Wednesday, March 28, 2012


AUDIO IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM OUR 3/25 PRESENTATION AT CALVARY MISSIONARY CHURCH IN LIVONIA....  The song mentioned is called "Others" by Israel Houghton..


Monday, March 26, 2012

THE LIES WE BELIEVE - Relationship Lies by Robbie Sedgeman

Relationship Lies

“To understand the realities of the marital relationship, it is essential fist to recognize the unrealities.”
                                                                                                William Lederer & Don Jackson

Have you ever noticed how people seem to change over time?  Sue’s husband, Steve, was handsome and attentive when they got engaged.  But after being married a few years, he turned into a vain, controlling, egomaniac.  While they were dating, Steve liked how stylish, smart and fun Sue was to be around.  Somewhere along the way, though, she turned into a materialistic, attention-seeking, know-it-all.  How in the world did they not see the true person before they decided to commit to each other for life?  How about you - how has your spouse changed over time?

While it’s true that we all change, most often the change is in our perceptions of another’s characteristics.  There are two sides to every characteristic we have.  In the beginning of a relationship we tend to see only the good.  After marriage and a few children, our focus easily turns to the negative.

And it’s not just in marital relationships – it is the same with all relationships.  So, whether you’d like to improve your relationship with a spouse, a friend, a neighbor or a co-worker, you need to root out the lies you believe and replace them with God’s truth.  Only then can abundant living manifest itself in your life and in your relationships.

Lie:  All my relationship problems are the other person’s fault.
This lie is essentially the ‘blame game’ discussed in previous talks, but it focuses on how prone we are to blame our spouse or good friend when our relationship goes awry.  One clue to determining if you are falling into this lie is to pay attention to how often you say ‘always’, ‘never’, or some other absolute.  “She never cares about what I’d like to do.”  “He never helps around here.”  “I wish just once he would show me a little appreciation.”

What we often forget is that it takes two to create a relationship.  In a marriage, two people come together with all their strengths and weaknesses to create one marriage.  Genesis 2:24 says, “…a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”  It is impossible for the characteristics of that combined relationship to be influenced totally and completing by only one person.  Deep down we know this, but it is much easier in the short run to look at the other person’s faults rather than doing the hard, and often painful, work of looking at our own hearts and behaviors.  The problem with taking the short-term approach is that it leaves our relationship and our state of mind in the exact same spot year after year, with no chance for improvement.  And that is a losing proposition for the long term.

It is true that a specific problem may be caused by the actions of one person.  However, even then the other plays a role in the resolution of the issue.  Our reactions to another’s negative behavior impacts how we move forward in that circumstance.  We can choose to default to our own negative behaviors or we can face the problem head-on with help from God and assistance from wise counsel. 

We are not victims in our relationships.  Romans 8:31 says “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  We can choose how to how to respond to someone else’s behavior.  If you find your life spiraling out of control, step back and take some time to evaluate how you are responding to the situation.  Are your actions contributing to the chaos?  Although it can be hard to see, please know that you have options in how you respond, most likely options you can’t imagine right now.  Seek them out.  Make it your goal to respond to the situation in a Godly way.  Perhaps it’s time to pour out your heart to God and wait for him open up doors for you.  One of the ways he does that is through support groups.  Consider joining one with people who are dealing with the same situation you are in.  You will find help and hope.

Blaming others never leads to real change.  Listen to the words of Dr. Chris Thurman:  “you cannot afford to blame your emotional reactions on eternal events if you want to have emotional health, develop good relationships with others, and be mature spiritually.”   As you go through your days, start paying closer attention to when you become emotionally unstable (ie., frustration, unhealthy anger, depression, lashing out at others) and become aware of what caused the reaction.  Then examine your self-talk and perception of the event and explore other options for handling that situation.  Here is a reminder of the steps you can use to go through that process.  If you diligently apply yourself to this exercise, you will start recognizing your contribution to the events in your life.
a.  State the event
b. Assign a value ($1 - $500 with $500 being an extremely emotional event like a death)
c.  Whose fault – yours or theirs
d. Self talk
e.  Response – physical & emotional
f.   New self-talk
g. Change in response

