that we don’t have all the answers.
Besides, recognizing that our disapproval of someone else’s beliefs or convictions is NOT our duty. We are called to be women of compassion, empathy, and love. Maybe it feels like too much work figuring out how to love someone that seems hateful due to their differing values. Sure, someone else’s choice may not be your choice, maybe you don’t like bananas or would want to work for a company that doesn’t meet your moral standards or shop from a store that promotes ideas you are opposed to.
But does it mean those other choices are wrong or are they just not the same as yours? Without a doubt, it is possible that God guides us all in our own unique paths and that we can take courage in joyfully following the trail He set out for us? Deciding how we feel about one another in black and white can be limiting.
Moreover, we can all walk tall in our convictions and still love our brother. Open up a little and retune your worldview, so you see all the ways God shows us to be kind and loving. There is nothing kind or loving in trying to force someone to agree with your conviction. Build a relationship, see the good in them. You never know what impact you might have when you begin at a place of love and acceptance.
Stay in the Present & Choose Courage
Some people keep a world history of wrongs and imperfections stretching way back. They act almost like perfection police, waiting to add to their list of transgressions. If this is a habit, it will take some courage to make a change. Most often, the most judgmental of us are mired in self-loathing also.
Self-acceptance is key to loving and accepting others. It takes choosing courage, and is worth the effort ten-fold or more!
Turn it around with a brave and authentic soul
Incidentally, if you find yourself slipping back into your past habits of judging other people, turn it around and ask yourself – how would it feel if someone was judging you? Introspection of this sort takes a brave and authentic soul.
Remember that old saying about people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? That’s good to remember when you feel tempted to dismiss someone due to their views, appearance, or actions. Take courage and cut people some slack, and they are more likely to go easy on you in turn.
You and I can choose to step with courage out of the competitive culture at any time. Try it and you too will be amazed at the courage and freedom that becomes your own! Living a life of courage in the face of flaws – yours and theirs – is a life of freedom and joy.
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