Archive for February, 2010
I heard a great message yesterday from a pastor at HillSong church, in Austrailia. He asked a great question that I think many of us need to realize for ourselves:
Which Side of Need Are You On?
He explained that there are two sides to Need:
Needy and Needed
Are you a needy person. Do you live your life with the attitude of “what can people do for me?”
Are you a needed person. Do you live your life with the attitude of “What can I do for others?”
As mature Christ-followers it’s time we see ourselves as people who are needed. We are ministers first and foremost, no matter what organization pays our salaries. We are here to be used of God to meet the needs of others.
Which Side of Need Are You On?
Anytime I meet with someone about overcoming insecurity my number one goal is to get to know them.
I’ll ask tons of questions about where they grew up, what was life like, how they are different now that their older… When I get to know a little bit of who they are I’m better able to encourage, lift up and speak truth into their lives.
But this principal also plays into the journey of overcoming our insecurities.
It is vital that we also know who we are.
To know thyself is to be self-aware. Self-awareness plays a huge part in helping us gain freedom from the insecurities that hold us back.
When you are self-aware, you are aware of:
- Your Strengths
- Your Weaknesses
- Where You Fit and
- How to Improve Yourself
Self-awareness can only be accomplished through knowing yourself. Here are a few suggestions on how to become more self-aware.
- Listen more than you talk
- Ask a trusted friend for insight into how you are perceived or taken (More on this later.)
- Ask God to reveal more of who you are to yourself
I could go on and on about all the ways to become more self-aware, but three things is fine for now. Knowing thyself is the first step in overcoming our insecurities.
Do you know thyself?
Sometimes, my husband tells me I’m stubborn. I, of course, argue my case, not backing down for anything…. which just goes to show that of course he’s right. I am stubborn, but admitting it would be a kind of surrender. One I’m not quite ready to give.
Stubbornness, for a woman can either be her friend or her enemy. Our stubbornness is that rebellious streak hardwired into each of us as a daughter of Eve. Sometimes it gives us the ability to face and conquer the issues of life as they come. But it is also that same rebellion that can get us into trouble if we don’t know how to use it to our advantage.
How do we use rebellion to our advantage? How can we put the power of stubbornness to work in our lives to bring about a positive outcome? It’s all in what we choose to rebel against.
- Instead of rebelling against obedience to God, rebel against sin.
- Instead of rebelling against your husband, rebel against the desire to always be right
- Instead of resisting change, rebel against mediocrity
- Instead of allowing life to just happen, rebel against laziness
Rebel against that which is against you. Harness the power of your stubbornness and use to bring about positive outcomes in your life.
What do you need to rebel against?
Lately I’ve found myself in the same conversation with many different people. Some have confessed to sin, others admit depression, some want to give it all up. My question in each of these conversations has been the same:
“How is your time with God?”
The answers varied but most landed on: Non-existent. As they were relaying their pains and doubts to me the answer was evident. They had been spending more time flexing their flesh than their spirit. What does that mean, exactly? I’ve always seen it like this:
Our flesh and our spirit are at war within us. They battle for control and inevitably one will win. Which one wins, however, is completely up to us.
Think of your flesh and your spirit like two muscles. Which one do you flex more? Are you giving in to your flesh more, therefore making it stronger? Or are you feeding, working, and flexing your spirit muscle, making it the dominate of the two?
I know for me, I haven’t been feeding my spirit as I should. I can tell a big difference in my attitude and outlook on life when my spirit is starved. It’s not that I’m intentionally starving my spirit,–no one ever does. But by being unintentional I have inevitably allowed my flesh to become stronger.
What about you? Which muscle do you flex more? What ways do you think we can starve the flesh while feeding the spirit?
Sometimes it’s necessary to encourage yourself. I need to encourage myself today, and perhaps you needed it to.
“I don’t feel beautiful today…” I am enthralled with your beauty… Honor Me with it! (Prov. 11:45)
“Can I really face another week?” I will be with you, every step of the way. (Joshua 3:7)
“I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.” I will fight for you. (Deut. 1:30)
“I feel distant from God.” Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
“I am a mess.” I will take you by the hand… (Isaiah 42:6)
“I’m a failure.” You are more than a conqueror in My Name. (Romans 8:37)
“I don’t know where I am going.” Live by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7)
“I don’t know how this is going to work.” I will make all things work. (Romans 8:28)
Sometimes it’s important to be reminded of truth. Don’t let today go by without reminding yourself that God is in control. Hope you are encouraged today.
Sorry for the delay in posts over the last couple days. I’ve been sick, sick! A snot factory has taken up residence in my nostrils and it’s producing more than my body knows what to do with! I have no voice, (which some might say is a blessing in disguise!) Our big event for SWITCH is this Wednesday, so I’m praying I feel better very soon! Thanks for your prayers!
In the mean time, since my brain is not working correctly instead of writing a post, I’d like to show you what my amazing husband (of six months, yesterday) got me for Valentines Day. He couldn’t wait until the actual day, since he’s just like a little kid when it comes to gifts! Check it out!
Check out our very first video:
No one wants to admit they are a people-pleaser. The hyphenated word brings such negative connotations, like having no backbone, not thinking for yourself, or being a doormat, allowing everyone to walk over you. But I’m a pretty opinionated person, I think for myself quite well, and don’t bend over and let others walk on me–but I realized I was still trying to please people.
I realized I was living in this state of mind after reading this familiar verse: Gal. 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I had read this verse a hundred times. It’s even underlined in my Bible. Every time I would read it, I would think, “Oh, yeah, those people who try to please others… they have no idea!” and then one day I realized… I’m “those people.”
I think the reason I tend to be a people-pleaser is because my personality type is one that says “people are the priority.” I’m passionate about meeting people, connecting people, watching people figure out who they are, that sometimes I try to control situations where people are present. (which is often in my line of work.) Whether it be a life group I lead, the adult leaders at SWITCH, someone I’m mentoring/counseling–I want so badly for people to be pleased with whatever situation they are in, that inevitably, I become a people-pleaser. The pressure of pleasing people was like spinning hundreds of plates and not letting one of them fall. Why did I feel like I was responsible?
But recently, I realized a simple truth: Making sure people are pleased is not my job!
I’m not in control of their reactions. I can’t sway them one way or the other. If someone doesn’t like the way things are going it’s not my fault–nor should I take it personally, thinking “if I had just done more I could have made them like things”… (All of this makes sense to me in my brain… sorry if you don’t understand, but getting it out is good therapy.)
Realizing this truth has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I would say I probably enjoy my job more because I’ve learned how to just be myself and not worry about trying to control others. I would say I’m becoming more of who I really am, unhindered by the the pressure of trying to please everyone. I’ve been freed, and life on the other side of people-pleasing is pleasantly care-free.
Thanks for letting me talk that out. I feel better now. What about you? Do you find yourself trying to please people? Share your thoughts.