The Basics: I’m a Selfish Sociopath that needs Self-Control

sociopath: noun 1. a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense or moral responsibility or social conscience.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23

I hope that you are starting to notice a pattern emerging from this series. I talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit an awful lot, and there is a good reason for that. A few months ago I wrote a post about love, the most important fruit we have, but today I want to focus on the key to being able to use the gifts of the Spirit at all times, even when we don’t feel like it. Today we are going to talk about self-control.

self control

The Makings of a Selfish Sociopath

If selfish ambitions have been the prison in my life, self-control has been the key that opened the door for my release. What does that mean? Well, if you look at the works of the flesh (found in Galatians 5:19-21), you will notice that self ambition is on the list. Self ambition, which means that you care more about yourself and your desires than others, will cause us to fail at every single one of the fruits of the spirit. But why? Well in our flesh, we are selfish. That means that we are capable of doing whatever it takes to get whatever we want. It means that I am capable of becoming a sociopath. That is in direct contrast with loving, being peaceful, being kind, being gentle, and so on and so forth — you get the idea. Apart from the Holy Spirit, every single one of us is capable of murder, molestation, rape, and adultery, just to name a few. This may shock you. If you believe that you are above committing any of these sins, you are being deceived. According to the Bible, our hearts are deceitfully wicked, and the works of the flesh are evident. Look at these two verses with me:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” -Jeremiah 17:9

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Galatians 5:19-21 Read more

The Basics: To Hear God’s Voice

This post is part of “The Basics” series, a series all about the basics of being a follower of Jesus Christ.

The last post in this series was about praying. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. But what comes next? Well if you want to get to know God better, and start trusting Him, you need to give Him opportunities to talk to you, to teach you, to love you. This starts with the regular intake of God’s word, but we need the Holy Spirit to help us understand what God is trying to tell us.  We need to hear God’s still, small voice.

We need to hear God's voice

Nothing At All

One of the things that alluded me most when I was a baby Christian was hearing from God. I remember that I wanted to hear from Him so badly, but days would go by without anything. Not a verse, not a word, not an answered prayer. I read my bible every day, but some days I didn’t understand the connection between the words on paper, and my life.

Looking back on those times has made me think about you, dear reader. I have spent a lot of time praying about this specific topic, asking God to show me what He would have me say to you about it.

The Practicing Stage

When I was praying about it God reminded of a common scene that took place in my life at that time. I can still see myself, sitting at my desk (under my lofted bed), resting my feet on the ledge while I reclined in my office chair, quiet. Not saying anything. Trying not to think. Practicing. Listening.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they know Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28

I don’t mind being the dumb sheep in this equation as long as the brave, strong shepherd is Jesus Christ. Sheep know the specific voice of their shepherd, but why? Because they hear it over and over again. They spend time with the shepherd until one day they would be able to tell his voice apart from any other voice. That is the same thing we need to do when we are getting to know Jesus. We need to spend time listening to Him. That doesn’t always mean we will hear Him, but we need to practice so that day can come when we can tell His voice apart from all of the others. We need to invest time in trying to understand our Father in heaven. Do you ever pray and then just sit there waiting for an answer? I used to do just that. I would sit there and try to focus on hearing from God. Many times nothing would happen, but it was good practice, and these days I do hear from God a lot more often.

Sitting Still

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

I could take this verse very literally and say, “Sit still!” when you want to hear from God. But I don’t think that is what this verse means. On one level, sure, but there is so much more to it than that. For men maybe this verse means, “Stop trying to fix this!” For women I feel like this verse means, “Stop worrying and overthinking everything. Relax and trust me. I’m God. Stop letting your mind run scenarios like a hamster on a wheel, going nowhere. I’ve got this.” Notice that God has to use a few more words to get through to us women 😉 I don’t know about you, but I am very tempted not to sit still. I want to do something when I have a problem or something comes up. I always want to go talk to someone about everything. In fact I want to go talk to many someones. I think talking over everything in detail will make me feel better. Over the years, however, God has shown me that I need to take my worries and hurts to Him first. First of all, I may be overreacting, which He lovingly reminds me of once I calm down if that is the case. Secondly, I don’t want to involve anyone else in gossip, if the thing that is upsetting me has to do with someone else. Sometimes the best way for me to tell God about what is really bothering me is to think about what I would say to a close friend, and then say it to God instead. Being still means that you don’t react based on your emotions, but take a moment, talk to God, and try to deal with the situation based on God’s Word and God’s desires for your life. As a parent, I am constantly being tested in this area.

