Escalating thoughts, replaying conversations over and over again in my head, ruminating on others and their opinions of me, and desperately wanting to be seen for what I do. The performance trap haunted me for a very long time and lead to emotional and spiritual exhaustion. I thought I was seeking godliness, when in reality I was trying to be perfect.
I just wonder, what will it take for us to see humanity through His eyes?
When will we rush to love the broken, to cherish the needy, to be inspired to serve not because it’s the “now” thing, and not because of guilt or obligation, but because of a soul-level desire to serve God in a tangible, life-altering way.
Our church recently finished reading Judges and what we saw over and over, and what is even said at the end of the book, was that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 NASB). When I read that, it seems eerily familiar. Familiar because that is true of the culture and mindset that we live in today. “Should I sleep with my boyfriend? Well, it seems like the right decision and he might dump me if I don’t, so sure.” “Should I say a crude joke to hang with the homies? I mean, it will make them laugh, and they’ll accept me and of course I want to be accepted, so I think I’ll do it.” “Do I gossip with my girlfriends about Jenny? Pointing out her flaws make me feel better about myself. But I make sure to end it with “bless her heart.” That totally makes it okay.” And the cycle continues. We do what is right in our eyes. We take matters into our own hands and don’t seek our All-Knowing Father for guidance.
While planning this 1 year “birthday celebration” we really wanted to bless you guys with something incredibly valuable, not only to help guide you through your own battles, but also to simply say thank you for blessing us in tremendous ways! In an effort to do so, over the last several months we have spent some serious time and energy preparing a fabulous gift for you. Consider this a labor of love and sincere thanks for your gracious support.
We are limited, finite people and when we get ensnared in the enemy’s falsehood that we are self-sufficient and self-sustaining we live as if we are all we need and do what we want to do. This autonomous mentality robs us of knowing the Sufficient One and His intended way of life. Our self-sustaining efforts hinder us from truly breathing life with gratitude and acknowledgment for the One who sustains us.
January 7, 2012 will forever be seared in my mind. I had been plagued by numerous questions for well over a year – questions like “What is God’s plan for my life?” and “Did He already make it clear, and I just did not see it?” And there I was, on a slopped grassy knoll in the northern hills of Thailand on a missions exposure trip, still suffering from these questions. I could not get over them. Could it be because I didn’t understand God?
We at STG believe we should strive to preach the gospel to ourselves daily in an effort to quiet the enemies in our minds, so we can listen to Jesus in our hearts. Our goal is purely share how we replace negative self talk with Biblical truths. After stumbling across Jen Hatmaker’s “Interrupted”, we love that it is a narrative of a family who asked the hard questions of church once they admitted to the tensions they felt in their lives.
Welcome to our Friday Faves! In case you missed it, here is a collection of content we found online this week that we thought you might enjoy. Although we won’t always endorse or agree with everything you see here, we would love to provoke your thoughts. Enjoy!
We, the church, have failed and we fall short, but we already intimately know how beautiful and mysterious God’s grace is. Let’s accept it again and watch in awe as it covers these very failures to unimaginable depths. Let’s live this thing out, let’s work out our salvation in fear and trembling, letting God work though us to fulfill His purpose.