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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Self Esteem & Boundaries; John 8

approx. 8 minute read

I have about 5 fairly finished drafts in this blog, that I do not publish quite yet, because of questions or insecurity.  Insecurity is understandable because though I  blog because it is fun and therapeutic for me, I do desire to build a readership for the satisfaction of knowing that I am  a source of encouragement to the women who read.  I want to build up and equip women!

All I can do is draw on who I am, and trust the Lord to supply me........ I may have copied all of the poems from my journals that I will.  Maybe God will give me more poems to share.  Maybe I will drag out the binders and folders and papers of years of work on Bible curriculum for children, and I may figure out how to best to share that here............

I am NOT a great or particularly accomplished cook.  I just am not outstanding as a cook so it is a bit puzzling, if not intimidating that my blogs featuring food seem to get more views than do my blogs of spiritual encouragement. What's a blogger to do?  I can only conclude that PEOPLE REALLY LOVE FOOD!  Encouragement blogs are goal of my calling.  Food blogs will be fun and tasty along the way.  Hows that?

Here today, I would like to touch on the subject of self esteem and boundaries.  In my heart, I believe this will be one of a series.  Both self esteem, and boundaries, have been issues that I have at times struggled with, and I see women in general be vulnerable to these issues over and over again.

I believe that background or environment, as well as genetic or biological sustenance, both have a bearing on how a woman handles self esteem and boundary issues, and I believe when needed we can LEARN BETTER attitudes and behaviors.  I hope to give you some good food for thought here.

Is there someone, or maybe a group of people, who.... their very presence makes you cringe or be anxious?  Honestly, I hate that you ever have to deal with that.  For boundaries sake, I would wish you to be able to peacefully avoid being around people that have that effect on you, but I do understand that sometimes it seems unavoidable or necessary.  Many times this would be with family, or at work.

I can't FIX anyone's problems, but I can sure try to be an encouragement to YOU here.

Now, this involves a little, or a LOT of effort or work from you, but you have to realize and accept that you make a choice on whether to care or not, or to be accepting or not on what someone else says to you, or how they treat you.

Recently, I drew strength and wisdom from the gospel of JOHN chapter 8.

It is widely believed that the gospel of John is written by the apostle John, who walked with our lord in flesh and spirit from young age to very old age.  I would describe chapter 8 as being documentation of a climax building, stressful interaction between Jesus, the scribes, pharisees, an adulterous woman and the common people (other observers).  

You can find repeated examples in the Bible and in Christian history of the fact that being good and pure does not assure a problem free life.  Remember, Jesus Christ himself, good, pure and PERFECT.... was crucified as a criminal.  Did the treatment of him determine his worth?  Because he was treated like a criminal, did that make Him so?  Certainly NOT.  Neither does treatment of YOU determine your identity or worth, in reality.  Question would be, "Do you allow, treatment of you to effect your self esteem?"  This is a boundary issue.

How did Jesus handle this tricky boundary issue in John chapter 8, and could we be encouraged by His reactions?  Of course Jesus is exemplary, and yes we can be encouraged by Him.

In John chapter 8, Jesus has a following of common people, and the scribes and pharisees are already concerned that His influence is too great.  Is there someone in your life who is concerned, maybe sub-consciously about your influence?  Are you better at something than they are?  Have dynamics shifted so that someone feels threatened??  This can motivate unfair treatment..........and YOU have to recognize it and react wisely, like Jesus.

Jesus is just going about His own business, when the scribes and pharisees approach Him, bringing forth a woman accused of adultery.  They literally try to set Him up..........get a reaction out of Him, so they can accuse HIM of wrong.  They already despise His influence, and they have no clue who He really is.  

Jesus does NOT take the bait, to be accusatory towards them or to speak out of the Father's will.  He could have said, "Why are you asking me what to do.  You know the law of Moses.  What business is this matter to me?"   Actually that response seems reasonable.  Why did Jesus not react like that?  I can only assume because He was wise, loving and gracious.  He did not wish to see the woman stoned , or it would have happened.  You please remember, this is who your savior is.