Am I Really Saying That God Speaks

I know that everyone has different experiences when it comes to hearing from God. I think we all know when He is speaking to us through a verse in the bible, when we hear the same phrase from several different people within a few days, or when someone prays for us about something that we never told them about. These are generally accepted ways of hearing from God in the Christian community. But then there are arguments about whether people actually hear from God individually. I can tell you that in my own life, I also experience God as a type of consciousness.

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

Sometimes I hear a voice in my head telling me to do something, or responding to a question during prayer. It sounds a lot like my inner voice (like when you read) but it is a lot quieter, gentler, and doesn’t get angry like I do. This voice also says things that are far too wise to come from myself. If you think I’m being crazy, I don’t care, that’s ok. But if you relate to what I am saying, then I wrote this for you.

That Other Voice

If you already thought I was being crazy when I talked about hearing a conscious form of God speaking to me, you are not going to like this next part. There have been a few times in my life when I have experienced hearing another voice, kind of like the voice I described earlier. However it actually sounded and felt different— it wasn’t wise, at all. It was condemning and challenged me to do stupid things that would put my family and I in danger in a quest for self righteousness. God would never do that. I don’t want to scare you, I just want you to know to be careful. We do know this about satan:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10a

This is Jesus talking about satan… whom he calls, “the thief.” If you don’t think that satan will try to imitate God’s methods of communications to make you an ineffective Christian, you are wrong. Use discretion and listen for the Holy Spirit warning you, telling you not to listen to this destructive force that seeks to manipulate, steal, kill, and destroy.

That is all I have for this week about hearing God’s voice. If you have any questions about this topic, please send them in and I would love to do my best to answer them.

Next time, I will be talking about my new book, “The Truth About Godly Confidence,” that will hit online retailers next week. I hope you will join me for that.

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this time. Lord, I pray that You would please help my sisters to know how to hear from you. I know that there is a specific way that you desire to speak to each one of them. I pray that they would learn to be still so that they can hear Your voice, which we all need so desperately. Thank You that You actually want to communicate with us, and that You love us so much that you sent Your Son to die on the cross so that we can be with You in heaven for all eternity. We love you Lord.

In Your Son’s precious name,

Amen

I hope you tune in next week!

Sincerely Adorned,

Kristin

Women2Women – Cheryl Brodersen

women teaching from calvary chapel

If you go to a Calvary Chapel, it is likely that you have heard about Cheryl Brodersen, wife of Brian Brodersen (the Head Pastor of CCCM), and the head of the Women’s Ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. She is one of my personal heroes, and she is one of the most humble women I have had the pleasure to know. I am so excited that there is finally a website, Women2Women, where you can find hundreds of different teachings from women (for women) from Calvary Chapels all over. One of the most amazing things I found is a large collection of Cheryl’s various teachings and series. If you need encouragement and teaching (who doesn’t?), head on over to Women 2 Women – Cheryl Brodersen (hosted by Calvary Chapel Arroyo Grande). Thank you CCAG for this amazing resource!

Sincerely Adorned,

Kristin Spencer

Unrealistic Expectations And Your Husband

This post is part of the “Becoming A Better Wife” series.

One of the most fundamental problems in any marriage today is the problem of unrealistic expectations. We have unrealistic expectations for our husbands. Women all over the world are battling with the same problem, they desire to feel loved. When I first got married, I thought that I would finally feel loved and desired. I thought that all the issues from my past would melt away. Daddy problems, bam, gone. Insecurities, boom, permanently dissolved. Low self-esteem, p’wned (that is a gaming term for owned, or defeated). Loneliness, forget about it, I would never feel lonely again. But I was very wrong, and these insane expectations I thought my husband should meet put horrible stress on our marriage.

