Apr 152015
 

The Disney movie “Mulan” comes to mind when I am thinking about honor.  A journey of one Japanese girl, conflicted between giving honor to her family and culture and yet still following her passions/desired life goals.  One of the songs the family, neighbors sings to her is “You’ll bring honor to us all.”  Honor in this culture is expected and highly valued.  I am not sure that our American culture fully gets this honor concept.  And yet as believer’s within the American culture, we should get it.  Because it is valued by God and He asks it of us.  What I found this week was a little more dishonor happening, even if it was in my heart and not spoken out loud, than I would like to admit.  The “Love does not dishonor” (The Greek word for honor means “to revere, prize, and value.”) was a harder challenge than I was expecting.  But if I desire to value the things God values, I must look squarely at my own life and the “lack of it” and be willing to make some changes.

Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #1-My Mom and Dad-  This “week of honor” fell on our family vacation week.  Which I found quite fitting and definitely not a coincidence since we were vacationing with my parents.  The scripture “Honor your Father and Mother” (Eph 6:2a) was going through my brain even before we all set foot on the plane to leave.  I was contemplating how this scripture doesn’t have an end date on it.  For example, “When the child reaches their thirties, they no longer are under the honor their parents rule anymore”.  And there are no exception or escape clauses like “If the parent is not a believer”, “If the parent is undeserving of respect based on making extremely poor decisions”, or “If the parent conducts all timers and cannot think clearly” then God’s command to honor them is null and void.  God says “Just do it” in Nike terms-Just honor your parents, respect them not based necessarily on merit but on their rank/position they hold in your life.  So, on our trip, there was not any “aha” moment in which I got to “crown my parents with honor” but I can tell you there were many moments in which I thought twice before speaking.  For example, instead of commenting sarcastically to my parent’s suggestion to pack a huge lunch for everyone rather than go out (I was feeling lazy and not wanting to put in the work to do this) I simply kept my mouth shut.  And helped pack a lunch.  There were many more of these kind of moments.  Small moments.  Of.  Shutting.  My.  Mouth.

Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #2-My husband- When I talked with the Lord about what relationships in my life needed some tweaking in the “honor” area, he brought my husband to mind right away.  Sure, I have read the “Love and Respect” book which pretty much states in a nutshell, women need love and men need respect in a marriage.  But I have some work to do in this department.  So I went through some testing questions to get my respect odometer back to where it should be “Do I value his opinion above a psychologist author of the book I’m reading?”;  “Do I value him above my need to be right in a given disagreement”;  “Do I value him above my intense desire to control the way we do things rather than simply going with his suggested way we proceed?”;  “Do I value him above the project I want done in my time schedule?”  All these questions were followed up this week with opportunities to up my “respect odometer” reading with my husband.  I will tell you that in the case of wanting the kids swing set built, I chose nagging to get the project done over respecting his way and timeline.  Bummer.  But in many other situations this week-I decided.  To.  Lay.  Down.  My.  Control.  And. respect. him.  Instead.

Dishonor/disrespect versus respect/honor moment #3-The Shaming Game-  I have a couple books that are my “bathroom reads”.  The book I picked up this week during this precious, uninterrupted time was “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.  And the topic was “shame”.  She says, “The shame tapes are the messages of self-doubt and self-criticism that we carry around in our heads.”  I began to explore my “shame tapes” and recognized how my need to have approval from others (or therefore my shame tapes would begin to roll) was tied to how I viewed myself.  This unhealthy negative inner talk caused me to shame my husband and children at times, rather than fesing up to my own mistakes.  For the sake of my personal “honor”.  I would shame others in order to not be shamed myself.  In reading through the definitions and “shame resilient” strategies and the reality of the “why” behind these behaviors, I feel courageous and confident to speak to myself with kindness and honor, even in the “tapes” I play in my mind.  Through this journey of self evaluation I have “grown up” in 3 areas having to do with honor:  1.  I honor God above all else, allowing Him to convict me of sin (recognising the act was bad-I am not bad).  2.  I am then free to respect/honor who I am in Christ-seeing myself as worthy and whole, no matter what anyone else says.  3.  This flows into honoring others, without feeling a need to put down, disrespect another because I am enough and they are enough through the eyes of Jesus.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 132015
 
We are about half way through our love attributes!  Way to go everyone for taking on/praying about/writing about these attributes each week! And also kudos to you if you are reading their descriptions and my experiences and are implementing them in your home, work and play!  Maybe you are praying through each attribute that comes up and have been able to write on some but not all.  Whatever your amount of investment in loving others for these weeks have been, well done!  I know our Father is pleased when we prioritise loving Him and loving others (mainly because we remember He says these are the 2 greatest commandments!)  So, keep it up!  Your work is not in vain!  You WILL bear fruit for the Kingdom when you bear the fruit of His Spirit and love others!  

