Do You Enjoy You?

17 For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah was a prophet who was active during the reign of King Josiah in the late 7th century BC in Judah.  During his life, Judah has descended into idolatry and the prophet’s message is one of judgment for these practices.  He heralds the “day of the Lord” and warns of complete devastation.  He extends his prophecy beyond Judah to her neighbors – the Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Ethiopians and Assyrians.  Amid these harsh words, however, he utters a wonderful respite of God’s everlasting presence, his delight in his people and his action to “rejoice over you with joyful songs”.

I was recently in conversation with Shivana about the concept of rejoicing.  There are so many passages in which we are told of God’s action of rejoicing over us.  Here are a few:

Isaiah 62:5 (ESV)

 "For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you."

Jeremiah 32:41 (ESV)

"I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul."

Deuteronomy 30:9 (ESV)

"The Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers."

Isaiah 65:19 (ESV)

"I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress."

Luke 15:6-7, 9-10 (ESV)

"Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost...There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

Additionally, we know from scripture that we are unique, intentional creations made in wonderment and within the context of a Creator who marvels and admires his handiwork:



Psalm 8:3-6 (NIV)

 "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet."

Psalm 139:13-16 (NKJV)

"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... 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."

Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)

"But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand."

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

It is therefore clear that God rejoices over us as his created beings.  He looks at us with pleasure as he surveys all that he has made.  We occupy his thoughts and he makes intentional provision for us, because we delight him.  As I proceeded to reflect on this, Shivana asked me a question that caused some thought. “God enjoys you”, she said, “but do you enjoy you?”  The question rocked me as I had never considered it within the frame of God’s action of enjoyment toward me.  I connected with my struggle to be appealing to others; to be accepted; to fashion my personality in a way that was interesting and attractive.  I reflected on all of the “imperfections” about myself that I could rattle off.  I revisited my various improvement lists and opportunities for growth.  In all this I realized that enjoying my uniqueness, idiosyncrasies, nuances, quirks, preferences, viewpoints, passions, interests, tastes…was a distance second to the comparison I made about the things that I seemed to not possess…that I seemed to see in others.

I am learning to enjoy me.  I am not everyone’s “cup of tea”, and I will not appeal to all.  That’s ok.  I shouldn’t expect carte blanche approval and people shouldn’t be expected to give it to me.  What is important is that God enjoys what he has created in me and by extension that gives me permission to enjoy the same in me.  What about you.  Do you enjoy you?

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