What Does It Mean to Flourish?

Photo credit: OceanCityChurch.org Comparisons are valuable in choosing one thing from another, such as an appliance or car. But making comparisons between ourselves and others is never valuable, unless you're trying to make yourself miserable.

What's worse is when we carry on conversations in our mind, it's called self-talk, where we belittle ourselves for not measuring up. Measuring up to what? Who? What standard? That's exactly the problem.

When we condemn ourselves on the basis of our performance as a person, it's so nebulous and random, and we're the only one who hears it. Sound familiar?

A universal problem

All of us battle negative self-talk. It leaks into our thoughts in spite of our intentions and desires to curb it. Why is this so? Too many reasons to list, and they're different for each of us.

Most of it comes from what we heard growing up, but interpreted and filtered by our own perceptions of what we heard said, and done in some cases. Then, doing what comes natural—estimating how we size up in comparison to others—and that is a losing battle.

Who's to blame for it all? Go back to the first garden and the fruit from a certain tree (Gen 3:1-7). Forget about blame, what can be done about it all?

A simple solution

Just last week, I saw a video that features some of my family, narrated by my son's lovely wife, LeAna. As I watched and listened, I was captivated and encouraged by what she said.

It's something that needs to be heard by everyone, especially Christian believers.

I hope you'll read through LeAna's thoughts (echoed in the video) and watch the video below. It's well done and worth the few minutes it takes.

Take it to heart, and run it through your mind instead of all that negative self-talk.

LeAna's thoughts...

I felt like the Holy Spirit impressed something on me just recently. I felt like he gently said to me a few days ago this phrase, “LeAna…you live under a cloud of guilt.” hmmm…WHAT was that, HS?! Where’s that coming from??

But as i’ve thought about that, I see exactly how that is true of me.

Here are thoughts that constantly run through my mind…

“I should be doing more…”

“I’m a crappy wife…”

“I suck as a mom…”

“Why does anyone want to me my friend?”

“I’m far too much for people to handle. They don’t want any of that!”

“I need to be doing more for God.”

“I’m simply not doing enough…”

“I need to reach out to more people.”

“I’m not spending enough time with God.”

“I need to work harder…”

It might sound like a bad case of low self esteem…for sure there are definitely some insecurities all over those thoughts, not the least of which is comparison to anyone and everyone who might seem like they are doing it better than me.

But its more than that.

I feel like the Holy Spirit was sweetly telling me that I live and operate out of a belief system…a false belief system, that keeps me under a cloud of condemnation.

I’ve heard the phrase before in my life, “i love you, but I don’t really like you.”

Sometimes I think God says that about me. “I love you LeAna…(almost cause He has to say it…He’s God)…but my enjoyment of you comes and goes, based on what you are doing or not doing.”

THAT IS THE BIGGEST LIE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1 NIV)

What does it mean to flourish?

Ocean City Stories: Flourish from Ocean City Church on Vimeo.


Here's LeAna's original blog post that this post and the video are adapted from– Receiving

In that post, you'll see my lovely daughter-in-law and two of our grandchildren when they were much younger.

Thanks for reading and watching! I hope this video blesses you as much as it did me!