Last Fall I met Tim + his now fiancé Jenn at Hillsong Conference in Manhattan. Beyonce and Jay-Z better watch out because these two are a counter cultural power couple if I ever met one. If you’ve spent any amount of time with Tim you know this about him: he loves God, he loves people, and he is a man of integrity and honor. (Also he has incredible style…I mean state the obvious right?).
Photos c/o Kat Harris
Normally when we hear the word abandon or abandoned, our first thought is usually a negative connotation—such as giving up, settling, forgoing responsibility, forgetting something, or leaving something behind.
Today I am asking you to throw out the negative images that come from the word abandon, and instead realize that the act of abandonment can actually bring you closer to God and closer to becoming The Refined Man God intended for you to be.
Today we live in a world that loves to make comparisons. Our society is consumed by it, because it’s a big business. Take for instance these themes from some of the most popular shows on television: Who looked the best? or How to dress like your favorite celebrity. Magazine stands across the country are filled with articles dedicated to making comparisons and reminding you that you should do more so you can live and look like the person you admire. (Who by the way has probably been photoshopped so much you would hardly recognize them if you saw them in person).
As a Man, heck even for women this type of thinking can be very dangerous to our growth. One of the scriptures I keep in front of me on a daily basis says, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
If we always compare, we will never be content and thankful. Accept yourself for who you are: strengths and weaknesses alike. Knowing who you are in God is vital to your development as a “refined man”. The abandoned man stop’s comparing his possessions, appearance, performance, and circumstances to other people’s lives, and lives the way God intended for him to live: Content.
Culture teaches us that we need more to be happy, but I believe true joy and happiness comes from being content. Which simply means I’m satisfied with what I have while I’m grinding to get what I want. Does it mean I have everything I need at the moment…. No. But what it does mean, is that I’m thankful for the things I do have, and that it does me no good to compare my apples to someone else’s oranges…
For a moment I want you to reflect on the comparisons you most often make…. Whether it’s the clothes you wear, or the car you drive, and understand that those things will not propel you forward. Make up in your mind that you are not going to let who you were, better yet, who you are, talk you out of who you’re becoming… If I could some all of this up into two things it would be that the abandoned man is:
1) THANKFUL FOR BEING DIFFERENT.
The next time you find yourself making comparisons, remind yourself that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let that sink in. You are one of a kind.
2) SEEK APPROVAL FROM GOD, NOT MAN.
Remind yourself often of all that you are in God and discover the freedom that comes without comparisons.