Your Future is NOT Cast in Stone
When we hear the term ‘False Images’ we may immediately think of idols that are carved from wood or stone. This study however, deals with self images that can be just as false and warped.
No matter what our families have done before us, no matter what everyone else is doing around us, no matter how bleak the future may seem – your future is NOT cast in stone.
‘Created in God’s Image’
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NLT)
In our original state of creation there was no disease, no imperfections, no shame. Why should there be? Then, sin entered in and changed everything.
When sin touches you it leaves an imprint on your life. When it touches you enough, whether it is your own sin or the sin of others, you may come to the point where you don’t even recognize yourself anymore. You may not even remember who you are or who you were created to be. That’s a terrible and scary place to find yourself in.
An encounter with sin may find you abused or neglected, wounded or crushed, abandoned, betrayed, deceived and accused. As a child or a wife, any stage of your life, sin may have disfigured your self image until you no longer recognize yourself as the very good creation of God Himself.
“Choices – What’s a Girl to do?”
This study looks at five women from the Bible and the false images they chose to reject or embrace. First are two women who were both faced with choices. They have something in common. They both had married into families that worshiped the one true God although that had not been how they were raised. They both had to choose between what they were leaving behind and what the promise of the future held. We will begin with Rachel and consider Ruth next time.
Rachel had married Jacob. Jacob had left his own land and family to avoid facing the consequences of his own actions of deception and betrayal. He had reaped what he had sown by meeting his match in the manipulation arena with his new father-in-law, Laban.
After decades of living away from his family, Jacob decided to return and face his brother and father. When told about this plan, Rachel is enthusiastic about the idea and points out that she had been mistreated as well. So, the whole family (very large family) is in agreement and prepares to leave, secretly. Waiting for the right opportunity, Jacob takes action when Laban goes the opposite direction (15 miles) with his sons to attend to his flocks in another area.
Here is where a pivotal point in the story of Rachel happens. She has made her decision. She is eagerly going with Jacob to leave behind the lifestyle her family chooses and hope for a brighter future. It is at this moment that Rachel stumbles. She decides to take a bit of her past with her as she journeys into the promise of what lies ahead.
“At the time they left, Laban was some distance away, shearing his sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her.”(Genesis 31:19 NLT)
A huge encounter occurs later due to her unwise choice. More deception, more conflict, because she hid away mementoes from her past. We don’t know exactly what thought process led to her decision, but, I think we can agree it was a faulty thought process.
Have you made the same mistake? As long as she carried those reminders of her past, those false images, she could never fully embrace her future and the wholeness of who she could be; who she was created to be.
One of my greatest challenges as a foster/adoptive mom was to encourage the children I encountered to let go of what wanted to attach itself to them as they tried to heal emotionally. I would often do an object lesson and fill their hands and arms with all they could rightfully claim as ‘their own’ from the life behind them. Objects would represent betrayal, abandonment, rejection, neglect, pain, deception (on and on I could go).
Once their arms were full, I would then offer them something lovely, something they really wanted. That object represented healing, comfort, peace, acceptance, (on and on I would go). They soon had to decide to hold on to what was ‘rightfully’ theirs to hold on to or drop it in a heap and embrace what they desired. We can learn a lot from children. Some if us need to do the same thing.
This is a brief summary of a lesson I taught on a series of seven 10minute YouTubes. If you care to hear it in it’s entirety, I’m including the links below that tell Rachel’s story. Perhaps it will remind you of yourself.
False Images Part 1
False Images Part 2
False Images Part 3