the fabulous & the fallen {lystra}

there is a story in the bible about a little place called lystra {acts 14:8-20}. it is a small story about a small place. a small place that Paul & Barnabas visited once & upon entering the small town, they happened to heal a man with crippled feet. a crowd gathered & worshipped them thinking they were the two gods, Zuess & Hermes, from the old legend. Paul & Barnabas, horrified, rip their clothes in response to the people's blasphemy & passionately preach pointing them to Jesus.  in the very next verse, in the same small town, some enemies of Paul's arrive & start stirring up the same crowd who moments go worshipped him as a god, and Paul is very nearly stoned to death by the very same people. in one moment they are worshipped & in the next they are despised & disposed of.

i have been in places like lystra before & i am sure i will be in lystra again from time to time. but my goal when visiting these places, is to master the same response as Paul & Barnabas. where no matter what public opinion was saying around them, they remained the same, undistracted by either kind of response because they knew who they were, whose they were & what they were called to.

"if you're not careful you can spend your life being the victim of someone's fickle opinion about you. beyond the jungle of other people's opinion of us, there is this ever present temptation towards our own up-and-down opinions of ourselves. if you don't know who you are then you are always vulnerable to the crazy cycle of self adoration followed by self-loathing.
God is the only one who tells you the whole truth about yourself, and that is that you're a wonderful mix of the fabulous & the fallen. God sees all the way through & with a never-give-up-no-matter-what kinda love, is calling to you to remember who you are.
it means when someone scowls at you & tells you how awful you are, you can just smile back serenely, knowing that there is something even more awful in you than they could possibly know & it all belongs to Jesus. 
and when someone tries to fawn over you & tell you how awesome you are, you can just smile back & be thankful, knowing there is something even more awesome in you than anyone could ever know & it all belongs to Jesus.
when you let God tell you who you are, then nobody's flattery is going to puff you up & nobody's criticism will slam you down. fix your eyes on your calling in Christ, it will save you from the tyranny of other's opinions as well as your own."
{Julie Pennington-Russell}

i am fabulous & i am fallen & it all belongs to Jesus. but first & foremost, i am a follower & i am fixed on Him.

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