We have had the flu in our house this week. When sickness strikes we watch TV. I completely abandon the two hour limit of Ben’s and together we alternate between his shows and my shows.
Yesterday we watched several episodes of Chopped and a relatively new show called This Is Us. Even though these shows are completely unrelated there was a definite theme within them.
On Chopped there was a NY chef who constantly talked about how harsh his father was on him and how he was constantly trying to prove he had what it took to be a chef. Mind you, he was already a successful chef in New York. He ran his own restaurant, yet here he was on Chopped trying to prove even more.
He ended up winning the whole thing. He never was chopped. One of the judges said to him, “You are better than you give yourself credit for. We are here telling you, you are a great chef, you need to hear that and own that. That is the truth.” The guy smiled and nodded his head. At the end of the show, in his final interview, the chef says, “Maybe I can now believe what the judges were saying. I want to have more confidence, maybe now I have it.” This was the first time he didn’t mention his father and the unrealistic expectations he grew up under.
This whole episode unsettled me somehow. I had an amazing father and I didn’t have the issues this chef had. Yet maybe I do but for totally different reasons.
A few hours later daddy was home and we watched This Is Us. I don’t usually promote shows but y’all, this is a great show. If you liked Parenthood, I think you will like this one more. I do.
I won’t weigh you down with all the different plots and families, but only the daughter. Her name is Kate. She is 36 years old and very over weight. She has met this really nice guy who truly loves her for her. He is always doing really sweet things to let her know that he thinks she is amazing and lovely. He also tells her quite frequently, yet she always down plays what he says.
Then through a series of misfit events she has had an impromptu job interview with a very stylish, thin business woman. The business woman is so impressed with her, she offers Kate the job. There is a small glich in the story. The guy who likes Kate so much, this stylish business woman is his ex-wife.
Now to the scene I want to talk about. Kate is telling her boyfriend what she has done, and who offered her the job. He comes unglued. He explains all the reasons he and his ex-wife are divorced. He tells her she can’t keep the job. This is Kate’s response, “But she said I was amazing, and don’t you want me to work for someone who thinks I am amazing?”
The boyfriend responds with, “I can’t believe you will take what a stranger will say to you over what I have been saying to you!” Kate looks perplexed. He continues, “I have been telling you, you are amazing but you always down play it or push me off. What is wrong with you?” Kate responds with “I don’t know.”
What do these two scenes have in common? The NY chef and Kate could not see themselves the way everyone else saw them. The saw themselves for who others told them they were, yet those “others” were from the past and not in their current lives.
Side Note: Now please hear me, I am not down playing an abusive situation or an emotionally hurtful situation. It is real and it is painful and I do not want to minimize it in any way.
Back to the show comparisons: One person was real and one person was fictional, yet the fictional character mirrored what I do, and what so many of us do. We dwell on our short comings and not on our strengths. I dwell on how I felt in high school, instead of how I feel right now in my life.
Several years ago I made a very conscious effort to hear the people in my life. I made an effort to hear what they were saying to me. They were saying things like: “You are strong.” Or “You are brave.” Another “You have so much faith.” I can honestly tell you I did not FEEL strong, or brave or like my faith even existed but I went with it. When a situation would arise where fear wanted to paralyze me I would pull up that very recent conversation of my friend telling me I was brave, and in that moment I would chose to believe it.
Some of us allow the wrong voices in our heads to speak the most. What voice are you listening to? Are you listening to the voice of Truth or a voice of the past? The Apostle Paul understood this battle in 2 Corinthians 10:5 he wrote, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” I used to view this verse as one more thing I had to do to be a good Christian, but now I see it as freedom for me. Christ wants me to live in the redeemed, renewed life of today, not in the fragmented sins of the past.
So what about you? What are the messages from your past that you give more credence too than the truth of the present? The challenge for today is think about it. Go to the place we never want to go. Go to the core of who you really are and decide what you are going to build. Are you going to build today on the truth of who you are, or are you going to build it on the past of who were? You do have a choice. Choose life and truth and believe in your greatness!