Category Archives: Self-Worth

Go in the Strength You Have

strengthSometimes you are not meant to have all your ducks in a row.  Being slightly unprepared or underprepared gives God a chance to work in your favor.  When Gideon was called to defeat the Midianites (Judges 7), God told him:

“You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.  Judges 7:2-3

The Advantage of Being Underprepared

I am not trying to undermine the importance of preparation.  As a professional, you have to be prepared for anything that comes your way, whether it’s in the form of giving a presentation, going to an advisory board meeting, having your report ready for your boss, getting ready to give employee evaluations, etc.  No matter your station in life, it’s important to be prepared to bring something to the table.

There are times, however, when you feel under-prepared.  This is a struggle for many perfectionists, for no amount of preparation is ever adequate enough to meet their expectations.  On the day before the big meeting with a client or the boss, you rack your brain for any contingencies you might have forgotten.  When your boss calls you to do something you’ve never done before and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, remember how God used Gideon to deliver his people from the Midianites:

  • Fear Factor – God told Gideon he had “too many people” so He wanted to disqualify any fearful men from Gideon’s army. About 22,000 left.  (Judges 7:3)
  • Water-screening Test – The 10,000 men that remained after the first screening now had to pass the second screening, and God said, “Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go” (Judges 7:4).
  • Gideon was ready with an army of men, but God whittled his army down to 300, to be exact – to fight against the Midianites and their people, who were as “thick as locusts” and whose camels “could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore” (Judges 7:12)

The Appearance of Improbability Amplifies God’s Power

If there’s any occasion to feel inadequate, this would be it for Gideon.  He already felt small about himself, full of self-doubt and doubt about God’s faithfulness and power.  Throughout Judges 6, you can hear the sense of inadequacy and powerlessness coming from Gideon when you listen to the way he speaks about himself and his family.  Being a man who already felt small, imagine how he felt when God shrank his army from 32,000 men to only 300!  But God’s plan is always perfect, if you allow His ways to unfold before your trusting eyes.

Just Say the Words

Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. 10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp. Judges 7:8-9

We humans need words of affirmation.  We could be the greatest, most competent person on Earth, but we still need to know that someone else believes in us, even if those words are coming from an enemy.  God knows where to send us to hear those words, even in the strangest situation, like hearing your competitor’s feelings of fear about you rather than a friend’s encouragement and faith in you.

Go in the Strength You Have

When the angel of the Lord first approached Gideon under a tree, He commissioned him, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.  Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14)

What is God calling you to today?  Has your boss appointed you to tackle an impossible task?  Have you been given new responsibilities for which you have little or no experience?  Are you called to do something that raises the hair on your arms and causes your heart to jump out of your chest?

You are where you need to be, whether you have one duck or all of them in a row.  Do what you can, and God will handle the rest.  Don’t panic, fret or worry how you will appear to others, because at the end of the day, you’re not here to impress anyone but God.  God has placed you in this position because He, first of all, believes in you, and you have all you need to succeed for God’s glory.

#success #God #strength #trustGod #RelyonGod #musingz4life #overcome #movingforward

 

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A Dollar for a Penny

ball n chainAre you willing to trade your dollar in exchange for a penny? Then why would you exchange a beautiful relationship for quick cheap pleasures?

Addiction doesn’t just destroy your relationship with the God Almighty. It destroys every other beautiful relationship you have on earth as well: your significant other, children, parents, coworkers, and other members of the community. Perhaps you have been the victim of addiction, having witnessed a parent come home drunk and fly into a drunken rage. Or you have witnessed sexual addiction tear your parents’ marriage apart by way of pornography or adultery.

  • About 43% of adults in the United States – 76 million Americans – have been exposed to alcoholism in the family. They grew up with or are married to an alcoholic, or they have a blood relative who is an alcoholic. (Alcoholism Statistics, 2013)
  • Children of alcoholics are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction (Merikangas, Stolar, Stevens, Goulet et al., 1998)
  • In a sample of 6,268 adults, adult offspring of parents with addiction were 50% more likely to develop depression than their peers (Fuller-Thomson, Katz, Phan, Liddycoat & Brennenstuhl, 2013)

What does addiction destroy?

– Intimacy
– Self-worth
-Brain cells
-Your soul
-Relationship with God
-Significant relationships in your life

Overcoming addiction often requires more than just a little help from friends and family. In order to achieve the satisfaction you want in life, you have to reach out and ask for help.

Jesus came to Earth so you could have life to the full (John 10:10).  Addiction holds you back from having that full life that God wants for you.  Sometimes addiction is a disease handed down through genetics; other times it’s induced by trauma, peer pressure or just personal choice.  If there’s anything in your life that is spinning out of control, or if close friends and family have expressed their concerns to you about certain habits or lifestyle choices you’ve made, it is time to consider: Would you rather have a dollar or a penny?

#Lifetothefull  #Addiction #Musings4Life #addictionholdsyouback

References

Merikangas, K. R., Stolar, M., Stevens, D. E., Goulet, J., et al., Familial transmission of substance use disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 1998.55(11): p. 973-9.

Esme Fuller-Thomson, Robyn B. Katz, Vi T. Phan, Jessica P.M. Liddycoat, Sarah Brennenstuhl. The long arm of parental addictions: The association with adult children’s depression in a population-based studyPsychiatry Research, 2013; DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.02.024

 

 

Good Enough

good enoughThe next time you’re not feeling good enough for any reason, think about and meditate on what the scriptures say about you:

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8

“Do not be afraid, for you are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my Lord, since you have given me strength.” Daniel 10:19

“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4

In humanistic terms, the value of an object is determined by the price someone is willing to pay for it.  Justin Gignac, cofounder of Working Not Working, demonstrates this idea in his business experiment.  Take a “worthless” piece of crap, for instance, and raise the value of it by setting an expensive price tag on it and see how many people will buy it.  “This is, in essence, what luxury brands do, because it works,” said Gignac.  Human value, of course, is not determined by another human being but it’s determined by the Creator who made us.  In spiritual terms, when God created you, you were already valuable from the moment you were conceived.  In fact, He thought of you long before anyone did:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139 (emphasis added)

After the Fall in the Garden of Eden, God had to do something to save His people from eternal damnation.  Your soul is so valuable that God was willing to sacrifice his own Son to pay a price that nobody could pay.  Jesus’s blood that was shed on the Cross says more about your worth as a human than anything, and all God wants is a relationship with you that will last unto all eternity.  Don’t believe the naysayers, and don’t believe the biggest naysayer of all, which is inside of you.  It’s true that we are our own worst critics; it doesn’t help when we entertain the negative things that others say to us or about us.  Banish all doubts, self-criticism, and criticism from your life and let God’s Word infuse your spirit.

#goodenough #dailyscripture #Musings4Life #knowGod