Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the series titled, “Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie.” In part one we went over the definition of self-esteem and covered the first three points of the definition in contrast to God’s word. If you haven’t listened to part one I highly recommend you listen to or read it before getting into part two, and with that recommendation, let’s get started on the fourth point of the definition of self-esteem.

self-esteem circular reasoning

Is Worldly Fulfillment Natural?

4. Self-esteem is also the experience that success, achievement, fulfillment – happiness – are right and natural for us.

I’m just going to address one thing on this list, because it is the most important. Worldly fulfillment. Is fulfillment right and natural for us?

There isn’t any specific verse that tells us, “God made you to desire Him, and if you don’t turn to Him, you will have an empty and miserable life, no matter what you do.” But we do see stories of famous people, people that have it all, committing suicide or overdosing on drugs they are taking to numb the painful emotions they feel. Worldly objects and worldly relationships just can’t fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts, can they? This reminds me of one of my favorite stories in the bible. Jesus is doing something He was always doing, looking for lost people that needed Him. He was at a Samaritan well, during the hottest part of the day, a big no-no at the time and in that culture, and he encounters a woman. Let’s go straight to the text in John 4:6-18:

“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” Read more

Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 1

Where the phrase “Self-Esteem” Comes From

The words, “self-esteem” have followed me around like a dark cloud overhead ever since I was very young. Recently I have started on a journey to figure out what these words really mean, and where they actually come from. I wanted to know if self-esteem was actually a biblical concept. I think the answers  will surprise you. Let’s get started with where the phrase came from.

self esteem lie

The internet is such an amazing tool! Even though it makes the spread of evil and addiction more accessible than every before in history, it is also an amazing resource for the believer. I started this project by looking for “self” and “esteem” in the bible, and there wasn’t one verse that had both words in them. In fact, there are 6 verses that contain the word “esteem” and most of them have to do with esteeming others. Only one talks about obtaining esteem for yourself, in Proverbs 3:1-4 it says,

“My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and esteem in the sight of God and man.” Read more

Giving Up Rights To Your Husband

Giving Up Rights To Your Husband

While we were visiting the States, I felt a strong urging from the Lord to think about my husband, and what my life would be like if he wasn’t as present in my life. He surrounded me with women, and testimonies of women that were choosing to give up their rights to their husbands. There are seasons we go through in our lives as well as in our marriages. There have been seasons in my life where I felt like a single mother because my husband was working several jobs to provide for us. All of the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of our daughter were my sole responsibility and it was exhausting. Looking back I can see that I did not deal with that season in the best way. I was angry and resentful that my husband chose to be away from us, but that is the completely wrong way to feel about these kinds of situations. He was not choosing to be away from me and our child, he was providing so we would have a place to live and food on the table. Bitterness does not lend itself to common sense. Being angry at our spouse is counter productive and satan knows that. What better way to discourage our husbands than to fight with them when they do have time off?

Frustrated With The Situation

If I was looking at this from a worldy approach I might say something like, “Obviously it is counter productive to be angry at your husband, but it is fine to be frustrated with the situation.” But that isn’t how the bible tells us to deal with things. It doesn’t say, “And thou shall sit around and think about all the ways you wish your life was different.” It tells us to bring our thoughts into captivity. Let’s take a look at 2 Corinthians 10:4-5…

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Read more

I’ll Never Say It’s Ok

Today I was working away in the kitchen, making tomato sauce, peanut butter, and smoothies at the same time. I guess I was so busy I didn’t notice a little intruder make his way past the baby gate fortress into my thicket of house maker taskmaster solitude. I looked down just in time to see Timo reaching his hand towards a mop bucket of boiling hot water. When I saw what he was about to do I screamed, “NOOOO!” as loudly as I could. He was in danger, and I needed to be as forceful as needed to prevent him from getting hurt. If I could have reached I would have pushed him away from the water bucket, but thankfully he heard the tone of mommy’s voice and backed away. He looked at me for an explanation and I told him, “It is very hot!” He said, “uuu hot” (he says uuu for it). Then he walked over for me to pick him up and take him out of the kitchen.

We’re Getting Closer

As we get closer to our Lord and Savior coming, this world is getting more and more dangerous. There is a specific danger that many societies used to be more aware of, but as time progresses it becomes more and more acceptable in it’s various forms and frequencies. That danger is sin. As Christians we are called to share about the danger of sin. Just as I was not about to willingly condone Timo getting third degree burns, Christians are supposed to warn the people around them about the dangers of sin. What is so dangerous about sin, you might ask. God’s holy word tells us that, “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death,” in James 1:15. Hopefully we are also familiar with this verse, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” from Romans 6:23. Sin is so dangerous because it leads to death, which can also be stated as eternal separation from our Eternal Father in heaven. Sin leads to the worst possible thing that could ever happen to any human being, eternal separation from God. Let me just state the obvious here, which is that if you are separated from God for all of eternity, that means you will be spending eternity suffering in hell (Matthew 25:31-46). I know most of you know that, but I wanted to make sure not to gloss over that very important destination.