Jesus Understands

Sinful People Cannot Be Perfect

I am not saying that your husband shouldn’t cherish you, or love you the way that Christ loves the church. What I am saying is that your husband is not Jesus. Your husband could never take the place of Jesus in your heart. Not only that, but your husband is a human, made up of sinful flesh, just like you and I. That means that you cannot expect him to be perfect. Husbands make mistakes. Wives make mistakes. Jesus does not make any mistakes. Some of the most lonely moments in my life have been right next to my husband. I was lonely because I turned to my husband to help me through a situation where he did not understand how I was feeling. He could not understand. But the reason I was really lonely is because I wasn’t taking my problems to Jesus, the only One that truly understands every situation I go through. He is the only One that can love me the way I need to be loved.

My Husband Failed, Let’s Have Some Kids

A lot of times, women realize that their husband will not be able to fill this void in their life, so they decide to take the next step. Surely, having children will fill that void. It will give my life purpose and guarantee that there will be someone that loves me unconditionally. First of all, this is a huge mistake, because you are going from placing unrealistic expectations on your husband to placing them on your unborn child. Secondly, your quest to fill the void in your life will fail again and you will start to become bitter. Children of parents that expect them to be their, “everything,” will always tell you that they felt trapped and unequipped to meet the demands of this emotionally dependent parent.

The Return Of Mrs. Thirsty

Remember Mrs. Thirsty from John chapter 4? We talked about her in this post from the self-esteem series. She was looking to be satisfied, to have that same void filled in her life, but a string of unsuccessful marriages and living with her most recent boyfriend did not even come close to filling that void. She needed Jesus. He told her that if she drank the water He had, she would never thirst again. She would never feel that void 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.” John 4:14

Not only would she never thirst again, but she also would have eternal life. That is an awesome deal, if you ask me.

Changing The Pattern

So how can we free ourselves, our marriages, and our children from the heavy unrealistic expectations that we place on people to give our lives meaning and make us feel loved? The short answer is, we can’t. Only Jesus can. But we have to allow Him to do this work. We need to accept that Jesus is the only One that will be able to understand everything we go through. We need to find our worth in His love for us as individuals. We need to believe God when He says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We need to acknowledge that we have made our husband and children into idols, and put their acceptance and understanding of us above God’s acceptance and understanding of us. We need to repent, and apologize to our family members. Only when we see our pattern of sin and repent, can we have victory in our walk with God.

A Place To Start

If you are experiencing the unnecessary stress and pressure of placing unrealistic expectations on your spouse the first thing you need to do is acknowledge this pattern of behavior. The second thing to do is start a new pattern of behavior, and look to Jesus to fill this void in your life. He is the only one that can truly make you feel loved. He is the only one in your life that can heal the hurts that are still buried deep down inside of your heart. He is the only one that can satisfy the longings you have been passing onto to your husband. This is something that I had to start doing in my own, every day life. Whenever something upsetting happens, or I remember a past hurt that threatens to fill my heart with bitterness, I pray. I tell Jesus what is bothering me. I ask Him to help me see my sin, if there are any specific sins that need to be addressed regarding this issue. I ask Him to help me through this, to comfort me, and to give me His overwhelming sense of peace.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

See, it says right there, let your requests be made known to God, not to anyone else. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk to other people, like your husband, about things that are bothering you. In fact, you should frequently share with your husband, because that creates intimacy, which is God’s desire for your marriage. But you should go to God first. Your husband cannot give you that sense of peace that God can, no matter how hard he tries.

Husbands Like To Fix Things

If you do take all of your problems to your husband first, without taking them to God, you are putting your husband in a horrible position. Men like to fix things, and when their wives expect them to fix problems they are not capable of fixing, they end up in this infinite loop of frustration. This is not an equation for a happy, God-centered marriage.

How Your Husband Can Help

One of the best ways to allow God to do a work of healing from past hurts is to talk about them with and pray about them with someone you love and trust. This is a great opportunity for your husband to co-labor with you towards you being fulfilled and healed in Jesus Christ. Some husbands are great at listening and offering loving and biblical advice, but not all men are created the same (which is a good thing if you ask me). Your husband may not know how to navigate through these types of hurts, so if you need to, ask your husband to attend counseling with you. This way he can be there for you, but the pressure is off of him if he does not know how to respond, or what questions to ask you in order to move your healing process in the best direction.

