Thursday, March 5, 2009

Masterpiece

I watch American Idol. I have been threatening to give it up after season three. But still, I watch. And sometimes I vote...so how's that for some healthy transparency? Or maybe that is something that I should never admit in public...ever.


This year, I cut back and started watching after the top 36 were chosen. Many of my irritations with show lie with the critique styles of the judges. And it is not just Simon, I often agree with Simon's opinions...just not with how he chooses to express them. I do wish he would learn that honesty need not be laced with cruelty to garner effective results. But while calling someone a disaster is unkind and hurtful, it is the conflicting messages from the judges that I find most disturbing.


One of the most repeated phrases of feedback is the ever popular, “I'm just not sure who you are...you need to come out and be you.”


First of all, many of the contestants are still teenagers, and others are young adults. Additionally, most of them have not had special training in the music business, that was part of the genius behind the original concept for American Idol. I think it is unrealistic to expect a 17-year-old, or even a 23-tear-old to know exactly who they want to be as a performer.


And then to confuse matters even more, they will add statements like these:


“I'm not sure I like this sweet vibe you have going on...you need to dirty yourself up.”


“You have a great voice, but that dress...it's too old-fashioned and conservative.”


“The problem I have with you is that you are somewhat reserved, you need to bring out your inner party animal...or vixen”


“You are cute and charming...I actually kind of like you...but you are missing something...I think you lack sex appeal.”


Basically, the judges and producers want contestants to hold the answer to the oldest existential question in the universe (who am I?), unless the answer involves choices that do not conform to current trends. Talk about an identity crisis.


I have had a few identity issues of my own. And although I know more about myself today than I did ten years ago, sometimes I still need reminding of who I really am and to Whom I belong...because I live in a world where messages are watered down, mixed, spun, chopped, sautéed and then seasoned to sell. Far too often I buy into the lies that tell me I am too fat, too homely, too ordinary, too conservative, too sensitive, too dull, too gentle, too loud, too quiet, too social, and too outdated. Now, I agree that too much of something...even of good things, does not always reap what is good....but I need to run my issues through God's filter and not through that of the world. The world does not have a clue as to who I am or who I should become...the world just wants to tell me what actions I should acquire to properly fit into the times.


As I become....I need to submit my will to God's, and seek His guidance and direction. And not only is it vital that as Christians we know who we are in Christ so that we can grow closer to Him, but also so we know what is expected of us...how we are to behave as His representatives. Here are a few scripture versus that tell me more about who I am...and who you are too. (This list is partial and all references are from the NLT...a resource I used to compile the information below comes from here, but I did some of my own editing as well.)


  • I am a child of God...I am adopted. The term adoption is extra special to me because when I was seven years old, my step-father legally adopted me...I became his daughter. I am also...and foremost a daughter of the Most High. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 & And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. & But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17


  • I am a part of the Church, the body of Christ. This means I have responsibilities to be like Christ and cannot do this without Him. “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5


  • I am forgiven. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 & He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:7.


  • I am accepted. Oh this is a big one for me. But not only am I accepted, I am called to accept others as Christ accepted me. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. Romans 15:6-8


  • I am a masterpiece and my existence was planned. I need to type that again...my existence was planned. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10.

There is so much more...but I'm going to end with that one.

What about you? Feel free to share a favorite verse that reminds you of your true identity.




33 comments:

Denise said...

Amen, so very true.

Fred G. said...

Romans 12:2 - ...and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

He And Me + 3 said...

Great post. i agree totally with you about American Idol. They have them all over the map on what or who they should be. Poor kids. I am glad I know exactly who I am...A child of the living God. Wonderful post.

jennifer said...

this is such a great post !

sara said...

me too...I know who I am!

Jennifer Perkins said...

Excellent thoughts...

I, too, need to be reminded of my worth before God.

This changes regularly, but right now, this is my favorite set of verses to remind me how God sees me:

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
Psalm 139: 13-16

DotBlogger said...

This is such an insightful post. Wonderful.

Here is a verse I like to cling to when I'm wondering who I am:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION."
2 Cor 5:17a

Liz said...

Beautiful post!

Vixbil said...