In response to our featured love attribute, I am a tiny bit scared.  For some reason it has been one I have dreaded.  I probably dread it because I know God has some work to do on me in this selfishness area.  I can hear myself chalking up/rationalising MY way, MY need, and MY opinion for the sake of the good of the all.  But lets be honest, many time the ME monster attitude rears its ugly head and is simply for the sake of Me.  Getting what I want.  When I want it.

Our #7 1 Corinthians 13 “Love it up” attribute this week is:  “LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING”.

Webster’s defines the word, “Self-Seeking”, for us:
  • Self-serving;  overly concerned with one’s own desires, needs, or interests                                                                                                                          Friends, here are some like minded words for “self-seeking”, to further expand our mission this week (In other words these are the DO NOT do’s for this week):.
And to follow up with some words opposite to “self-seeking” (which is what we want to be-in other words DO these this week!):
 altruisticbeneficentbenevolentcharitablegenerous,greatheartedhumanitarianmagnanimousphilanthropic (alsophilanthropical), self-denyingself-givingself-sacrificingother-directed;diffident, selfless; self-reflective

Of all the like minded words of “self-seeking”, the words, “thoughtless, inconsiderate, and self-absorbed”, were highlighted in my spirit.  Questions which beg for difficult answers are, “Do I need to own up to my areas of weakness in which I can’t seem to remember people’s birthday’s?  How can I work at being more thoughtful-intentional about actively remembering/recognising others’ BIG day’s rather than only my BIG day’s?  In what areas of my life am I too “self absorbed” and am like a horse with those blinders on either side-only seeing tunnel vision, not able to look up and around at others’ stuff?  When was the last time I shrugged off/defended my actions when I was inconsiderate to my spouse, child, or friend and didn’t apologise for it?”  To be BIG enough to notice when we are small and weak is to be BIG enough to do BIG things for the Kingdom!  If we want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be the servant of all- “So Jesus told them again, “It’s terribly hard to get into God’s kingdom!  In fact, it’s …If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others.”  Mark 10:24-25

Of all the opposites to “self-seeking”, the word “selfless” jumped out to me.  Jesus performed the ultimate selfless act of all time-He died for us when we were in the most unkept, unknowing, underrepresented, underwhelming, unpleasant state.  Jesus is the epitome of selfless.  He is selfless at its best.

When the time was right, the Anointed One died for all of us who were far from God, powerless, and weak. Now it is rare to find someone willing to die for an upright person, although it’s possible that someone may give up his life for one who is truly good. But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us.  Romans 5:6-8 (The Voice)

As we embark on this “Week of Selflessness”, may we allow our God to prune our “overgrowth areas”.  Areas of selfishness we have rationalised away, defended ourselves in, or even lived in unbenknonced to us.  May we say “Come Lord Jesus come” and do a work in us.  May we be open ourselves up to His Spirit revealing some ugly places in us.  Only to see how He will turn our ugly into beauty.  Christ like beauty.

It would do us good (and it is doing me some good even as I write this) to say the below prayer out loud.  If you are willing.  So find a space.  Right now.  And know I am speaking this right along with you, my friend (after I write it of course):

Jesus, more of You in my life.  Teach me how to be a servant of all.  To think of others before myself.  May the “ME monster” have no reign as YOU fill me with everything I would ever need.  Help me to be thoughtful in the BIG days of those around me.  Remind me to give all myself-and all my self issues.  self doubt.  self-esteem.  self insterests.  self reliance.  To.  You.  Take away my blinders so I can truly love on and SEE others.  In all their pain.  All their glory.  All their uniqueness.  All their weakness.  And enter in.  Deeply.  With.  Your.  Selfless.  Love.

