Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lessons From The Mountain Top

As you stand atop a high mountain, what do you see? As far as the eye can see, there are deep ravines, cascading valleys, broad plains of beautiful wildflowers, flowing streams and rivers, and crystal clear lakes. All of these wondrous sights enable us to be in awe and wonder of our Creator who is worthy to be praised!

As great as a physical mountain top vista is, how much greater is a spiritual mountain top experience, when you are allowed to sense the presence of the Lord in a fresh new way!

I had such an experience this past week, as my husband and I attended a church conference that truly revived my spirit. In every conference session, worship service, and the many other events that I participated in, the Lord truly spoke to my heart. And incidentally, our conference was in an actual mountain setting!

On one afternoon at the conference, many of the women attended a session that was just for our ears only, called “Woman 2 Woman”. We heard from a pastor’s wife who shared from her heart about “people pleasing”. I believe that all of us as women probably struggle with that from time to time, but the “people pleasing” syndrome can really trip up those of us who are pastors’/ministers’ wives.

Being honest with ourselves, we all desire for those in our churches to like us and accept us. There is no such thing as a “perfect pastor’s wife”, therefore, we should stop trying to be one. There are some in our churches who expect us to be that way, and when we fail to meet peoples’ unrealistic expectations, we feel rejected, ostracized, and our feelings are greatly hurt.

Our sister shared with us some basic points that I thought are worth passing along to you as we attempt to gain freedom from the bondage of always trying to please others:

1. Minimize what others think of me.
What I learned: People will always have their opinions about what you should or should not be doing. Only those who are a part of your trusted inner circle, such as spouses, family, friends, mentors, etc. can be trusted to truly speak into your life because they love you and can genuinely give valuable encouragement and sometimes much needed constructive criticism.

2. Minimize what I think of myself.
What I learned: Many times your own opinion of yourself can be too high, thinking more of yourself than you should, causing arrogance and pride. Or your opinion can be too low, leaving you with feelings of worthlessness or self-pity. In order to have a balanced view of yourself, you must know who you are in Christ, it is only in Him that you know your true worth, remember He died for you because He loved you.

3. Maximize what God thinks of me!
What I learned: As you grow in Christ make it your primary goal in life to strive to find out what pleases the Lord. This is what we are commanded to do in 2 Corinthians 5:9 and Ephesians 5:10. If your ways are pleasing to Christ,isn’t that what truly matters?

These words of affirmation are just a snippet of the many things that I either learned afresh or was gently reminded of from the mountain top. Again, I thank God for all that He poured into my heart during that memorable week, and I am grateful to share this small sample with you.

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