Let’s Pray

Dear Jesus,

Help us to be the wives that You want us to be. Help us to find our complete fulfillment in You. Help us not to thirst ever again. Help us to take these impossible burdens off of our husband’s shoulders and give them to You. You are more than capable of carrying them, and helping us get rid of them forever. Heal our broken hearts the way only You can. Help us to know that You love us, and that really is enough.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

There is a lot more I could say about accepting God’s love for you and understanding you are a beautiful creation, but I think we have covered enough for today. Please feel free to write any questions or concerns you have about this post below, or email me at kristin.n.spencer [at] gmail.com.

Sincerely adorned,

Kristin Spencer

The Basics: Prayer 101

This post is part of “The Basics” series, a series all about the basics of being a follower of Jesus Christ.

We talked about the word of God (at length) in the last post. Today I want to talk about the other half of the conversation. In “Trusting God” I introduced the idea of an ongoing conversation with God, the goal being a more intimate relationship with our Creator. Now that we know that God speaks through His word, we also need to consider how we can talk to Him.

Before I get started, I know this is Prayer 101, so I will not go into prayer too much as a spiritual weapon (that  will be for another post), but I do want to say that prayer is the #1 most underrated weapon in our arsenal against ungodly influences. Now back to prayer basics.

prayer 101

When People in the Bible Prayed

“Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.” –2 Kings 20:5

This is an interesting read in the bible. Hezekiah is sick, really sick. He is dying. Isaiah the prophet comes to him and tells him that God says to put his house in order, because he is going to die. Hezekiah is heartbroken. We don’t know all the details, but for some compelling reason, Hezekiah wants to live longer. So he prays and begs for God to remember how he has served God in truth with a loyal heart. God’s response is that he will add fifteen years to his life and deliver the city from the king of Assyria. All good news, right? But what I want to point out in this scripture (one that is not often quoted in a lesson about prayer 101), is the intimacy that prayer displays and creates. There is no way you can read this verse without recognizing the relationship between God and Hezekiah. It was a relationship that went both ways. You can see that they care about each other. That is the same relationship God desires with you and I. He wants to have this same closeness with us.

“But certainly God has heard me;

He has attended to the voice of my prayer.”

Psalm 66:19

We also see throughout the book of Psalms how close David is to God through his repeatedly mentioned prayer life. David was serious about prayer, and through these prayers and psalms, we can see how this one aspect of David’s life created a friendship with and dependency on his Lord.

“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit in Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” –Philippians 1:19-20

The Apostle Paul knew how vital prayer is, and he literally looked at the prayers of others for him as a life line, spiritually speaking. Read more

Saying, “I Love You.”

I pray that all of you have had an amazing holiday season with loved ones. I personally was ill on Christmas and New Years (and my birthday), but it was a welcome time of rest for my body and refreshing for my spirit as well. I spent a lot of time reading. But I also spent quite a bit of time thinking about this post. It has been on my heart to write a post about this for a while, and I finally feel like I understand what God wants me to say.

saying i love you

I Just Can’t Say It

When I was a teenager, I was looking for someone to love me. I didn’t understand God’s love for me, and I felt distanced from my family due to different circumstances. The lack of love I felt finally led me to have difficulty saying, “I love you,” back when people said it to me. There was too much at risk when I said it. I became dramatically aware of this problem when one of my close friend’s mothers told me she loved me before their family was getting ready to move away. I was shocked that she said it, even though I had so desperately wanted to hear it, that I just stood there and said nothing. I remember thinking, “What is wrong with me? I’m supposed to be a Christian, an ambassador of Jesus’ love, and I can’t even tell this woman that I actually do love, that I love her too.”

The Risk

If you are self conscious, you will understand me when I say that saying, “I love you,” was a risky phrase. Every time I said it was volunteering for rejection. Thoughts like, “What if they don’t say it back?” “Will they stop being my friend if I say this?” “Why should I make myself vulnerable?” raced through my head constantly. I reserved these three words for family and a few select friends. I was not willing to risk anymore of my already dwindling confidence. No matter how much I wanted to show people the unconditional love of Christ, I wouldn’t make myself be that open.