Lie:  Someone can and should meet all of my emotional needs.
This lie falls closely on the heels of the ‘all my relationship problems are the other person’s fault’ lie.  Essentially, this lie says that it is the other person’s fault if my emotional needs are not met.  Not only is this playing the blame game, it is completely unrealistic.  Perhaps it would be easier if we could look to one person to meet all our needs.  It would take away any work on our part and alleviate us from responsibility for caring for ourselves.  But the reality is that one person cannot meet all of our needs – only Jesus can do that.

Think of the vastness of our emotional needs:  attention, acceptance, appreciation, approval, affection, affirmation, comfort, encouragement, respect, security, support, and understanding, to name a few.  Could you meet all of those needs for another person?  If you are trying to do so – please stop.  It is impossible and leads only to disappointment and perceptions of failure. 

Sometimes it’s not another’s actions that need to change.  It is our expectations that need to change.  When we face up to the fact that it is impossible for another person to completely and consistently meet our needs, we start taking responsibility for meeting them ourselves.  Here’s a start:
  • Admit you have needs  - and that it hurts when they are not met.
  • Identify your needs – perhaps write them down.  You’ll notice that some are consistent like the need for love, but others change from day to day, like needing support for a difficult situation.
  • Ask someone if they are able and willing to meet your needs.  Be specific.
  • Affirm and appreciate the other person when they do meet a need
  • Look for morally appropriate relationships to meet the rest of your needs – from a variety of people.

As you acknowledge your specific emotional needs and seek ways to meet them, you will find yourself becoming emotionally more mature and able to meet others’ emotional needs.  Most importantly, look to God first for your needs:  Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

Lie:  I am owed for all I do
We all keep score – whether we realize it or not.  And we want people to know it when the number of our good deeds has exceeded theirs.  “I picked up the gift – couldn’t you at least have been ready on time?”  We often operate our relationships like a business, where I do ‘x’ and you pay me by doing ‘y.’

It is healthy and practical to have an established division of duties, especially in marriage.  Shared, organized tasks enable a home to run smoothly.  But this lie goes beyond the agreement.  One person either agreed to do ‘more then my fair share’ or goes above and beyond initial expectations - but not with a pure heart.  You may even be using your deeds as manipulation to extract a certain behavior out of someone.  That is not out of love; it is self focused.  Deuteronomy 15:10 says “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”

Over the next week, try a new way:
  • Think before doing – will you be resentful if you are not compensated for your good deed?  Then don’t do it. 2 Corinthians 9:7b says “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.”
  • If you decide to complete the task, acknowledge to yourself that it was your choice to do it and you are owed nothing in return.
  • Do not announce your deed.  Matthew 6:4b says “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Ultimately, we are owed absolutely nothing for all we do in our relationships.  We get to be in that relationship.  Make it your goal to become a person whose reward is simply in the ‘doing.’

Lie:  I shouldn’t have to change who I am to make our relationship better.
This lie implies that we are good just the way we are and we don’t need to change, or that we can’t change.  “I’ve always been this way and can’t do anything about it.”  “If you really loved me, you would accept me just as I am.”  But we all have plenty of room for improvement.  God’s Word tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 that “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.”

But beyond our universal need to become more Christ-like, if something you are doing is hindering your ability to be intimate, isn’t it worth changing?  If there is an unpleasant aspect of your personality that pushes others away, you have a choice – to hold onto your ‘quirk’ or to change it so that you can experience greater intimacy and fullness of relationship.  We all crave peace, joy and contentment.  But they don’t come from stubbornly holding onto our character defects.  Peace, joy and contentment come from a closer, more intimate relationship with God and with others.  Now that is worth changing for!

