Choosing to Thrive in My Circumstances

PART IX

Choose Dignity:
Remember Who Made You

Eye with reflection of Jesus
Image by 165106 from Pixabay

Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
clothe yourself with glory and splendor.

Today’s Scripture verse from Job 40:10 could be read in a narcissistic way, that we should dress ourselves richly and parade around looking for glory and splendor. This is not how I read it. Instead, this verse calls on us to share in the same qualities that God has, not because we are God, but because we were created to be like God. In Genesis 1:26-27, we read:

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

And in Psalm 104:1, we read:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, Thou art very great!
Thou art clothed with honor and majesty.”

If God has created us in His image and likeness, and if that image is clothed with honor and majesty, then we should clothe ourselves, spiritually (not materially) in the same way. Think of the things people do that are antithetical to majesty and dignity, glory and splendor:

  • Throwing up after having too much to drink
  • Looking at pornography
  • Using excessive profanity
  • Eating to the point of feeling sick
  • Becoming so angry we can’t think straight
  • Having such a bad day we become “toxic”
  • Being distracted by the phone to the point we aren’t getting anything done
  • And the many more things.

Job 40:10 is one of those verses one might consider putting up in their bedroom or bathroom, to consult each day before beginning the day’s activities. Imagine if we were to consciously work at modeling the majesty of God. If we saw Him both in ourselves and in those around us. If, together with majesty, we clothed ourselves honorably, and in His honor.

Imagine if we made it a goal to never take another person’s dignity, if we worked hard to never make anyone else feel “less than.” Regarding clothing ourselves with glory and splendor, doesn’t necessarily have to do with what we are wearing on the outside but what we are wearing on the inside. If we are filled with guilt or shame or anger on the inside, it will be hard to feel like we are clothed with glory and splendor on the outside. As Jesus says in Matthew 25:26:

“First cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate,
that the outside also may be clean.”

We need to cleanse our souls, what is inside of us, so that what we present on the outside is also clean.

Today’s “Choosing to Thrive in My Circumstances” reminds us to choose dignity. And the best way to remember that is to remember Who made us: God.

I remember a cute poem from our son’s much younger days:

God made the sun,
God made the sea,
God made the fishies,
and God made me! 

Imagine standing in front of the mirror each morning and saying to yourself, “God made me. God made me, so I should go out and make sure I reflect that statement.” 

God made us for dignified purposes—to help, to serve, to heal. Not to hurt or to call attention to ourselves or to steal. As we check each morning to make sure we are ready to go take on the day—that our hair is combed, our teeth are brushed and our clothes are clean—we need to also look inwardly to make sure the person that is stepping out into the world today reflects the majesty and dignity of God.

One need not be rich or famous or even successful to have dignity. There are plenty of rich, famous and very successful people who don’t. Dignity is about having faith in God, having control over thoughts and our actions, seeing God in others, and reflecting God in ourselves. We can choose dignity in any circumstance. We can be dignified even in failure. Some people call death the ultimate indignity. However, it’s interesting that in the Divine Liturgy, we pray for a dignified death—painless, blameless and peaceful and a good defense before the awesome judgment seat of Christ. There can be dignity, even when life on earth is ending. And certainly in every instance before that. We might not have a great day today, or a successful day, or a joyful day, but we can have a dignified day every day. We can reflect God’s glory and splendor in any circumstance.

Prayer for Our Dignity

Lord, thank You for creating me in Your image and likeness.
Help me to always remember that You made me and You made me special in many ways, especially that one.
Help me to carry myself with dignity, and to clothe myself at all times with Your glory and splendor. Amen.

Choose dignity today. Remember that God created us in His image and likeness and our purpose is to reflect His glory and splendor!

+Fr. Stavros

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"Choosing to Thrive in My Circumstances"

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    Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0


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Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0

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