Saturday, December 18, 2010

"When People are Big and God is Small"

A friend and co-worker let me borrow this book (by Edward T. Welch), and I have only read two chapters and I am sucked in.  It is exactly what I needed at this time of my life.  I feel that God sent her into my life and I am thankful for our new friendship!

One thing that sticks out in my mind so far is the paradox of "low self-esteem."
"Low self-esteem usually means that I think too highly of myself.  I'm too self-involved, I feel I deserve better than what I have.  The reason I feel bad about myself is that I aspire to something more."
"The massive interest in self-esteem and self-worth exists because it is trying to help us with a real problem.  The problem is that we really are not okay.  There is no reason why we should feel great about ourselves.  We truly are deficient.  The meager props of self-esteem teaching will eventually collapse as people realize that their problem is much deeper.  The problem is, in part, our nakedness before God."

Part one of this book explores Biblical perspectives on the fear of man in order to help do three things:
Step 1: Recognize that the fear of man is a major theme both in the Bible and in my own life
Step 2: Identify where my fear of man has been intensified by people in my past
Step 3: Identify where my fear of man has been intensified by assumptions of the world

Part two of this book explores biblical ideas to be free from the fear of man:
Step 4: Understand and grow in the fear of the Lord... the person who fears God will fear nothing else
Step 5: Examine where my desires have been too big.  When we fear people, people are big, our desires are even bigger, and God is small.
Step 6: Rejoice that God has covered my shame, protected me from danger, and accepted me.  He has filled me with His love.
Step 7: Need other people less, love other people more.  Out of obedience to Christ, and as a response to His love toward me, pursue others with love.

I am excited about God using this book to transform my heart and my mind.

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