A Quotes/Verses to say NO to the self-seeking spirit this week:

  • For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
    Romans 8:5
  • ““Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
    ― Oscar Wilde
  • ““Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”
    ― Daniel Goleman,
  • “Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. ”
    ― Stephen Kendrick,
  • “Selfishness is a bad habit. That’s why I always rationally think through my decisions to act without regard for others.”
    ― Bauvard,  
Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 082015
 

Ah yes.  The oh so true scripture verse of Proverbs 16:18 (“Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.”) was a journey into the great unknown for me this week.  (I only wish!)  You know how you get an annoying song stuck in your head and it won’t.  Leave.  Your.  Brain?  Well, it wasn’t quite a song this week that was on repeat for me.  But something of equal consistency and frustration.  It was a phrase.  That not only wouldn’t let up in the mind but also wouldn’t let up in my life.  “Pride comes before a fall”.  As I did the dishes.  Drove to pick up kids.  Lead worship practice.  Did the Jillian Michaels work out video.  I hold out hope that one of these love attributes I will have down pat.  But unfortunately, the 1 Corinthians 13 “Love is not proud” was not the one.  I got to learn, again, how to:

Get. Over.  Myself.  And Get.  Under.  God. 

Know it all and got it all versus Modest moment #1-My daughter-  Normally we stick to our tried and true city parks, but today we happened upon what we believe to be Newberg, Oregons best kept secret.  (When it comes to parks that is.)  Tucked away on a hill in a small neighborhood we found the slide and climbing structure of my girls’ dreams.  The scene was perfect.  Sun.  (But not too much).  Good attitudes from both girls.  (And me. Which can I say is rare to get a 3 out of 3 in this category.)  Park to ourselves.  (Was feeling like and hopeful to achieve some good quality fam time.)  My youngest daughter headed straight for the climbing structure.  After 5 minutes of intense climbing her first words to me were, “I am a good climber, Mom!  I don’t even have to use 2 hands like other kids.”  And no sooner had her last word left her mouth than her footing slipped and she fell.  Not far.  But right on her bottom.  On the bark chips.  No real injuries other than her pride.  Pride literally came before a fall.

Know it all and got it all versus Modest moment #2-My Wisdom- After much prayer and research, my husband and I had decided where to send our girls to school.  I felt confident.  The peace that surpasses all understanding.  I was good.  to.  go.  I ran into multiple friends who were not in the same place.  They were struggling with the where to?  Why?  What if’s?  Of the school decision.  (Insert the Mighty Mouse music here-“Here I come to save the day!”)   Sure, my motives were pure.  I legitimately felt concerned for their well being.  I desired the best for them and their kids.  I felt humbled to pray with them.  But something beyond my words and actions in these conversations was off.  If I am being honest, I felt pride.  Pride because I had it all together.  Pride because I knew and they didn’t.  Pride in the wisdom I could offer.  Pride in the peace I had.  Little did I know the 180 degrees I would be turning.  The next day.  Lo and behold, we found out the next day that our school tweaked some fairly crucial policies which left me with some intense unfulfilled expectations.  So intense and so unfulfilled that I began to question everything about our previously rock solid school decisions.  And I immediately began to scramble for other options for my kids for school next year.  I didn’t check in with the Lord about it.  Didn’t trust His already given peace.  (Did not “pass GO” or “collect $200” in Monopoly/playing to win for the Kingdom terms.)  In other words, I went from having ALL the pride, peace, and wisdom for my friends to having ALL the stressed out brain aneurisms a person can take.  Or to put it even more simply-I fell.  On my bottom.  In the bark chips.

Know it all and got it all versus Modest moment #3-My prioritising of projects and people- My.  Stuff.  Is.  Important.  What I got going on.  Is. most. important.  (To what you have going on or are doing.)  And I kind of know who or what should take precedence.  At any. given. time.  (Or so I thought.  Before this week.)  My husband had had an interview that day to determine whether he would get a job promotion (this was pretty much his final promotion he could get in his line of work.)  So, fairly big deal.  He had texted me that it had gone well during the day and I gave him a good 5 minutes before dinner to share other thoughts about how things had gone.  (Check.  Good, dutiful wife.  Listened to her husbands thoughts on important interview.)  What was strange is after dinner he kept bringing up more tidbits about the interview and analysing certain elements about it and called me in multiple times to come discuss in the other room.  My multitasking dimension went into full swing.  An “oh really, honey” to my husband, while looking in the fridge and asking my daughter, “now which kind of yogurt did you want for your lunch tomorrow?”  A “Hmmmm…that’s interesting” to my husband, while looking at my phone for the upcoming schedule of activities for this week.  A “well, I’m so proud of you” to my husband while looking in the sink for the next dish to load in the dishwasher.  You see, going back to my initial statements- I prioritise well.  My stuff is most important.  My husband got his time and now other projects needed my time.  Pride.  Pride.  Pride.  But when my husband stopped talking and said in so many words that he felt not respected/heard by me, I saw.  My pride.  And how I had fallen.  A song that had been on the brain all week immediately made an appearance again.  But this time it rooted in a new way into my soul, “My eyes are fixed on You, sovereign Lord, King of glory.”  I saw clearly.  How my eyes were not fixed on God in this moment.  My pride had gotten in the way.  My eyes looked to my priorities for that day.  Hour.  Minute.  If I was in an “eyes on Jesus” mode, I would not have pridefully been eyes fixed on projects.  They would have been on my husband.

