Monday, April 26, 2010

Laying Our Cards on the Table

I know! I know! I've been a really baaaaaaad blogger! It's been almost three weeks since my last post, and all I can say is that . . . well, I've been swamped over here in the Great Lone Star State. And I can't even really say with what -- all I know is I've been running from mornin' 'til night time it seems, and I feel like I'm in the same place! (Might as well slow up, and see if the scenery changes, huh!) Okay, here's the post I promised three weeks ago . . .

So far, in our other two “sessions,” we’ve learned to about “anteing up” – giving our all in commitment to the mission (Matthew 28:19-20a, Acts 1:8, 2 Corinthians 5:20) – and we’ve learned how and when to “hold’em” and “fold’em” – whether we partner up with Papa God in a way that requires us to take an obviously, intentionally pro-active) approach to dealing with a situation, season, or relationship OR whether He calls us to take an intentionally quiet, discreet approach that most often will involve the act of prayer alone.

This post we’re going to “lay our cards on the table,” a really important aspect of our game because it’s where we take time to examine what we actually have in our “hand.”

A deck of cards is made up of four suits. For our purposes, we’re going to look at them this way:

· Diamonds – Our “ME” suit (And, Sistas, we are all diamonds!)

Who we are as individuals – spiritually,

physically, mentally, emotionally

· Hearts – Our relationships

The people with whom we share our lives – our family, our friends, our co-workers

· Clubs – Our circumstances

What’s going on in our lives – short-term day-to-day happenings and long-term events that will shape our lives for years to come

· Spades – Our dark places

Those areas where we struggle; our weaknesses, our strongholds

NOTE: And the wise woman knows not only what’s in her hand but Who holds her while she plays out her hand. (See Colossians 1:16-17.)

We’re going to focus primarily the “ME” suit in this post because 1) I told you I’d finish up this series of posts last week, and I’m obviously WAAAAY behind already; and because 2) the “ME” suit so dramatically impacts all of the other suits. (In a very real sense, the “ME” suit trumps all others.)

Let’s begin with scripture:

When Jesus was asked the question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36), he responded by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5:

“Love the Lord your God

With all your heart,

With all your soul,

With all your strength,

And with all your mind.”

The soul, as derived from the Hebrew word, nephesh, or the Greek, psuche, is essentially the essence of who we are as created beings – our innermost self – that basic “ME” that’s in each of our hands. (On unknown writer said that the soul is “what one is to oneself, as opposed to what one appears to be to one’s observers.”) If we are to truly love God with all of our soul – with every fiber of our being – then we need to know who we are, don’t you think? Not who the world says we are, but who we truly are.

Knowing who we are is not always as easy as it sounds. As we discussed yesterday, we live in a society that is continually trying to convince us that we are defined based on any number of superficial values: our appearance, our income, our age, etc.

Some of the other things we’re judged by:

· How we dress

· Where we live

· Where we go to church

· Our education level

· Where we work

· If we work

· Our marital status

· Our children

· Our lack of children

· Our titles

· Who we know

Sometimes the voices of our culture are so loud we can hardly hear ourselves think – even within the church. If we’re not careful, we buy into the standards of the world’s system. We begin to look at ourselves in ways that God never intended – we begin to measure our inner selves – who we are – based on outer criteria. (And if that’s the case, heck, I’m overweight, over fifty, overworked, and underpaid. In our culture, that makes me pretty near worthless!)

If we fall into the trap of thinking we are what we look like, what we have, or don’t have, etc., then our view of ourselves becomes skewed. And when our view of who we are – our “ME” – becomes skewed, everything else is off-balance, as well.

Thankfully, as believing women, we do not have to stay trapped in that kind of thinking. In fact, our brother, Paul, in his letter to the Romans (12:2) tells us outright that we are not to buy into the world’s pattern of thinking. As followers of Christ, we have access to a truth that sets us free from that kind of thinking if we choose to walk in that truth.

And how do we do that? How do we walk in God’s truth? First, find out what God’s truth is! Paul tells us that we are transformed by the “renewing of our mind[s],” and one of the steps we can take to renew our minds is to focus on the truth of God, as found in his Word. Just look at some of the truths we can find in God’s Word regarding how we should view ourselves (and others):

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance,

but the Lord looks at the heart.”


1 SAMUEL 16:7b

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view [not even ourselves, ladies!] . . . if anyone is in Christ, [she] is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!


2 CORINTHIANS 5:16a, 17

“For we are God’s workmanship . . . “



When all else fails, rest in this: As a believing, truth-walking woman, you are one HOT player!

And what is a HOT player, exactly? Check the next post for what it really means to be a HOT woman . . . (And I'll try not to let it be THREE weeks from now!)

Until then,
Grins and blessings!



  1. Amen! I'm over 50, overweight, and unemployed; lucky I'm not worried about other people's standards!

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