Great post. And I love the last one too
xx

Micky said...

SALVATION!

Karen said...

Wow, I agree, this is a great post. I, too have loved watching American Idol, not for the judges comments, but to see the contestants grow, and keep trying. I guess it's about routing for their courage and dreams. But, I agree with you about the judges comments also! Some of the best moments have been when a contestant chooses a song that reflects their faith even if the judges "don't get it"!

Irritable Mother said...

OK, my turn to admit something. I have only seen American Idol twice. Or maybe once, I'm not sure. I think I saw it two times. Anyway, there you have it. I'm weird! LOL
But my identity isn't in what I watch (or don't watch). It's in Jesus! Thank you for reminding us who we are. Love you!

Debra said...

Great post, my friend. And so very true!

Ruth A Stiles said...

Great Post...thanks for challenging me. I sometimes need to step back and step into my identity with Christ. I get outside so often!

Lisa writes... said...

I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ who lives in me!

TAMMY said...

I agree with everything you said.
I feel the same way about American
Idol. I keep saying I'm not going
to watch and I always end up watching.
Tammy

Jennifer said...

True...so true! Great post :)


Jen

karin said...

Loved your post and agree with you. I am nothing without HIM who died to save me. I will never comprehend the fullness of His love for me, a sinner saved by grace.

Lois Lane II said...

"These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:7-9


And I agree with Fred G., too. That was my "quote" in the high school yearbook.

Rachel said...

Wonderful post - Idol has also grossed me out with all of that this year.

Whenever I'm having an identity crisis, I sit down and read the 2nd half of the book of Isaiah (starting in about ch. 39). I put myself in the place of Israel and let the words of God's love and His gentle correction bring me back to where I should be.

Red Bridges Home said...

Wonderful post. Reminds me that I am more than what other people say I am. I have a built in forgetter. Being assualted daily with the messages of the world, I need to stay in the Word continually lest I forget again.

I really like your blog. Well said.

God's girl said...

This is beautiful. I love your take on these verses.

Blessings, Heaven

lisasmith said...

Oh how I needed to read this today...as I wrestle with the question myself. I've been asking myself "How did I end up here?" lately...mid-life crisis? LOL But, seriously, it's like the more I know, really know, Him and the more I believe Him about who He made me, the more I experience the frustration that comes when well, my life intersects with the truth! It's all so humbling.

Hope you understand my rambling...but I needed to see His promises concerning me today. I think I'll go meditate on a few more. Thanks.

Wifey said...

Great post. I can always count on you to apply God's word in such a relatable way.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

everydayMOM said...

I'm so glad you posted that list. I was just trying to find a list I had seen like that somewhere else because I was having a similar thought... allowing my thoughts of who others SAY I am to take control of my mind. Bottom line: I am a child of God. Hooray!

Edie said...

What a great post Angela. I don't watch Idol for all the reasons you mentioned.

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your LORD." Psalm 45:11

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Loved this. You are a fav. writer.

LauraLee Shaw said...

This was a phenomenal post. There are thousands of voices and images trying to convince us of who we are and who we need to be. Allz I know is that the Lord Jesus Christ identifies me, because without Him, I am nothing...

Beautiful Scriptures, anointed and timely message.

Chatty Kelly said...

Great! I too watch Idol sometimes. And I'm so glad to have a King who loves me and helps me find out "who I am."

Tara said...

I'm a bit slow to reply to this one...but wanted to say I loved the post. I have a friend who made a "picture hanging" on a desktop publishing program of Scriptures that tell us who we are in Christ and how we beautiful we are to Him, right after we read the book Captivating together. I love to look at it when I'm feeling down and remind myself of who I am to Him and His love for me. His Word does not return void.

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Thank you for the sweet reminder that I am loved and I am part of God's plan. Something I really needed to hear today!

Have a blessed day,
Lindsey

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Love this! I don't watch alot of tv, but American Idol is one show that I have a slight sddiction to. :) Just slight... ;)

Your observations were so right on.

Rebecca said...

Lovely post...it kept my interest throughout, which is something I struggle with when I start writing theologically! I think I lose the point I was trying to make, and I love how you tied it all together.

Thanks for visiting my blog, too.

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