When God tells us not to sin in the bible, it is because He loves us and He knows how destructive sin is to our souls (and many times physical bodies). He is warning us!!! As Christians it is our duty to warn others about the danger and destruction of sin. Let me remind you that Satan, “The their does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” In the rest of John 10:10 Jesus offers that He represents the opposite, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

That is why, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I will never, ever, tell someone it is ok to continue in sinful behavior. Whether that is an adulterous lifestyle, drunkenness, gossip, or whatever other sin the bible teaches us about. If I am loving someone the way Christ demands that I do (Romans 13:9), then I can never tell them it is ok for them to continue in behavior or activity that will hurt them, and possibly keep them from entering into a redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean I can’t warn them in a loving way. If I am going to go around calling people out on their sin simply because they are sinners, and I have no love for them in my heart, I’m not any better than the Pharisees that Jesus confronted.

This week in the media there have been two stories revolving around two popular bands in Christian circles, Switchfoot and Jars of Clay. Switchfoot (who does not even call themselves a Christian band, although their fruits speak for themselves that these guys are obviously Christian) has been getting harassed by protestors claiming that they are going to hell because they sing rock and roll music. Their response? Jon Foreman takes water bottles out to the protestors and tells the band’s fans to show these protestors love, keeping in mind that is what Jesus taught. Then we have Jars of Clay’s lead singer, Dan Haseltine took to twitter to show his support of gay marriage and implied that those that didn’t agree with his supportive stance were ignorant, tweeting back and forth saying things like, “Could there be something to learn from them {the LBGT community}? Or are we passed the ability to learn?” But I think the bigger issue is that Mr. Haseltine is missing the point, because by encouraging someone to continue in a life of sin, you aren’t loving them. I don’t want to start a huge discussion about homosexuality and Christianity at this moment, but I will say that I love homosexual people, and I care enough about them to tell them the truth, without being hateful or judgmental, because of that love for them. I’m a sinner too after all. Jesus loves all sinners, and He came down to earth and was tortured and sacrificed His life to get that message out! As a sinner that was dead in my trespasses and miserable living in a life of sin, I cannot tell you how much that means to me personally.

And that is why I’ll never say it’s ok to sin. Because if I love you, I just can’t tell you that.

When someone is about to stick their hand into boiling hot water, I am going to warn them. That doesn’t mean all I do is bring up people’s short comings, well all have them. I have many friends that are unbelievers, and my main goal is simply to love on them and let my life and actions be a witness for Jesus Christ. However, when I see a friend or family member involved in some kind of destructive behavior, I am going to point it out to them as lovingly as possible.

Sacrificing For A Real Relationship

God’s timing is also very important and I rely on the Holy Spirit to tell me when I should speak up. We also have to establish trust with people before they will be willing to listen to our warnings. My son understands that I love him and I was warning him because I cared about him. He wanted to know why I yelled like I did, and he responded to my warning by listening and asking me to pick him up. This is possible because we have a relationship. He trusts me. If you really care about being an effective witness for Jesus that can speak into people’s lives, you first have to be willing to invest in a real relationship with them. Make whatever sacrifices you can to show them that you love them like Christ loves the church, with no strings attached. Then when the time comes, be bold and speak truth in love.

So here is my encouragement for all of us as Christians:

We need to be warning people, in love, and in God’s timing, that their sin is killing them.

Sincerely,

Kristin

P.S. In case you are interested in some amazing and encouraging words, check out the utmost.org excerpt for today here.

Feeling Discouraged

There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t have the thought, “I am a missionary.” Maybe some people get used to it, but after three years I never really do. It’s a good thing though, because I am constantly reminded that God has blessed me with a unique opportunity to serve Him and die to myself every single day.

feeling discouraged

On the other hand I struggle with feeling discouraged, as we all do. But sometimes I feel especially overwhelmed by the fact that we are missionaries, and our calling is strange. Our specific calling doesn’t fit into any of the ordinary missionary journeys that many other missionaries take. We spend almost all of our time investing in relationships with people, which takes place in various forms. I spend a lot of time with other moms that have young children. I am very blessed to have both believers and unbelieving friends to spend time with. Recently I was able to lead a friend into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You would think something like that would validate our presence here, but it doesn’t. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am really full of joy to welcome another sister into the flock of believers of Jesus. But I have come to realize that the only thing that can validate my journey as a missionary is God. No matter what happens, God is the one that tells me what to do and where to go. Honestly, He is the one I answer to. Even though we have plenty of accountability and support from the pastoral staffs of our supporting churches (which is very important for all missionaries), God is truly the one that guides us. My husband does a lot of “unconventional” missionary tasks, like going to Jiu Jitsu, or spending time driving teenage boys back and forth to their soccer games (this is pretty much my favorite thing he does, these teens have such a special place in our hearts!).

