A Biblical Concept of Yourself 

Lately, I have been going through a series by J. Hampton Keathley III called Marks of Maturity: Biblical Concept of Christian Leadership, it has really heed me think through some of my thoughts. However, the chapter that has really helped me recently is chapter 3 which in the title of this entry A Biblical concept of oneself. When I got on to write this was looking at some of my drafts that didn’t make it to the published side. One those entries is called inferiority complex. Something I can struggle with in my christian walk is how I view myself which usually isn’t how the Bible says that God sees me. The study is quite long but I’ll share the things that really impacted me or greats points he makes.

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

– Romans 12:3 NIV

This scripture tells us to not think that we are not to think of ourselves as if we the best thing that has ever Wales on earth but to really look at ourselves as God sees us. What women hasn’t struggled with her image? Her worth? Her characteristics? I’m sure everyone has at one point but the beautiful thing is that we need to think of ourselves with SOBER judgement which means a real look at who we are and where we want to be. Better yet, where God wants us to be. If we have the right thoughts about God, we’ll have a right view about ourselves. On the oher hand, if we don’t like who we are, we will have the crazy notion that no one like us either. That’s a sad mental state to be in because it can paralyse yourself,  your ministry and the relationships around your (friends, family, etc). That mentality will put your further in isolation and selfishness and as Christians we need to consistently pour ourselves out (deny ourselves) as mentioned in Luke 9 : 23. If we live in a state of self hatred and hating others, we will focus on our own personal strength and not on the strength tat God provides us with and when failures come around it becomes a huge hindrance in the Christian walk. God has made us able to accomplish his plan into reality.

“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant…”

– 2 Corinthians 3:4‭-‬6 NIV

If we focus on what people think about us, we’ll never really get anywhere past of what the limitations people will give us. You don’t want to be a slave to the opinions of people but be fully confident that God has equipped you and made you competent. I love what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2:4‭ & ‬6,

“On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.” NIV

Paul had the mindset that he could honestly care less what the people thought about him because he was confident in his calling and how God saw him. Paul didn’t measure success by men’s standards but by God’s grace which helped him to be grateful and work harder.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

– 1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV

Paul also knew the danger of measuring up to men’s standard, instead of God’s. When you look at men to set your standard and give you approval, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Not only that, it’s sinful because you’re idolizing people.

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. But, ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’  For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”

– 2 Corinthians 10:12‭, ‬17‭-‬18 NIV

Keathley gives a list of what false standards lead to which are:

  • False motives – Philippians 1 : 17
  • Guilt, frustration, depression – 1 Thessalonians 2 : 4 – 6
  • Feeling of pride and false success – 1 Timothy 3 : 6
  • Fear of failure and not wanting to go for the ministry – 2 Timothy 1 : 6 – 7
  • Self deprecation with the belief that we aren’t good enough

Falso standards -> false feelingso of significance

He continues to say that all those attributes lead to “handicapped people who are divisive and unloving because they compete with others and themselves for a sense of significance” and become defensive, argumentative and fearful. Have you ever been a person who is defensive, argumentative and fearful? I have and that was because I allowed my emotions to keep a hold of me and not rely on the word of God for the truth.

A mature believer… (From Keathley)

  • Act on the truth in their identity in Christ
  • Rest and act on God given abilities

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

– 1 Corinthians 12:4‭-‬6 NIV

  • Act on God’s purpose and nature for this life

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

– Ephesians 2:10 NIV

To summarise what I learned from this lesson is that if I know who I am in Christ, I will act accordingly regardless of the response or success of others because I know of where I am going. Jesus knew who he was and where he was going that he did not really care for the negativity of the people of the leaders of the time. It’s always about the cross and our relationship with God. You should only measure yourself with Jesus and not other people because their sense of measurement is broken. God knows you more than anyone and even yourself and he has really made you one of a kind with gifts and talents! Find out what those are and excel in them and be okay with your weaknesses.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

– Psalm 139:13‭-‬14 NIV

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Single but Taken

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Happy Valentine’s day!