Lie:  Others should be like me.
To use marriage as an example, at first glance, it appears reasonable to think we should be married to someone who is just like us.  And in many ways it would be easier – no arguments on which restaurants to go to, what to spend money on, or what to do on a Saturday afternoon.  Of course no two people are exactly alike, but to get close to it seems like a reasonable foundation for a marriage or any other relationship.  But if you really think about it, that would get a bit boring over time.  Part of the excitement of life is the variance in ideas and actions and attitudes.  If we were all exactly the same, we really wouldn’t need or want anyone but ourselves because there would be no difference between us!

In addition, this is really just the flip side of the ‘I shouldn’t have to change who I am’ lie.  We are saying that others must think, feel and act like I do in order to be loved and accepted.  This lie says, ‘I know best how to be human’ and ‘My way is the best.’  That is discounting the way God made each of us – unique and varied, all reflecting different aspects of His Being.  Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  And that applies to everyone – including your friend, sister, co-worker, neighbor and your spouse!

Lie:  If the relationship takes hard work, we must not be right for each other.
Now that we have discussed some of the other lies, it is probably apparent why this is simply not realistic.  Our natural tendencies are to be self focused, even in relationships with those we love.  It takes hard work to resist our natural tendencies and focus on others. 

In God’s wisdom, he uses relationships to assist us in resisting those tendencies and to ‘grow us up’ in Him.  We have all heard, and perhaps said ourselves, “They bring out the worst in me.  But that statement itself admits that we have a ‘worst’ – that there are some behaviors and attitudes we have that do not line up with God’s Word.  If that was not the case, there would be no ‘worst’ to bring out.  So, that leaves us with a choice:  continue to act in an undesirable manner, blaming someone for it or face our behavior and take steps to change it.

God, in a way that only He could think of, is blessing us with a friend, family member or spouse that is the catalyst for making us the best person we can be!  And in the long run, that benefits everyone.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

  1. Share a time when you blamed someone for your emotional distress.  Using the growth exercise, was there another option for thinking about and handling the situation?
    1. State the event
    2. Assign a value ($1 - $500 with $500 being an extremely emotional event like a death)
    3. Whose fault – yours or theirs
    4. Self talk
    5. Response – physical & emotional
    6. New self-talk
    7. Change in response
  2. What are some of your emotional needs?  If they are not being met, can you think of people who can help meet them?
  3. Have you ever done something for someone while expecting a certain behavior or attitude in return?  Share an example.  Or share something you could do for someone in the next week, without expecting anything in return.
  4. Identify any behaviors or thinking patterns that may be pushing others away and preventing greater intimacy in your relationships.
  5. Have you ever had someone require you to think, feel or act as they did in order to be accepted?  Have you ever done that to someone else?
  6. Are you willing to do the hard work to change your relationships?  Share a specific action you can take toward that goal.

Monday, March 19, 2012

THE LIES WE BELIEVE - Self Lies (Part 2)


These are the brief notes... content in its entirety is in the audio.

“Nothing is so easy as to deceive one’s self; for what we wish we readily believe” – Demosthenes

·        My worth is determined by my performance; THEREFORE, I must be perfect.
·        I can’t help the way I am
·        I must have everyone’s or at the very least ‘certain others’ love and approval
·        It’s easier to avoid problems than to face them
·        Physical beauty matters more than inner beauty
·        I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings
·        My unhappiness is someone else’s fault; THEREFORE, I can’t be happy unless things go my way.

Lie #1 My worth is determined by my performance; THEREFORE, I must be perfect.

What are the characteristics of a perfectionist?
Dr. David Burns' definition: “I do not mean the healthy pursuit of excellence by men and women who take genuine pleasure in striving to meet high standards. Without concern for quality, life would seem shallow; true accomplishment would be rare. The perfectionists are those whose standards are high beyond reach or reason, people who strain compulsively and unremittingly toward impossible goals and who measure their self-worth entirely in terms of productivity and accomplishment.”

