GET RIGHT WITH GOD, GET RIGHT WITH OTHERS
Welcome to Chapter Two of Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have by Natalie Chambers Snapp!
If you missed Chapter 1, you can find it here.
Chapter 2 starts with the most important relationship of all - the relationship that is the foundation for all other relationships - our one with God. Natalie shares how she came to realize that she needs Jesus to be her #1 priority. Not only that, she needs to give him the reigns and let him lead. We need to be radically following Him.
She shows how this is beautifully illustrated in Matthew:
I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of god - Matthew 19:24
Do you remember the true meaning behind the camel going through the eye of the needle? Such a perfect picture of how we need to be, stripping the literal and emotional baggage we are desperately holding onto and instead being full of humility before God AND others. We can't let our "stuff" define us. In fact, we can find more freedom in parting ways with it than if we hold onto it.
"Nothing fights lies more effectively than the truth"
Natalie then discusses the "Fearless Five" - lies that we believe, as women, that hinders us from embracing true relationships with other women.
The first is COMPARISON. Whether it is with how we look, what our houses say about us, or in raising our children, comparison will take us to places we don't want to be.
The story of the discussion that happened between Jesus and Peter after the resurrection is a perfect example. Here, Jesus is allowing for Peter to make things right and even foretells of his future. Even with all of that, Peter wants to know the future of another. Jesus asks him:
what's that to you? you - follow me. - john 21:22
Perhaps if we stopped making everyone else's business our own, we could finally let comparison go and enjoy the benefits of the different gifts and talents others have in our friendships.
The second is ENVY. As Natalie says, "It is the cancer that consumes the soul." We each have our own stories that are unique to us. We need to celebrate the strengths our friends have because those strengths are God-given.
Third is INSECURITY. She tells us that when we compare ourselves to others and envy them, this will lead to insecurity. One way we can combat insecurity in our relationships by being vulnerable with our friends. We may just find out that we are not alone. But the best way to fight it is to find our security in the truth of God.
Next is being PRIDEFUL. Natalie tells us that she likes to call pride "the great thief because it steals relationships, personal growth, and joy." To fight the pride within us, we need to humble ourselves with God and others. We need to admit we aren't perfect. Such a hard thing to do, right???
Finally, there is FEAR. Because we aren't always aware when we are scared, it is a sneaky one. We are afraid of others seeing our imperfections, rejection, or that we don't have it all together. And guess what is the foundation for these fears? Pride!
To address our fears, Natalie shares that we must pray for God to reveal them and what consequences that they are having on our relationships. We then need to identify the triggers that throw us into fear.
So the question becomes, "What in the world can I do to get right with God?" In the rest of the chapter, Natalie lays out tips of how to have quiet time with God, spend time in worship and prayer, congregate with others, and forgive those who wrong us and OURSELVES, and how to be more on top of our schedules. It sounds so easy written down, but to practice these things takes diligence and sacrifice, something we need to be willing to do for the benefit of our relationships with God and others.
But the most important takeaway Natalie gives us from the chapter is this:
"getting right with god is a crucial step
As we finish Chapter 2, we would like you to consider these questions. Feel free to respond in the comments section!
1. Which one of the "Fearless Five" lies resonated the most with you: comparison, envy, insecurity, being prideful, or fear? All of the above? Some of the above?
2. What happens when you operate from your false self rather than your true self? What typically leads you into your false self?
3. What are some things that invoke fear in you? Can you identify ways in which fear might be controlling you?
4. What is something you do right now that deepens your relationship with God? What is something you would like to add to your time with Him?
5. Are you presently overscheduled, and do you have enough margin in your life? If not, what steps can be taken to achieve more margin?
join us here again Tuesday, june 9th, 2015 for chapter three!
Written by Ginny.