“Can I Tell Just You Two Kids Something?”

There was a poll here recently to get an idea about your favorite comic strip from Nickel Boy Graphics, and Laser Eyes Jesus received more votes than any of the others. (Though I have to say the more serious comic strips received the most comments!) If I had to make a guess at “Why?” I’d say it’s because even though he occasionally blasts little kids (harmlessly) with his laser eyes to keep them on the right path, he really is just a “regular guy” trying to make it as best he can. (Oh, yeah, and what’s not to like about somebody who loves pudding cups and Godzilla movies?)

So what do you think? Have you ever criticized yourself for “not being enough”? Have you ever said, “I don’t want to be like this?” Have you ever asked, “Why can’t I be normal just like everybody else?” Don’t those kinds of thoughts hurt and frustrate? Seriously.

I’m wondering if there really might be just two main ways of looking at ourselves or judging ourselves: according to the standards of the world and according to the standards of God.

The world says, “Here is what success looks like. You’re on your own to make it happen.”

God says, “Here is what success looks like. I’m going to help make it happen.”

You know, I’m wondering why the world’s standards have been my default way of looking at myself. Part of it is definitely that there is an allure to what the world offers. But what if the bigger part of it is that in my mind it seems easier to be successful according to the world’s standards rather than God’s standards? Those actually seem unattainable to me, and maybe to you too, so let’s take a closer look.

“Here is what success looks like.”

…to be conformed to the image of his Son… Romans 8:29 (NRSV)

Success looks like Jesus. Now before you begin to get overwhelmed by that thought (because that really is overwhelming), remember the other part of God’s standards: “I’m going to help make it happen.”

Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Romans 14:4 (NRSV)

Can I take a moment to say how thankful I am that God’s Word does not say “You’re on your own to make it happen”?!?

Sometimes I think in our desperation to “be enough,” “be different from this,” and “be normal,” we may become too fixed on what we think we need to change or improve when really those things may be inconsequential to God, for the present time, and maybe for the future time as well.

What I’m saying is that every person is extremely complex and only God can see the heart and know what is needed and when, and that’s where prayerful self-examination (when we listen more than speak) is so important.

What success looks like, I believe, is the image of Real Life Jesus, and I think that it’s really quite possible that we may already be more like the image of Our Heavenly Father’s Dear Son than we even imagine in His Eyes, if not our own!

Now you know I’m just on a journey here and appreciate having you along even though I don’t have a stack of answers to pass out, but I think we might be on to something here!

5 thoughts on ““Can I Tell Just You Two Kids Something?”

  1. I used to believe I was a complete failure at everything I did. I longed to be like everyone else who seemed “normal” to me. I have rarely held a job because of mental illness, so we have had to live on just my husband’s paycheck. This has kept us quite poor compared with other people.

    The men at my husband’s workplace have boats, campers, nice houses etc. All their wives work. Still, I’ve been free to babysit our grandchildren and that has been a huge blessing.

    I think you are right, we stress things that are not that important to God. We can even stress the wrong type of sins as being especially offensive to God. Some Christians stress sexual sins whereas Jesus talked about not helping people as being the worst type of sin.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Belle, you’ve touched on something that I almost included in this post, but decided not to. It’s sort of like what’s in the last panel. It’s almost as if Laser Eyes Jesus is thinking, “God gave me this difference or disability so that these kids will have someone to take care of them.” You could have said something similar, but didn’t! You look at God, I believe, as a Giver Of Blessings rather than a Giver Of Disability. That makes all the difference in the world! Your perspective is a huge blessing! And has much more impact in God’s Kingdom than a boat or a camper would have! Thanks, Belle!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent post! Funny, charming presentation of a complicated idea. We stand because we put our faith in the Lord.

    How close are we to being like Jesus? I doubt I am all that much like Jesus. All I know for certain is that He covers my sins. Fortunately, when we think of Romans 14:4, there is a bit of subtlety in the tense.We will be upheld. He is able to make us stand.

    In another verse Paul wrote, he put it this way.

    Philippians 1:6New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

    The Lord knows our imperfections. It is amazing that He cares enough to help us with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tom. The Philippians verse is a great one too! Thanks for adding that.

      It’s interesting that you would say “I doubt that I am all that much like Jesus” because I almost said more about that, but it would have made this post way too long.

      What I was pondering is that since God is outside of time and space, maybe He sees us in a “from start to finish all at once” kind of way.

      It’s sort of like He sees “the finished product” as well as our imperfections and flaws…sort of like maybe a potter shaping clay. He knows what the final vessel will look like even if bystanders only see a lopsided mass of clay.

      Like you, I am SO amazed that He lovingly shapes and molds us with His lovingkindness and grace! (Because I am one lopsided piece of clay!)

      Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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