Overcoming Perfectionism:
1.   Accept that perfectionism is self defeating. 
Beating it will demand that you.. …
2.   Allow yourself to make the same mistakes that other mortals make.
3.   focus on doing your best and not worrying how you compare to others.
4.   let good enough b good enough.
5.   be willing to see mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than a launching pad for self-hate and condemnation.
6.   focus on making progress toward a goal rather than demanding to be right now


Lie #2  I must have everyone’s or at the very least ‘certain others’ love and approval

Lie #3  It’s easier to avoid problems than to face them
The Road Less Traveled: “Fearing the pain involved, almost all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, attempt to avoid problems. We procrastinate, hoping that they will go away. We ignore them, forget them, pretend they do not exist…We attempt to get out of them rather than suffer through them.”

What are some examples of how this plays out in people’s lives?

Lie #4  My unhappiness is someone else’s fault; THEREFORE, I can’t be happy unless things go my way.

What are some of the hurtful labels many of us grew up with that we are attempting to shake?

Where did they come from? 
A parent, yourself, spouse, sibling, employer, physical characteristics, former failures, childhood peers/ comments

Changing our thoughts starts with finding out what we think about most….

What do you think about and dwell on the most?
Your needs,  plans,  fears,  future,  rights,  wishes,  failures,
Body,  insecurities,  pride,   faith,  family,  situations,  others needs,  the condition of our world, the past

Hosea 2:14-20 (Amplified Bible)—Personalize these passages

14Therefore, behold, I will allure her [Israel] and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart.
    15There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt.(A)
    16And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me Ishi [my Husband], and you shall no more call Me Baali [my Baal].
    17For I will take away the names of Baalim [the Baals] out of her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned or seriously remembered by their name.
    18And in that day will I make a covenant for Israel with the living creatures of the open country and with the birds of the heavens and with the creeping things of the ground. And I will break the bow and the sword and [abolish battle equipment and] conflict out of the land and will make you lie down safely.
    19And I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy.
    20I will even betroth you to Me in stability and in faithfulness, and you shall know (recognize, be acquainted with, appreciate, give heed to, and cherish) the Lord.

$20 exercise
    Final statement :  Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you.. priceless to the God who created you..  

The worth/ significance of our lives comes not in what we do, who we know, or what people think, but by WHO WE ARE!
          We are fully accepted -  fully loved..  no matter what we’ve done or what has been done to us…  Our value and worth has not changed!!!   We are significant in Christ!!!!

May we be people who acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses – men and women who are dependent on and radically alive for God!
May we not be afraid to weep.
May we be strong and gentle leaders.
May we pray deeply from the depths of our souls and allow the God of the Universe who created us .. meet us in that place.
May we dismantle abusive systems and silence lies with the truth!
May we never hesitate to let God’s passion push us, compel us, and righteous anger energize us.
May we be dangerous women – Women who sing songs of joy and talk down fear!!! – knowing who we are in Him!!!

Group Work – Self-Lies

1.  Lie #1, I Must Be Perfect:  Share about a time in your life past or present that is evidence of this lie possibly being active in your life.

2.  Lie #2, I Must Have Everyone’s Love and Approval:  Discuss ways this lie would present itself in the lives of people in our churches, the work place, our families.

3.  Lie #3, It is easier to Avoid Problems than to Face Them:
Discuss the negative impact of not facing problems.

4. Lie #4, I Can’t Be Happy Unless Things Go My Way:  This lie can be a little less obvious than the others and can challenge our long time belief that people ‘make’ us feel and react in certain ways.  Discuss the challenge this presents to all of us and what your prior understanding has been.

5.  Share the labels you have carried with you throughout your life and where they came from.

Look up the following and write out a corresponding ‘truth label’ for you.
2 cor 5:17, Eph 1:7-8, 2 Tim 1:7, col 2:9-10, Phil 4:13, Zeph 3:17, ro 8:17, col 3:12, 1 Pet 2:9-10

Thursday, March 15, 2012

THE LIES WE BELIEVE - Self Lies: Part 1

 THE BIG SEARCH - listen to audio version for details & information missing in these notes

Where do we begin?

If I asked those of you here tonight to raise your hand if you really like yourself – I believe very few of you would raise your hand.  Sad to say but the research on this topic proves that Christians and non-Christians alike have great difficulty in this area of self-worth/ value/ significance. 

