"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Study of Esther

I am fully engrossed in the newest Beth Moore study, Esther. I think Beth Moore is perhaps one of the greatest Bible teachers of our time. God just uses her to expose His truths in ways that truly touch women and I just enjoy her books and studies so much. I wanted to share some of the things from this week's lesson and encourage you to pick up this amazing study:

1.) Meanness: She talks about how tough it is being a woman in a mean world and how each of us can contribute to that meanness in our own actions. She makes three important points about meanness: (1) it has a history, that is to say something in the past spurs the meanness forward, (2) it perceives a threat. Think about it. How many times do we as women degrade or talk bad about those who pose a threat: maybe they are smarter than us, maybe they are prettier than us, or maybe they threaten to take away our position in our circle of friends. and (3) it catches like a virus. Meanness is such an epidemic when it sweeps through our lives, we try to get as many people wrapped up in it in order to produce the greatest results. These truths just reminded me of how I need to control my own "mean streak" and to realize where the root of my malintentions come from.

2.) God is the ultimate judge: The best part about not having to deal with the meanness of others towards us, is knowing that there is a judge who can deal with it in such a way that is appropriate and good. So many times, especially as of late, my first reaction to the meanness of others is to get ready to fight to the death in making them see the error of their ways. Often times, this causes me to sin because I can't handle the judgement without my own fleshly emotions. It would be so much easier if I just let the one true judge deal with it on His terms and His timing.

3.) God hates meanness: Sometimes, it just feels good to have someone agree with you about how despicable someone elses behavior is. We can get that agreement from God without having to drag in every Sally and Sue into a war of gossip.

"There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."
Proverbs 6:16-19
How often do we take someones meanness and run it into a field of "can you believe what they did to me?" I mean, let's face it. It feels good to know that others agree. It feels good to know that our assessment of that person is in fact correct and they are mean, but we are supposed to live beyond feelings. We are supposed to allow our face to be slapped and move our head to offer the other side so they can do it again. We can still revile in the fact that we serve a God who hates meanness, with a passion that we cannot understand.

4.) God delivers us from those who are mean to us: Satan likes to use our own mental anguish against us and he is very good at it. Getting into our heads when someone slights us is a way that he can just unleash his own fury into our lives. But, if we can just remember God's faithfulness in times before, we can hold on to the truth that God will continue to be faithful in circumstances of mean people and mean situations. We just have to be willing to accept His timetable and not our own.

It is so funny how God puts things in your path at the exact moment you need them. This week's lesson could not have come at a better time as I face the meanness of the world and the enemy. It just solidified in me a hope that I don't just have to endure, but I can delight in God's goodness in times when it seems as though I can barely stand on my own.
Here's to lessons learned....

Until next time,


To get the Esther study, go to www.lifeway.com/women . You will NOT regret it!!

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