“Abraham returned to his tent.” Genesis 18:33
This past Wednesday I was fortunate enough to turn on the TV just as Wednesdays in the Word with Beth Moore came on. I missed the beginning of the program and her message but that didn’t seem to matter because God still shook me up with her words. She mentioned how she had thrown something out on her blog and asked the readers to write their own obituary for their “old man”. I got so excited because I actually remember reading that blog post and heavily considered writing something for it but never got around to actually doing it. She read a few of the entries and they were nice, but the last one totally threw me a curve ball. Although I hadn’t contributed my own words to her blog comments section, the piece that she was reading could have been my own. The author was writing about the death of her passive self – the part of her that allowed people to walk all over her. After she finished reading the obituary Beth walked over to a chair with a white stuffed person in it (I’m guessing the “old self”) and she picked it up by the back of the neck and talked about how there are some of us that when our old self dies no one morns. Why? Because they liked our old self!!! They liked that person that was easily manipulated to do whatever they wanted us to do. And you know who else likes that person? Satan! He loves “weak-willed women” who are easily manipulated by emotion or struggle. He loves those people who are easy to push over and get to do what he wants them to do.
But you know who he hates? (I’ll use Beth’s words from chapter thirteen of So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us.) Satan hates people who “decide to be strong willed about what God strongly wills”. I LOVE that sentence!!!!! Probably because I so desperately want to embody that sentence. I want to BE that person. On page 246 Beth says, “I remember being in relationships where my will was consistently weak and I felt almost powerless. I would determine in advance what decision I would make when the opportunity arose, only to lose all resolve once I was in the person’s company.” This past week I’ve been in two circumstances where I had made the decision in advance that I would stand up for myself only to shrink like a violet when the occasion came to do what I had planned. I hate that part of me that dissolves as soon as opposition comes its way. I make fun of my dachshund all the time for being such a weenie, but all I’m really doing is calling the pot black. I’m the real weenie.
God’s been teaching me how to stand up for myself and to grow a backbone – because I realize today, I was self-less. I was everything everyone else wanted me to be. I would do anything that anyone wanted of me. I was a push over. I was unselfish to the point of having no self. Which most Christians would, from the outside, view that as a good thing. But it’s not. It’s like Beth said on the Wednesday’s in the Word program, “that [passive] person is killing ME”.
God made ME to be ME. He didn’t make me to be someone else or who everyone else wants me to be, but Who He created me to be. Unique and different… special. But I’m not being different if I’m always following the crowd instead of the Holy Spirit. I’m not special if I’m not celebrating who God made me to be by standing up for what I believe instead of quietly sitting in the corner. I AM a rare one of a kind masterpiece, but no one will ever know that if I spend my life imitating others instead of being me.
On page 248 of So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us Beth recommends that we “rethink any relationship where you tend to be remarkably consistently weak willed.” Because “a person cannot be whole in a relationship where he or she feels powerless to make healthy choices.” (pg. 247) If you’re in a toxic relationship you need to think very seriously about getting out of that relationship. If someone is taking advantage of your insecurity they are not being your friend, they’re being your foe. If you’re in a relationship where someone is consistently taking advantage of you, you need to get out of that relationship – it’s just not healthy for either of you.