Friday, September 25, 2009

To Be Sober Part 4 - Examining Ourselves

For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar. Psalm 138:6

It seems a man’s most general sin is selfishness. We also have our own sin as women which counteracts theirs, and it is also selfishness, and it manifests itself in entitlement and self righteousness. In my blog “Disenchanting Idol’s”, I discuss this problem more in detail. We live in a culture that has been influenced by liberalism, and it has seeped into the church more than we realize. One preacher has said in the last decade he is seeing a reformation of young people returning to scripture. "This reformation will reveal who is a real disciple of Jesus Christ, and who is playing with a watered down cultural "Christianity" that holds the form of godliness, but denies the power thereof." I believe that. When I share what I have learned in God's word in regards to my relationship with my husband and children, I’m amazed that more often than not, women who are my age and older, and who know more than I do about the Bible, and often talk of their conservative “right minded” views, are the most contentious about these truths. I heared from two women who said with a chuckle, "I don't want to be convicted of that". Things can be seemingly fine in your marriage, but with that attitude, you're still in rebellion before a Holy God. "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones." Proverbs 12:4

We stand up to false doctrines, such as Mormonism, or the Jehovah Witnesses, but we don’t realize how much our behavior and mindset has been influenced by the doctrine of Hollywood. You see on commercials, movies, books and any sitcom that we women are much smarter, wiser, and now it seems even tougher than any guy. We can become rather proud in our "righteous indignation", and fail to examine our own sin in light of God's word.

When I first came into my Bible study over 10 years ago, I certainly felt that it was my husband's fault that our marriage was struggling. Every time someone would try to tell me I was in error, I felt entitled because his sin was so much worse and I was sinning in response. My teacher told us to take 2% responsibility; maybe even 1%. Even if it is 98% his fault, I can work with my 2%. Only God can change your husband. The more you try, the more he will either stand his ground and rebel, or withdraw in his “cave”. We can’t change our husbands, but we can change with God’s help. Take 100% responsibility for your 2%.

Naomi Wright who has been teaching the Titus 2 principles for more than 50 years, compiled a list that has been very helpful to me. We were given these examples of three types of women near the end of the year when the topic was "submission", but I think it would help with discerning our own "2%". In order to see any change take place in our lives, we need to "turn our eyeballs" around as my teacher Joanne would say.

What Kind of Woman are You?

The Doormat Woman:
People Pleaser
Heart Attitude: Fear and Guilt
Rights: Doesn't feel she has any
Responsibilities: Feels responsible for everything and everyone (co-dependent)
Emotions and Self Control: Highly emotional, prone to fear and self-pity
Love Relationships: Being accepted is more important than being loving and truthful
Needs: Lets needs and feeling of others rule over her life
Discernment: Only wants to see strengths, not weaknesses in others
Dealing with Shortcomings: Overly disappointed when sees weaknesses, often devastated
Truth: Afraid to be truthful for fear of angry consequences
Submission: Misunderstands submission
Power: Feels powerless and intimidated
Offense: Stuff offense - stays unresolved

The Contentious Woman
Motive: "...unto self"
Heart Attitude: Resentful
Rights: Recognizes rights and demands them
Responsibilities: More concerned with rights than responsibilities
Emotions and Self Control: Highly emotional and prone to fear, resentment and anger
Love Relationships: Being right is more important than being loving
Needs: Preoccupied with her own feelings and needs
Discernment: Only sees weaknesses
Dealings with Shortcomings: Critical and judgemental when weakness is revealed
Truth: Offers truth through blaming and demands change
Submission: Resents and rejects submission
Power: Wants her own power
Offense: Is quick to be offended

The Sober Minded Woman of God

Motive: "...unto God"
Heart Attitude: Cheerful and willing
Rights: Recognizes rights and lays them down
Responsibilities: More concerned with responsibilities than rights
Emotions and Self Control: In touch with feelings, but not controlled by them
Love Relationships: Being loving is more important than being right
Needs: Listens carefully and is sensitive to the needs of others, but not ruled by them
Discernment: Sees both weaknesses and strengths, but accepts person
Dealings with Shortcomings: Edifies, encourages and strengthens when weaknesses show
Truth: Offers truth and petitions out of love
Submission: Embraces submission
Power: Focuses on God's power and her own powerlessness
Offense: Slow to be offended, willing to admit and resolve it when it occurs

I admit, I swing from being a contentious woman to a doormat woman depending on my mood. However, through the years as I grow in my Christian walk, I see God working things out in my own life so I can become the "sober minded woman of God" through sanctification. That leads me to my next question...Do you know God?

"For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?" 2 Corinthians 13:4-5I'm not saying that you're not a Christian unless you're the 100% sober minded woman of God, but if you're not sensitive over your sin (If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 ) , then I would encourage you check out the video below, or listen to the series on Biblical Assurance on the red widget on the right of this blog. Even if you're assured of your salvation, it doesn't hurt to examine ourselves to renew our minds of the wonderful assurance of what Jesus did for us. It has blessed me greatly.