Sunday, April 25, 2010

Be the Exception

Yesterday I travelled to Woodstock, GA for a Beth Moore event that was simulcast to over 300,000 people in over 250 locations throughout North America. The subject was her newest book, So Long, Insecurity.

I confess that while I have my share of hang ups I would not label myself as a person wracked with insecurity. Nonetheless, God definitely revealed some things to me yesterday about fears that plague me. Most specifically, I am haunted by a comment my uncle made within earshot of me almost 30 years ago. Crazy, isn't it? 

I am quite certain he wouldn't have the slightest memory of his 'prediction' of the type of person I would grow up to be. Late one evening when I was supposed to be asleep I overheard a conversation between my parents and my aunt and uncle. I don't remember anything else I overheard in all of my childhood but this one statement: "Jennifer is always going to have lots of people around her because she has such a strong personality. People are going to feel like they have to be her friend." 

I am a 35 year old woman with every 'on paper' reason to feel secure...and yet, the Enemy still taunts me with insecurity about my friendships sometimes. Does that person really like me or do they feel somehow like they don't have a choice?

Even as I type it I am cringing because while I know it sounds crazy, it is the truth of how words can wound...almost 3 decades later. I realized yesterday under Beth's teaching that obsessing about things like this can become an idolatrous self interest. How can I love other people well when I am so worried about myself?

Beth pointed out that security in Christ means leaving those old lies behind.

"But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you." Ephesians 4:20-24 The Message

She explained that Christians were supposed to be the poster children of what a life looked like before and after Christ. There should be a marked difference in our lives and those around us who are without a living faith.

My favorite part of the day was when we were exhorted to be 'secure exceptions' in the world. She used several examples along the lines of 
"No one can make it through high school without falling into those types of sins...EXCEPT for her."
"No woman still...EXCEPT for her."
"No one has the patience to...EXCEPT her."
 You get the point. The Holy Spirit can empower us to be exceptional.

I will conclude with the commissioning Beth had us recite to one another at the conclusion of yesterday's simulcast. As awkward as it felt to look my neighbor in the eye and speak these words, it was undoubtedly a powerful moment.

"My Dear Sister,
If Christ is your Savior, you are the dwelling place of His own Spirit.
You have it IN YOU to be secure.
Every day of your life you have a choice to make:
You can live in your old defeat
Or you can turn from your unbelief and choose life.
Make up your mind to put off the old you and put on the new you.
Never, ever, ever forget that the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
He will take care of you to your very last breath.
Now, leave this place and go out into the world
And act like a person who knows she’s dearly loved.
You were born to be exceptional.
So, Girlfriend, go forth and walk worthy of your calling.
You are clothed in strength and dignity!
Now unto Him Who can keep you from falling
Be glory and majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord
Now and forever more.
Amen. "

-Commissioning from Beth Moore So Long, Insecurity! simulcast


Cathy said...

I've never met you, but admire your knowledge and life so very much. You remind my of my best friend who is 9 years my senior. People WANT to be around her. She is knowledgable and has wisdom and is happy and speaks the truth. She's always smiling. I envision you being just like her. I honestly think your uncle meant what he said as a true compliment to you even if no one even knew it then. You're heart is a treasure.

Joni said...

I really do like you. And I do have a choice.

And that choice was easier to make after being persuaded by the man you sent to my house. It wasn't his New jersey accent that convinced me. Or even his Mafia connections.

It was after Guido's friendly reminder that I really would like to keep my kneecaps. And your friendship. : )


JMom said...

Joni- I woke up today thinking maybe I shouldn't have told the story in this post. Now I get to add "or they are just her friend because she wrote that post one time." :-) Thanks for making me lighten up. I am glad you are my friend...and if you ever try to dump me that might really be a persuasive knee cap destroyer on your door step. :-)

Kylie and crew. said...

Again your transparency is amazing! Thanks for being raw.

Kristin said...

I went to the Beth Moore simulcast in Idaho and wondered who of my blog "friends" that I "follow" might be there hearing the same message. So cool. :) (I like reading your posts because I feel it is preparation for what I have ahead of me as my kids reach new stages, and I love your faith insights. They make me think. Thanks!)

I have to be honest and say that I couldn't even pay attention to what the commissioning said because it was so awkward to look in my neighbor's eyes. Isn't that crazy to admit? ha ha ha. But the idea was good, so I'm glad you posted the actual words so I can reflect on them now.