When Things Started To Change

Over the last few years, God helped me to deal with my insecurities (read this series all about it) and to replace my deceitful pride with godly confidence. Once I realized that God’s love and acceptance for me is all that I need, I was able to sacrifice my own feelings on His altar in a very open way. I started to realize that since I don’t look at other people or myself to give my life value, that I’m not risking anything I can’t afford to risk. Do my feelings still get hurt? Of course, but now I don’t see, “I love you,” as an opening for an eternal wound.

Unconditional and Selfless Love

The purpose of love is to show someone that you care for them in such a way that nothing they do can change how you care for them. Something I tell my kids often is, “I may not always like the choices that you make, but I will always love you no matter what.” This is the love that Jesus inspired by dying on the cross for our sins. He showed us His love by sacrificing His life. I believe that Jesus was also clear when He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

We are commanded to love each other. The verse doesn’t say, “weigh out the pros and cons of loving someone and then decide if you should.” This verse specifically addresses the love between believers, but it also tells us that the testimony of loving others will identify us as followers of Jesus Christ.

What Is Love?

… baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more. Just kidding. I couldn’t help myself. But in all seriousness, what does biblical love look like? It is a choice that we make, whether or not we are going to care for someone, no matter how they treat us. Everyone will point to 1 Corinthians 13 at this point, because it is true. Not because it is some cheesy poem about love. This chunk of scripture challenges us to do the most difficult thing any person can do, choose to love in extremely difficult circumstances. Read more

The Basics: Trusting God

If You Don’t Know Him, You Won’t Believe Him

This is the second post in the series, “The Basics,” which goes through the basic things we believe as Christians.

Today I wanted to talk more about why it is important to know God. In the last post, “Getting To Know God,” I talked about why it is important to know what the bible is, how to use it, and why we all need to let our relationship with the Lord get way more serious. I quoted many bible verses. The next thing we need to talk about is trusting God.

Trusting God_2 the bible is a love letter

As a Christian there are certain perks (or advantages) that we have, because we know Someone that has inside information into everything. God knows everything that has happened in the past, and He knows everything that will happen in the future. He is all knowing (or omnipotent). In fact He created everything, so He knows exactly how things are supposed to work. Not only does He know, but He gave us the bible, which is a love letter that contains details about how everything in our lives should be approached for maximum joy, growth, and fruitfulness.

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had a friend that knew literally everything (let’s also try to imagine that this person isn’t extremely arrogant. I know, unlikely, but stay with me). Wouldn’t you ask their advice before you made decisions? Wouldn’t the fact that you knew someone with access to any type of information change the way you live your life? Let me throw one more factor into this hypothetical situation. Imagine you have not known this person for very long and you don’t know if you can trust them. Wouldn’t your ability to trust that person shape the way you behave when they give you advice or information? Read more

Withholding Sex & Biblical Attitudes Toward Love Making

Author’s note: Before you read or listen to this article, please keep in mind that this is written for people that are not currently experiencing spousal abuse, or going through counseling for sexual abuse. There are times when it is reasonable for people healing from abuse to go through an agreed time of breaks from sexual activity with their spouse. Please understand that this article is written for women that feel emotionally neglected by their husbands, and are seeking to solve this problem by withholding sex. That is not a biblical approach to this problem. However, anytime a woman feels she has been forced to have sex, even with her husband, that qualifies as abuse. For more information on what qualifies as sexual abuse within marriage please see this article by Leslie Vernick.

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This is the first post in a series titled, “Becoming a Better Wife.” Before you get too deep into this post, if you are single, it is God’s will for your to abstain from sex. Why? Go read my personal testimony and you can learn from my mistakes.

This post has been on my heart to write for a while now. I counsel married women on a regular basis, and lately my husband and I have even been doing marriage counseling. It’s not something we were looking to do, but I guess God thought we were qualified because He brought people to us. I really hate to say this, but it seems like there are several issues we hear over and over and over again. It seems to me like satan has convinced quite a few Christian women that certain behaviors towards their husbands are ok, even though what the bible says is clearly opposite. I’m not saying that women are the only ones to blame for painful marriage relationships, but I’m a woman so I am going to speak to other women. Before we start talking about this very sensitive subject, I want to say that I’m not the perfect wife, by any means. I’m a sinner just like everyone on this planet. However, as a wife, I feel like there are some things God has shown me in the last few years so that I can be a better helper against (that is what the Hebrew says) for my husband. I want to honestly and openly share them with you. In fact, let’s start this conversation out with prayer. It’s that important.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for creating marriage. Please help us to be better wives to our husbands. Help us to follow Your word and Your will for our lives, especially when it will cost us something. Heal our broken hearts and help us to follow Your model for marriage, instead of whatever culturally acceptable picture the world gives us. Help us to be selfless, just like You are.