But there have been many, many tears getting to the point of being able to rejoice in this strange place (geographically and ministry wise) God has us in.

I feel like I have gone through some kind of torturous missionary boot camp over the last three years. I have gone through some crazy things, just to list a few… my father had heart surgery and I wasn’t there, my brother (and only sibling) got married and I wasn’t there, we had a baby in a foreign country, enrolled our oldest child in school for the first time in a language we can barely understand, had visa issues, had a moped crash into our car, experienced my husband having serious health problems… the list goes on, but you get the idea. These last three years have been hard, and lately it has really started wearing me down. Well, on top of sometimes unbearable homesickness. I haven’t been back to the US in almost two years, which is the longest I have been away between visits.

All this to say, yes, sometimes it is too hard for me and I am completely discouraged. That comes out in different ways but this last week I have been a complete and total mess. Then something happened… I was working on our update and I thought about how much joy I get out of serving God in Greece. I know there isn’t any other place He wants me and my family to be right now, and that is comforting. Two years ago, when we were going through a particularly difficult trial God gave us this verse,

“For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;”

Proverbs 2:21

In so many ways I felt that was a promise for us, and a warning, not to try to justify our obedience to what He was instructing us to do. God told us just to be quiet, listen to His voice, and trust Him to take care of us. And guess what? He did! And He continues to.

So when I saw this verse today I thought, this perfectly sums up my life at this moment. The last three years have been far from easy, but,

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Psalm 126:5

I know that all the tears I have wept for this country and through all of our difficult times here, we reap joy. Today, in this moment, I am enjoying that. I’m not saying I’ll still be a rational person half an hour from now, but at this very second, I feel the joy of the Lord that comes from the tears only God has numbered.

The second, and last verse of this very short Psalm also gives me great hope:

“He who continually goes forth weeping,

Bearing seed for sowing,

Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,

Bringing his sheaves with him.”

And in case you are wondering how to deal with discouragement, I will tell you the three steps a very wise woman gave to me… Face it… Take it to the cross… Get over it. It sounds simple, and it can be, but sometimes I tend to over complicate it. God is so gracious and merciful to me!

May God bless you and sow joy from your tears.

Sincerely,

Kristin

What Marriage Isn’t

Welcome back to Sincerely Adorned, Discipleship Online for Women. I’m Kristin Spencer, your host and sister in the faith.

This is my first official topic podcast, now that we are finished with introductions and my personal testimony, yay!

what marriage isnt

What Marriage Isn’t

There are quite a few weddings coming up in my family, and I know too many people that are struggling in their marriages because they had the wrong idea  about what marriage actually is when they got married. So let me start out by saying, Lindsey and Christi, I love you both so much and I am praying for your marriages!! I am so excited for both of you and your future hubbies!

We live in a day and age when the concept of marriage has been twisted and spoiled. No, I am not going to talk about homosexual marriage. What I want to talk about today is how marriage has become an act of self-satisfaction thats ultimate goal is lacking the very essential meaning of marriage as God intended. Today I want to talk about what marriage isn’t.

Listen carefully, because if you enter into marriage thinking it is going to make your life happy and complete, you are absolutely wrong. If you have listened to my testimony, you know that I am happily married, but making myself happy wasn’t my motivation for getting married. My happiness is also not the reason my husband and I enjoy our marriage to each other so much. Jesus is the one that healed me and taught me how to be fully satisfied in Him alone. That is where my joy comes from. Read more

Personal Testimony – Part Two

This is part two of my personal testimony. If you haven’t listened to part one, you can check it out here.

When we left off I was a senior in high school and I had just rededicated my life to the Lord. I started regularly attending the High School group at my church and even started a new Christian club at my high school, since there wasn’t one that year. I was trying to change my behavior and let God give me an inside/out make over, but I was still clinging onto sinful behaviors. I was trying to missionary date an older guy I had met the previous year, and it didn’t work at all. Can I just take a second to say how bad of an idea missionary dating is? Read more

Personal Testimony – Part One

The first thing on my heart to share with you is my personal testimony. It is rather long so I am going to do it in two parts.

Part One

I always think about what I would tell myself if I could go back in time and warn my teenage self about all the bad choices I would make before they happened. Maybe it’s the Doctor Who fan side of me, but I think about it quite often. I also think about what I want to share with my own girls now that I’m a mother. Everything boils down to this…

God loves you, and that really is enough. Read more

Introductions

This is my first ever podcast! It officially signifies the beginning of Sincerely Adorned as a working website, and I am so excited for whatever God wants to do through this. Thanks for taking this ride along with me, we’ll work out the bumps along the way. For the full text that goes along with this podcast, please click right here —> Read more