One of my favorite quotes is by Marianne Williamson, who said “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”. This quote seems to echo preaching from Jesus in Matthew 5:16 which states, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
In 2020, I’ve chosen #RiseAndShine as my guiding phrase because to me, it’s a powerful counter-message to my internal narrative which says “make low and stay dim”.
I was further inspired to make this my guiding phrase upon reading about “self-forgetfulness” in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Lewis writes, “Let him think of [humility] not as self-forgetfulness but as a certain kind of opinion (namely, a low opinion) of his own talents and character” (said by the character Screwtape, a demon, about twisting a human’s view of humility).
For much of my life, I believed that to be “humble” I had to make-low my accomplishments and character. Lewis later states “[God] wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognize all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things.” This statement is, in my opinion, exactly what Jesus was emphasizing in Matthew 5:16. That by acknowledging (and celebrating) how we’ve been gifted, the uniqueness of our personality, and God’s love we bring others closer to him.
Therefore, in 2020, I will be “rising” and “shining” to bring glory to Christ and to fight off “self-contempt” which bears no fruit in my life, or others.
It’s going to be an exciting year! I have so many exciting experiences to look forward to and I’m excited to share them with you all. Try setting a phrase for yourself, I’d love to hear what phrase you’ve set in the comments below!