Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Sting of a Christian Woman

Since you are reading this post, I could betcha a dollar that you too, have felt the sting by another Christian woman.  And boy, the knife sure goes down deep in the heart on that one!
Let's read, what I will refer to as, The Stinging Sisters List, shall we?

  • Betrayed
  • Criticized
  • Condemned
  • Talked about behind your back- and I don't mean they were praying for you either; most likely they were talking some smack about you and it was gossip and/or slander!
  • Lied to
  • Stole from
  • How about this one:  flirted with your man! I am so not okay with that one, in fact, my fists might even come out swinging!  Woman, you better back up before you get hurt!
  • Hindered you in the ministry that God has called you to- this one saddens my spirit deeply.  Sometimes to follow the Lord's leading it takes a GREAT amount of faith to get out of the boat and walk on water to Jesus.  He has called you to do something that you do not feel qualified nor equipped to do and now a Sister in Christ has stumbled you from following the Lord in ministry.  Satan LOVES this one...actually, he loves all of the above.
I am sure you can add to, The Stinging Sisters List, but you get my point.

Confession time:  because I don't think I can write a post without being completely honest and real with you.  As I looked back through The List, unfortunately over the years as I was growing in Christ (and still growing), you could find my name written down in several of those sections.  Ouch!
"...for the accuser of our brethren, (Satan) who accused them (believers) before our God day and night, has been cast down."  Revelation 12:10 (my emphasis)  I don't know about you, but the last thing I want in my heart is tear down another Sister in Christ.  Satan does not need any more help in that department and I don't want to be aligned with him.

So, why do we do it?  Why do we tear down another woman?  I pondered that question for quite some time and here were some of my thoughts:
  • Insecurity
  • Fear 
  • Doubt
  • Guilt
  • Control
  • Pride
  • Competition
All of the above actions happen when we are in the flesh and not in the Spirit.  They all have to do with 'self'.  We are often taught in this world to have self-confidence and be self-reliant.  (By the way, there is nothing wrong with feeling like you can make your own breakfast...that's not the type of self-confidence and self-reliance I am referring to!)  It is when those attributes lead to self-centeredness and you become self-absorbed.  As God's daughters we should seek to have God's-confidence and become God-reliant rather than self.  

When we take our eyes off of us (self) and we put it on the Lord, then we will not see our Sisters in Christ as a threat to us, we won't feel insecure nor will we have fear or doubt about who we are in Christ.  When our eyes are fixed on Him, then we can encourage our Sisters rather than belittle them, criticize, condemn, and compete with them.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Philippians 2:3,4  I'd like to pretend I never read those verses, except for the part where it says someone should look out for my interests! 

So, I have just scratched the surface with this topic and I want to share more about how to handle the hurt and get over the pain, so look for future posts!  I will try to write soon but I will be off camping for the weekend!



Carolyn said...

I can so relate and this is something that the Lord and I are working on right now in fact. I have a large problem of tearing down (of all people) my mother in law. I'm not proud of it either. I am working on holding my tongue when I get frustrated with her and not to complain because that's when I start to Criticized and Condemned her. It is really hard especially since I know that I am hurting my husband by doing it, after all she is his mother!
I am struggling with this but I know that with the Lords help i can do it!

Jolene Engle said...

@Carolyn Yes, Carolyn, it is hard. At least you are aware of it and trying to work through it and the Lord will help you. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

SHALOM said...

This is a great topic, because reality is...we have all fallen into this snare in some form or another. It's awesome when the Lord allows us to see it for what it is. He usually brings it to our attention through a circumstance where He uses humility as the tool to show us we are sinning. The true test for me... is to forgive others when I'm the one that's being sinned against. That's where the cycle of it happens sometimes. Someone talks smack, or treats us wrong, so we in return talk smack, and it becomes a vicious cycle.

wickerina said...

I am encouraged and feeling restored. Thank you Jesus for my sister Jolene and for using her to minister to me.

wickerina said...

I am encouraged and so happy to read how God has moved in your life. We serve an A M A Z I N G God.

Thank you Jesus for my sister and the work you continue to do in her life.

Jolene, you minister to me in ways you will never know [big smile].