INTERNAL MAKEOVER

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I love watching shows about makeovers. I want to glean from the experts tips I can apply to my own life.  And, to be honest, there are moments I wipe the sweat from my brow and think “Whew, at least I’m not that bad.”

Brutal honesty folks, I’m not perfect.  Clearly.

More exciting to see, however, is when internal makeovers happen.

That is why we are drawn to romance stories.  The woman with the hardened heart that opens up to love again, swoon.  The bad boy that couldn’t be tamed, but that sweet girl changed his ways, swoonier.   For us believers, couple any of the above with someone coming to Christ in the process, swooniest.

As a mom, nothing gives me more hope than watching movies about prodigals… who went their own way, and then returned to mom, dad and God.  Swoonierest. (Yes, I am aware I am now making up my own words.)

We are drawn to internal makeovers because they give us hope, that anything that is happening our lives or  with those we love is not necessarily permanent. 

We hope that our husbands will change their boys nights out to family nights in.

We hope that our teenage kid will change from rebellion to joyful obedience.

We hope that our broken relationships will be mended because someone will see the error of their ways.

Internal makeovers give us hope because they mean there has been change, growth or progress.The problem with internal makeovers is that we can be paying to much attention to where others need change and ignoring that need in ourselves.

Matthew 7:3-5 NIV

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

The prodigal may be the person you are looking at in the mirror.

Human nature tries to deflect in order to protect.  It is easy to give yourself a pass, when you can point to someone else and say they are worse than you are.  It’s easier to blame someone else for the problems in your life, than to accept accountability on your part.   You can avoid having everyone looking at you & your failures… when you can get everyone looking somewhere or someone else.Magicians use distraction in their tricks.  They want you to pay attention to something totally unrelated to their trick, so you are not watching the hand or mechanism making the trick work.  Deflecting attention away gives them a chance to keep their techniques hidden.  We use deflection to hide the truth we don’t want others to see.

I was reading a devotion one day, and it ended with a prayer.  The writer was asking God for an internal makeover, and I couldn’t help but say AMEN for myself.  I know there are still areas in my heart, mind and life that could use a make over.  There are areas where I have failed others, and myself.  I have struggled with forgiving others, forgiving myself.  I have struggled with selfishness and self preservation. I have struggled with control issues and obedience.  I have struggled with faith and commitment.  I have struggled with relationships.  I have struggled with my own self.

I needed an internal makeover.  I need to stop looking at others, stop deflecting, stop blaming, stop justifying… and WHOLLY SURRENDER.

In doing so, everything changed… and it is still changing.  I began to see things differently, and what amazed me the most was that those changes were visible to others.  They could see the change in me.  God put the right people in my life to encourage me in these times, people to affirm and guide, correct and suggest.  God also removed people from my life, that were stumbling blocks and toxic.  He removed negativity and discouragers, those who were holding me back or holding me down.  I found a freedom I didn’t have before, in my life… my thoughts… my heart.  A freedom that continues to grow and has allowed God to move me to places I never expected, and use me in ways I never imagined.

When you wholly surrender, and God starts that internal makeover, it’s can be a slow start but it builds momentum.

I also learned that before I could wholly surrender, I had to be broken.

Leading up to that moment, where I was ready for that internal makeover to happen… changes had to be made.  They were not easy, I didn’t understand it at the time, some of it was very painful, and admittedly I didn’t want it to happen.  I was actively fighting to keep certain things as the status quo.  Now, in retrospect, I see the purpose of it … even the pain.  I had to be stripped of everything that was standing in the way of my relationship with Christ, and keeping me from seeing the the truth about myself.

Ephesians 4:22-24To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Then something unexpected occurred.  The more I focused on myself and my issues, the less I cared about everyone else.  I was less interested in molding them into my idea of what was right & godly.  It isn’t my job to make anyone else more Christ-like, that is the job of the Holy Spirit…. a job I am entirely unqualified for.  My job is to keep my eyes on Jesus, my head in the Word, my heart filled with the Holy Spirit and do what God has called of me.
Lord, I pray that you will help me to keep my eyes focused on you, and my ears open to your calling.  So that when you call my name, I may answer that your servant hears you.  May I worry about my own righteousness and holiness over that of others so that I do not stand in judgment over others, but rather repentant over my own iniquities.  Continual renew to the new spirit your created in me, and allow me to be a teacher of words, but a living example of Christ. Amen.

Recommended Reading:  Romans 14:1-23

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