Chasing Contentment

Monday, February 13

It feels odd to talk about being tempted or prodded by Satan. People just don't much talk about the Devil any longer. It feels embarassing, as if it's something that should be discussed in hushed tones lest anyone overhear.

And yet, I believe that Satan lives and breathes and does indeed tempt and prod us. And I don't think he's all that inventive. Once he determines what our weak spot is, he is just going to keep returning to that tender place over and again.

I know this dear, precious Christian woman who is completely and utterly devoted to her Lord. She is, I know, a blessing to many. There are, however, some aspects of her approach that don't sit well with me. For whatever reason, she is the image I have in my head of a 'good Christian woman.' And I don't see how I can mesh the reality of me with the image of her.

And so, my own unwillingness to become that image kept me for years from studying the Bible, from growing closer to God. I managed to overcome that initial resistance, but time and again, I return to that nagging worry... if I become closer to Christ, will I also become more like that? (Mike assures me that can't be God's wish because he couldn't live with me if I were like that, and he says he's pretty sure God's not looking to ruin our marriage. He's a nice man, my Mike.)

But as I keep returning to this place of worry, I know that I must be growing in my faith if Satan feels the need to remind me of this worrisome fear. And I'm trying to remember that my faith and my walk with God need only to mirror what God sets forth to me. It is okay for me not to agree with this particular woman or with my husband or with my friend or with the woman down the pew in church or with a co-worker or with a stranger. If we all love our God and believe in His power and truth, then it is most likely okay with Him if we each walk a different path.

If we can let Him infuse our lives rather than just our talk, then we're on the right path because we're on His path.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, February 13, 2006  ]


God doesn't make us like other people, he makes us better versions of ourselves and more like him.

I'm blessed to know a number of Godly women, and they're all different, yet you can see Jesus Christ reflected in each of them.

On another note, I just got my Koinonia House Personal Update Journal, and it had a great article about Numbers and why its important, and what some of the symbolism means. It made me want to go read numbers again! If you want, I'll send it to you, e-mail me your address. (On my website, go to other, than contact info) Or, you can call 1 800 khouse1 ( 1-800-546-8731) to get your own (first year is free). It's in the February 2006 one, volume 16, number 2.

By Anonymous Elizabeth B, at 1:41 PM  

Not to give you extra reason to think that talking about Satan is becoming "taboo," but I think you could easily explain your recent feelings a completely different way.

Many of us look to others as fine examples of good Christian men and women. While we may believe that these individuals have a relationship to be envied, it is also often true that we believe they have certain traits they attribute to their faith that we find to be distasteful. I sincerely believe that religious devotion can be as big a trap as any other temptation. After all, who did Jesus chastise the most while he was here?

Sure, you feel uneasy that your increased devotion may lead you down a road to becoming a different person. On one hand, it better, or you're obviously not very devoted. On the other hand, couldn't it be God's gentle voice you hear? It might just be possible that God is saying "Chel, I'm so glad you're becoming more interested in a deeper understanding of me and a stronger relationship with me. However, don't forget to remain who you are. You are a beautiful person I am already using to touch others." Mike's encouragement seems only to second the idea.

Maybe it's the "positive kick" I've been on the past several years, but that's how I see what's going on. Accept that God may be leading you down this road, but past habits made you focus on the gutter instead of the pavement. I guess my point here can be summarized by Rita Mae Brown's paraphrasing of the Lord's Prayer, "Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself."

Hope this helps more than hurts. I kept getting interrupted there at the end and couldn't get my thoughts back into line.

P.S. By the way, I discovered the other day that my old blog still exists. I've revived it and changed it a bit. A new post will be coming some time this week. I have a feeling I'll reference some of what we've said here.

By Blogger Joshua, at 1:44 PM  

Thanks... I'll email you. I finally finished Numbers! I'm enjoying Deuteronomy SO much more.

By Blogger Chel, at 1:46 PM  

I'm glad you finished! Keep going, even when you don't think you're getting much out of it, it pays off in the long run.

If you get bogged down in Genealogies, here's something to keep you going:

By Anonymous Elizabeth B, at 6:41 PM  

Sister, you are not alone in your feelings. I had a friend once who also felt that she would cease being herself and become some kind of "Stepford Wife" if she grew in her faith. Those are real fears, probably put there by Satan, but they are real nonetheless.

As some others have posted, you will just become a more Christ-like version of the unique person you already are. God created us all different for a purpose. Keep pressing on!

By Anonymous Janna, at 5:34 AM  

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