It’s a worldwide day celebration of love. You see bouquets of roses everywhere, chocolates being sold for way more than it should be, people blushing and falling in love… and then there is the other side. Single women wondering why they don’t have that “special someone” but I am here to persuade you that you do have a special someone on this day and EVERY DAY! My some one special speaks to me through the Scriptures and tells me how much he loves me every day and how special I am to him and even compliments my hair *blushing*.

I find Song of Songs to be a very romantic book and it is perfect for today to remind us that even though we are “single”, we are completely taken in God’s eyes. These are some scriptures I found extremely encouraging and I hope you are encouraged as well…

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Songs 4:7

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies.” Song of Songs 6: 3

“…but my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The young women saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her.” Song of Songs 6 : 9

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Song of Songs 8 : 7

I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs 7 : 10

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.” Song of Songs 1 : 15

“I’ll marry you for good—forever! I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You’ll know me, God , for who I really am.” Hosea 2 : 19 – 20 MSG

God has a love that no person can fill. Reading these scriptures helped my heart to remember that I have a love that will never fade or go away. It is also a love that loved me first, when I was unlovable and kept pushing him away.

Below is one of my favourite songs about God’s love to me! ❤

 

 

*This is posted a day late*

A Hope That Purifies

This message that Tracy gives is just eye opening and completely will make you think. She is vulnerable and real, something you don’t get to see too often in the world. People often puts up masks but she has hers off and inspires us to do the same… to get over our insecurities!!  More importantly, to help me get over my insecurities. These are my notes and thoughts about it. I will try to follow as her lesson goes along.

 “People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrew 6:16-19

1) Purification

“It is impossible for God to lie.” Wow. Think about that for a second. In a world where there are endless possibilities, there is no chance that God will lie. There are no tricks, no shadiness, no confusion, no small print, nothing. Just a simple but powerful truth. Yet God (in his awesomeness) still chose to make an oath to me to stress that I really can hold firm to him as it says “an anchor for the soul”.  As a woman, I can try to hold firmly onto many things other sisters, my own thoughts… but at the end of the day none of those will be firm as holding onto God and his promises. That means laying everything into his hands and letting go of my life. Letting go of my insecurities.

James 4:1 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” Tracy parallels it: “Insecurities causes fights. Getting insecure is an argument over who you are and what you can do. We want to argue because we aren’t in control.”

I never saw being insecure as an argument over who I am and over what I can do. I thought being insecure was just not believing in myself or being faithless. When I can’t get what I want I go to my comfort which is eating or being debaucherous with watching videos. Clouding my mind. Acting as if it’s not there. Why am I not praying? Asking God for help? Whenever I don’t have a good prayer in the morning, I find myself being very defensive (putting walls around my heart so none can get close) and if too many questions are asked that make me doubt I want to run away. Trying to hide my insecurities from others.

2) Purify ourselves from anxiety

“Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and in the evening, ‘If only it were morning!’– because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.” Deuteronomy 28: 65-67

Wooooohhh maaaan! Anxiety and I go waaaaay back. All of my self reliance has caused me to have migraines for years. I go to doctors and there’s nothing they can do except give me prescriptions that don’t really work. At those times when I really can’t take the pain I go to prayer. See what’s wrong with that picture? I am going to God AFTER I have tried to do things my way. Am I praying in my distress? Why am I not in the battle on my knees with my voice crying to the One on high? Satan knows my weakness of self reliance aka pride. He will use it against me. I need to develop a deeper knowledge of scripture to battle my anxiety. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6. Pray to be righteous. Where is my faith during the storms?

3) Purify yourself of resentment and bitterness

This is the one I struggle with the most.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:30-31

Holding onto things of the past that I wish were different or not letting go of hurts. That makes me bitter which ends up being shown as anger and defensiveness. Dig and SOUL SEARCH! Hit rock bottom. It’s OK. I think that’s when (I) you can find what’s really bothering (me) you instead of blaming someone/something for it. At the beginning of my christian walk, a dear friend and mentor encouraged me to write in a journal. I chose to not do it because I didn’t want to open the door to the deep waters of my heart. So I kept skimming the surface with the bitterness shark still swimming around. I will work on diving into those deep waters and purifying myself from it!

The end goal is to become more and more like Christ every day! It’s a daily challenge and self denial. Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”