Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”
Our Bible verse for today: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t apologize for who you are.”
I’m currently reading the new biography about Barbara Bush by author Susan Page. The title is “The Matriarch”. I’ve always admired Barbara Bush. She was plain-spoken; she seemed to be comfortable in her own skin; and she did not put on airs. She was who she was and you could take her or leave her, it was fine with her.
So I was surprised to learn that for much of her life she struggled with a deep-seated sense of insecurity about her looks. It grew out of her childhood. She had an older sister who was very shapely and pretty, and their mother fawned over her. Barbara by compassion was plain and a little chubby – and her mother told her so. Her mother frequently criticized her for not being more like her sister. That criticism created a sense of insecurity about her looks that she never fully got over.
However early in her adult life Barbara decided she was not going to try to be someone or something that she obviously was not. She was not shapely and pretty in the cover-girl way. Instead, she was plain and she had a weight problem. So Barbara decided she was just going to be herself. In good-natured ways she laughed about herself, she joked about her looks and her weight, and she actually learned to use it to her own advantage. She trained herself to be the epitome of a plain and slightly chubby woman who was poised and confident and comfortable in her own skin. And people loved her for it.
The Apostle Paul knew something about this. He was not one of the original apostles of Jesus. Worse, he had persecuted the followers of Jesus, even supervising some of their executions. Beyond that he was evidently a wiry, unattractive little man with a squeaky voice and runny eyes. Therefore many people didn’t like or respect him. But Paul refused to make apologies for who or what he was, and he refused to feel sorry for himself. He embraced his identity as being from God and he ran with it.
I don’t know many of you who read these daily devotionals and so I don’t know what burdens you carry, what challenges you face, or what limitations you struggle with. But I do know that God loves you exactly the way you are. Beyond that, he can use you for His glory if you will only let him. Don’t indulge in self-pity and don’t allow others to define you by your imperfections or by your limitations. Celebrate who you are. Be comfortable in your own skin. Just be you. And then dance.