the Idol of Self-Protection
Mary does such a great job of being herself as she writes. As I read, I feel like I’m sitting with her and hearing her story for the first time. And realizing much of my story can be found in hers. Here are a few lines from chapter 3 – Discern the Vow Factor that are resonating with me.
Jesus often calls us to risk. He asks us to be vulnerable, to be authentic, so others can see Him in and through us. If I continue to worship the idol of self-protection, I’ll never grow in my relationships. I’ll not venture out to the people in the margins of life. I’ll settle for sanitized friendships. I’ll back away from conflict.
We fear that if we let Him (God) be in control, He’ll make us open up to people, risk ourselves, do scary things, or let go of the sins we cherish.
We aren’t to be in control of every single thing. To do so is to insult the Creator of the universe. When we try to manage our lives without Him, we become god at the helm.
…. we will not be able to live our Christian life if we live it entirely in our own strength.
Growth comes from God to those with surrendered, yielded hearts.
In the questions for reflection and discussion at the end of the chapter, Mary asks:
What does self protection look like in your life?
How are you living life in reaction to your past?
In my life, self protection looks like not having to admit I don’t know. My pride demands to be protected and I have 40 year old patterns to prove it. I feel safe if I know. If I have an answer. I’m so grateful for Mary prompting me through this book to name it and admit it.
I react to the past! I react to how I perceived the past – not necessarily as it truly happened. As a child I perceived my imperfections as unacceptable. That is not the truth. It’s a lie from the pit of hell that I believed in certain circumstances and especially with male authorities. Today, I continue to react to situations when I perceive that people in authority are disappointed in me and/or my work.
What about you? How would you answer those questions Mary asked?
I’m in enjoying every page of Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. It’s a challenging and yet comforting read.
About Jennifer O. White
I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.