So this is my final post for a while. In the next few days I am moving country. I have tremendous hope and a wonderful vision for my near future and I’m trusting that He will complete the good work He has begun in me.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Phil 1:6
I have wondered what would be the most useful post (for you the reader) and to make that my final post. I honestly think that the biggest problem in the church is low self esteem and passivity. That is a mental issue, it’s not about faith as much as it’s about how you think – it’s about the lack of hope. Remember this verse?
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he – Prov 23:7
You see, faith hope and love are all very important.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Cor 13:13
Faith is vital and is frequently taught in the church. We know that Paul taught that love is the most important – but it’s not frequently taught. But also hope is important and that verse from Proverbs explains why.
“Stinking thinking” about yourself, having low self esteem about yourself – this negates the many opportunities in your life.
As you can imagine, if you have no love for yourself, how can you love others? The bible says you won’t be able to. Take a look!
For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. – Gal 5:14
Yes you shall love others with the same love you have for yourself. You cannot pour out for others if you have nothing within yourself to give. So that is why my last post is this one: your personal bill of rights.
- I have the right to ask for what I want.
- I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.
- I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
- I have the right to change my mind.
- I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
- I have the right to follow my own standards and standards.
- I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates my values.
- I have the right to determine my own priorities.
- I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.
- I have the right to expect honesty from others.
- I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
- I have the right to be uniquely myself.
- I have the right to feel scared and say “I’m scared.”
- I have the right to say “I don’t know.”
- I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
- I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
- I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
- I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
- I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
- I have the right to be in a non abusive environment.
- I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
- I have the right to change and grow.
- I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
- I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- I have the right to be happy.
If you can get these rights down deep within yourself, you will stop being walked over, you will feel free to change things so they suit you, you will do what you want instead of only what others around you want. You will develop care for yourself, you will stand up for yourself, you will say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no. You will also find yourself prospering and excelling in the gifts He has given you.
And what’s more, you will fill up on the inside as you begin to stand up straighter, saying yes and no and caring for yourself. As you fill up on the inside, you will have more to share with others. You will be loving yourself more, and in turn you will be able to love others more too. You cup will overflow with self esteem and your family will benefit, your friends will benefit, your church will benefit, society will benefit.
Don’t expect everyone else to simply adjust to the new you. Other people may have been overriding your will and proclaiming their things to you for a while now, so re-educating them into what is fair and what is actually healthy… that may take a while. In my experience people who have power may have gotten it in the wrong way and now have no difficultly in maintaining that power in even more wrong ways.
So your choices to stand up for good behaviour may in fact cause some disturbance as you publicly point out the wrongful behaviours you are no longer going to tolerate. God has made you in His image. He loves you. You matter to Him. You matter to me. No matter who you are, or what has happened, you matter to Him and to me. So you must stand up for yourself and put into action the personal bill of rights.
And remember that everyone else also has the same bill of rights. And if the people in the church matured individually, then imagine what will happen to the church body. In fact the bible makes it clear…
And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. – Eph 4:11-14
So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead. – Eph 4:11-14
Those verses talk about fullness and maturity and stature – powerful and strong words. It is His intention that YOU come to fullness and maturity, SO THAT the greater church comes to fullness and maturity. The church is the sum of it’s members plus the Holy Spirit. That is why I say that the greatest danger is the crippling of the members – either through low self esteem, or through the passing of laws which cripple our right to express our faith. Both are very great dangers.
We must matures and achieve wholeness, in order for the church to grow… because as we grow, the darkness of the world moves back and people, countries, economies, jobs, marriages – all are released from darkness. It’s a group effort. Each generation stands on the shoulders of those that went before them, just as David stood on the work of Samuel and Saul, who stood on the work of Abraham, who… you get the idea.
So go and grow and mature as an individual. Take your place. Be a good steward of what He has given you. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No – Matt 5:37
but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no – Jam 5:12
And – one more time – WHY should you grow as an individual? Because in, as Eph 4:11-14 says, the church grows when it’s individual parts grow in maturity. If you want the church to grow, if you want society to heal… then get on with reading and living your personal bill of rights, get on with fixing how you think in your heart
For AS he thinks in his heart, so IS he – Prov 23:7
God bless. I doubt I will be posting for a while. I hope to be busy busy busy loving people. My strategy is pretty simple: “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words” – St. Francis of Assisi. If it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me. 🙂