Hello, Ladies! Today is session three of a nine-session study of my book, Life-Giving Leadership: A Woman’s Toolbox for Leading. I’m so happy you are enjoying this study and finding it helpful. Before we jump in, remember to answer the questions at the end by commenting on this post. Let’s dig in!
So often I hear women say how difficult it is to have authentic, trusting relationships with women. Women will say, “I don’t like women’s ministry; too much drama!” Or women’s ministry is really women’s misery. We can often hurt one another with our criticalness, jealousy, and pride. These “three evil step-sisters” are hindrances to having a life-giving nature. For myself, I have dealt with each one of these at different times in my life and for different reasons. But as Christ-followers, there is a higher standard of relational integrity, and that standard is love. 1 John 3:11 says, “This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” Our love for one another proves to a lost and dying world that we are his disciples (John 13:35).
Let’s look at how we can protect ourselves from criticalness, jealousy, and pride. Let’s start with criticalness.
Criticalness: So how can we protect ourselves from becoming critical? Choose to honor. Honor is a choice, an attitude, a position of the heart. Honor reaps benefits. Dishonor, criticalness and judging others reap difficulties and challenges. We are called to honor church leaders, civil leaders, our spouses and our peers. Here’s a peek at a few scriptures on honor.
Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” 1Peter 2:17 says, “Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.” Romans 12:10 says, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” 1 Timothy 5:17 says, “Elders who do their work well should be worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching.” Hebrews 13:4 says, “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” 1Timothy 6:1 says, “All slaves should show full respect for their masters so they will not bring shame on the name of God and his teaching.
Jealousy: How can we choose to overcome jealousy? Love; God is love and we are called to love God and others. When you realize the truth that God LOVES YOU and is CRAZY ABOUT YOU, the transformation will take place and you will be able to love others and be happy for them when they succeed and be content with the journey you are on, and not compare yourself with others. Pages 74-76, gives you more concrete steps that I took to work through my battle with jealousy.
Pride: Pride stops the flow of love and is embedded in insecurity. The keys to conquering pride will be shared in the next session.
Questions: What has been your experience with women’s ministry? Have you ever struggled with jealousy, depression, or low self-worth? If so, how have you managed these issues?
Prayer: Father, break the chains of criticalness, jealousy, and pride in Jesus’ Name! Make us more aware of the Holy Spirit’s work within us to empower us to love You, ourselves and others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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