When you have these people in your life, who seem to want to see you stumble, because they are ready to crucify you.............. don't take the bait.  Don't fall in to their trap.  Recognize what they are doing.  Have the boundary to recognize they are crossing it, and your re-action is key to where this goes.

Jesus bent and wrote on the ground.  He suggested that who-ever had no sin should cast the first stone.  One by one, the woman's accusers left, and Jesus told the woman, "Go, and leave your life of sin."

Now as human (identifying with the adulterous woman) that should be encouraging to us, that we have that savior speaking for us, but further, let's examine Christ's personal reaction to this attempt to get HIM to fumble and foil or mess-up  or sin in the eyes of his followers.  Did he start anguishing over His mal-treatment.  Did he play the victim and get upset at the obvious reality that there were people who did not like Him and  WERE out to get him??

No.  Seems to me that He knew who He was, and these people's treatment of Him did NOT effect what He knew to be true of himself.  It is in this chapter, after the scenario with the scribes, pharisees, and the adulterous woman, that he said, (beginning verse 12) 

"I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Still, His accusers tried to make Him stumble, and more,  yet our Lord stayed calm and spoke only TRUTH.

verse 14-18
....I know where I came from and where I am going.  But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.  ....my decisions are right, because I am not alone.  I stand with the Father who sent me..... If you knew me, you would know my Father who sent me.

verse 29
.....I always do what pleases Him (the Father).

Sisters, this is our challenge.  We must stay focused on the truth, NOT what liars and accusers say.  Focus on the truth and your relationship to the Father, in Christ Jesus, your savior.  Know that someone else's words or actions do not determine your identity or your worth.

Matthew 6:33
Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

John 13:34
...love one another

Know that you are His.   Focus on that.  Don't fall into a trap that the enemy sets up, to distract you from your joy or your mission in Christ.  Let's follow Christ's example, and focus on our truth.  The accusers and enemy will come.  They do not determine our worth or our reality.

1Thessalonians 5:8
...let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a  breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

Be encouraged today, and do not let any enemy distract you.  Love and blessings, 
Grandma Mary Marthađź’–



7 comments:

  1. Don't take the bait - how true and how quickly forgotten! I think choosing not to take the bait is all a part of being self controlled (fruit of the Spirit) and turning the other cheek! Thanks for the reminder and encouraging post!

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  2. Good points Kathryn ! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

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  3. Thank you for your honesty my friend. The story of two sisters in the Bible, Mary and Martha is not only about priority or distraction in our lives but also teachings about how we should handle insecurities. Martha lamented her sister's initiative to enjoy the Lord's presence instead of helping her out in the kitchen. Then Jesus answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things...
    Not only did Martha set her priorities on the lesser stuff, she's downright insecure about getting the job well done, as manifested in her action being "distracted with much serving".
    Women, I could say are much vulnerable on insecurities because our nature or calling is to serve. I would like to look at my insecurity as a trait of a person who has a heart to care and show love through service, just like Martha who we have been misunderstood her passion to serve Jesus most times. She just needed to be told that "one thing is needed and Mary chosen the good part..." We should also be reminded what is the good part in all we do, then we will realize that behind our insecurities lies our heart that is loving and caring...

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  4. I agree Kate !! Isn't it wonderful, the wisdom that the Bible holds for us, and the way that by sharing ideas in the sisterhood, we learn and are encouraged. I am so grateful. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your ideas. You are such a precious sister. <3

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  5. Tammy this was a great write up. So much truth and goodness to "chew" on so to speak. This is a post to save and read over and over. I think everyone struggles with some insecurity at times. But we know so well where those lies come from. Again...the Word is our compass and will always keeps us on the right path. HIS path for us. God bless you Tammy. You and your writings are a blessing!

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  6. Thank you Rosie, for your sweet encouragement and support. Your words mean a lot to me. Blessings to YOU dear sister <3

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  7. Thank you for this piece Tammy. So true, how we can easily get destructed by opposition. Such a great reminder on keeping our focus on the Lord.

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