In Your holy name,

Amen

We Withhold Intimacy From Our Husbands

Yes, I am going to talk about sex. Please don’t stop reading. This is so important. I feel like if we could just become aware of the impact of this one area in our marriages, we would be so much more effective as children of God! When women come to me in marital distress there is always one question I ask first. It helps me understand how much damage has been done in the relationship.

“How often are you having sex?”

I usually get some puzzled look from the woman I’m talking to. In her mind this is not the first thing we should be talking about. The first thing women want to talk about in relation to marital distress is emotional neglect. I want to talk about emotional neglect as well, but first I need to know where things are on the husband’s end. For men, emotional care is linked with physical intimacy. I hate to give the devil so much credit, but to me it seems like he has figured out the beautiful circle that maintains marital relationships, and found a way to break the chain. I am a visual person, so I feel like a few images will help illustrate how this whole things works. Let’s take a look.

Men and woman intimacy_1

You can see that for women, emotional care and stimulation lead to sexual desire. But you already knew that. However, I would like to introduce a piece of information that may be news to you (it was to me!). Sexual satisfaction in men is the main connecting factor. It is the glue that holds you together in their minds and hearts. If you are physically intimate with your husband you will unlock his emotions towards you! Sexual satisfaction and fulfillment lead to the emotional response and intimacy you are looking for. That is why I ask this question first. I want to know if withholding physical intimacy is a factor in the emotional neglect a wife might be feeling.

Men and woman intimacy_2

You can see in the next illustration that God has perfectly balanced these two desires which are mutually fulfilled when sexual intimacy happens. By taking away physical intimacy from our husbands, we are making the situation worse, not getting the emotional intimacy that we so desire. Read more

The Basicis: Getting To Know God

This is the first part of a new series called, “The Basics” which I hope will lead you through a journey to understanding the basic ideas behind Christianity and your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Even if you have been walking with the Lord for many years, I hope that this series will be a time of refreshing your faith as we walk through God’s word together.

Getting to know God

The first thing we need to do is talk about Jesus. Who is Jesus? Well historically we know that He lived over 2,000 years ago in the middle east. He is acknowledged as an insightful and wise teacher among most religions in the world today, but He is so much more than that. We can learn everything we need to know about Jesus in God’s word, an inspired book, written about God, Jesus, and their relationship with sinful people.

The Bible is the only living book that has ever existed, and it continues to be a very important tool in our journey of getting to know God better. If you live in the Americas or Europe, you are very blessed to be able to get ahold of a Bible and read it whenever and wherever you want. Not all Christians have this blessing. In some countries in the world, the Bible is banned and illegal to own. That is how powerful this book is.

Read more

Self-Esteem: A Well Groomed Lie – Part 3

This is Part 3 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. In part two we finished the final point of self-esteem and I told you a story about Mrs. Thirsty. I ended by saying that self-esteem is a clever way of disguising sinful and destructive pride. If you missed the first two parts of this series, please go back and listen to them before you listen to this concluding part.

self esteem lie God loves you

What Self-Esteem Really Means

Let’s summarize the definition of self-esteem again since we are going to address the sin connected with it.

Self-esteem is the idea that I am able to competently deal with the challenges of life and that I think it is natural for me deserve success, achievement, fulfillment, and happiness. The simple way of defining self-esteem is thinking I am awesome at dealing with life, and I deserve all the good things coming to me.

Now let’s take a look at the first and most basic definition of “pride” according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary.

“Pride is a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by others.”

You see what I did there? Pride and self-esteem have the same basic meaning. I am tempted to go off on a rant about the ambiguity of the English language and how we use the word pride to mean different things. When your child does something well, you say you are “proud” of them, but that isn’t the same kind of pride we are talking about. But I will refrain from my rant and simply say that the word pride in the bible is never in reference to feeling joy on the behalf of others, the way we use it in English. Read more