Oh Father.  May our eyes be fixed on you today.  May we recognize ALL our giftings, wisdom, good acts are in You and because of You.  It is of nothing we have done.  We thank you for your amazing example of humbling Yourself so much so that you even died for us on a cross.  May we live out our true identities.  In which you speak to us softly the many reasons You love us.  Are proud of us.  Are gifted uniquely.  But also remind us when needed that this world does not revolve around us and our projects and needs.  Thank you for picking us up when we mess up and fall.  Thank you for still loving us the same.  Even when we think we are “all that”.  We confess that you God and we are not.  Your ways are best.  You are on the throne.  You are Lord of ALL.  THAT.  And.  more.  May our eyes be fixed on You.  Today.  And every day.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.  Proverbs 11:2

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 062015
 
 “Honor phrases” are currently on the brain:  “I really should honor my needs and take a vacation.”  “Wow, his medal of honor shows he is well deserving of affirmation.”  “I sure hope I get on the honor role for school.”  To be honored in front of others seems to be valued in our society.  On the flip side, I can think of more times than I would like to admit that I have personally been dishonoured in front of others.  To dishonor, demean, disrespect, make fun of others is par for the course in our society.  Other’s applaud the creativity of “rips” made toward someone, a put down sarcastic joke, or a “come back” zinger in an argument.  To be seen as confident, smart, cool and capable, just make fun of someone.  And I wish I could say I was above this kind of communication.  But not only have I been the “butt” of someone’s joke, I have teared down others (with unkind words) in an effort to build myself up.

Our #6 1 Corinthians 13 “Love it up” attribute this week is:  “LOVE DOES NOT DISHONOR”.

Webster’s defines the word, “Dishonor”, for us:
  • bring shame or disgrace on.
  • fail to observe or respect                                                                                                    Friends, here are some like minded words for “dishonor”, to further expand our mission this week (In other words these are the DO NOT do’s for this week):.
c

disgraceshamediscredit, bring into disrepute, humiliatedegrade,debaselowercheapen, drag down, drag through the mud, blacken the name of, give a bad name to; 

And to follow up with some words opposite to dishonouring (which is what we want to be-in other words DO these this week!):
admirationappreciationestimationregardawefearreverence;famegloryrenownrepute, esteem, honor, respect

Of all the like minded words of “dishonor”, the words, “shame, humiliate, lower”, were highlighted in my spirit.  Questions which beg for difficult answers are, “How do I respond when I feel shamed or humiliated by someone?  Do I continue the downward spiral and continue the “zing fest” in my defensiveness, shame and hurt?”  “Is there anyone it has become normal to put down in front of others, even if it is ‘all in the name of fun’?”  “How can I be an advocate of change in an environment that is full of dishonoring one another?”  “Am I willing to be wronged, cheated, demeaned, in an effort to win others for Christ?”  (1 Corinthians 6:7)

Of all the opposites to “dishonor”, the word “respect” jumped out to me.  I remember in my first year of marriage reading (okay you caught me-skimming) the book, “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.  And I recall the countless nights wrestling with this respect concept in marriage.  Wrestling with the notion that this respect thing was of more value to my man than loving him.  It was good for me to recall this book in the now because I so often fail to affirm him in the day to day.  I desire to not only respect my husband in heart and words and to respect others in the same way.

As we embark on this “Week of Honor”, may we go against the cultural norms and reclaim every school, house, church building, grocery store, work place we find ourselves in as places of “honoring one another above ourselves.”  May we build up when others choose to tear down.  May every person we come into contact with this week expect only goodness and kindness and encouragement to come from our mouths.  May we actually role model to our kids what we tell them to do, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.

Oh Lord, help us to first honor You above all else.  Teach us to then honor, build up, respect, and appreciate those we rub shoulders with today.  And the next day.  And the next day.  Show us this week how we can come to the rescue for those we see demeaned and put down by someone.  Give us opportunities to enter into a new day and season of honoring spaces wherever our feet take us.  And may we walk in the light of your glorious grace as we walk and work out our faith in a way that brings honor to Your Name alone.

A Quotes/Verses to say NO to the dishonoring spirit this week:

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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