Neil Anderson, well known Christian author and psychologist estimates that there are only about 8-15% of the evangelical Christian community is living a free & productive life in Christ (def – have meaningful devotions, experience God, know who they are in Christ, & are bearing the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience etc…..)  How tragic!!!! – only 8-15%   perspective  50 people  - only 7!!   Another stat that will blow you away..  research indicates that 95% of us dislike ourselves by the time we are age 7..  and.. 97% of Hollywood stars would change something about themselves if they could.  This is so prevalent in our society that there is now a website you can go to and be whoever you want to me – enter into the fantasy world of

The research on this topic in the secular area of psychology concurs with Anderson’s findings…that very few people in this world get to a place they call ‘self – actualization’ – define.. 

 Have you experienced identity theft? Experienced a self-worth /significance theft?...  Perhaps you have been…

          Robbed by Relationships?  (negative/ destructive relationships)
          Mugged by the Mirror?   (we just don’t measure up)
          Stolen by Success?  (trying to earn it)
          Pick-Pocketed by the Past? (hurts, bad choices)

 Yes.. identity theft – robbed of our significance!!!  
We don’t have to live a carnal, self-defeated, in bondage, kind of life – we can live a liberated, free, abundant life in Christ – a life of significance!! – we can be a people who live courageously for Christ!!! 

My prayer for us tonight is a prayer the apostle Paul prayed in Eph 3:17-19 TLB  "May our roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love: and may we be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep and how high this love really is; and to experience this love for ourselves, though it is so great that we will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it.  And so at last we will be filled up with God Himself!”


Summarize our goals for Tonight (4 T’s) – where are we headed?  : 

Utilize the
TELESCOPE of the Holy Spirit -- to look inside our hearts – take a realistic look at what we believe and who we think we are and who we really are.
TRUTH – seek, acknowledge & embrace the truth of what the H.S. reveals – don’t run from it.. avoid it, deny it.
TANGIBLE TOOLS – “real / concrete” tools to fight this battle & walk away with some practical steps to take on this journey to significance 
    Realize the TREASURE – discovery of who we really are/ who we are meant to be…... 
if our emotional, spiritual, physical and relational needs have been met (discussed in prior weeks) – there has been no trauma or brokenness in your life – no absence of good things… Type A & Type B Traumas – …. You have developed wholeness/ health/ significance… 

Some beliefs we have when we are experiencing wholeness are…. 
·        I can do things.  I can actually do some things well.
·        I am accepted.
·        I am loved.
·        I have personality.
·        I have value.

Define some terms for you to clear up any confusion you may have…

Self-Esteem -  gained from what we do..  I can do things.  I can do some things well  
Self-Identity -– personality, likes dislikes, opinions, values
      discuss Scripture that says I am crucified with Christ…I disappear?? Explain.   No  we reject compliments. can’t receive  
Self-Image – How we think others see us (what is their perception of you?)
Self-Worth --  value. Significance

How do you think most people would respond to the question:  what is significance and where does it come from?  Most couldn’t define it and they might say how they believe you get it…… “Being a good mom”   ‘being a good person and doing good things”   “making a difference in the world”   “doing my job well and taking care of my family”

The world teaches us the following equation:

 Significance/ Self-Worth/ Value = Performance (what we do) + Others’ Opinions (what others think or say about us)

God says something different.. in  Psalm 8 (amplified version)

 1O LORD, our Lord, how excellent (majestic and glorious) is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory on [or above] the heavens.
    2Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger.(A)
    3When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established,
    4What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?
    5Yet You have made him but a little lower than heavenly beings], and You have crowned him with glory and honor.
    6You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet:(B)

How could we possibly get to a place of believing this…  and how about what He says in Ps 139..

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
 1 O LORD, you have searched me
       and you know me.
 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.

 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.

 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,"

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

 17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!

 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand.
       When I awake,
       I am still with you.

 Where do we begin?  How do we change?  How can we get this.. whole deal of significance right?
 First , we have to utilize the…

I.  TELESCOPE of the Holy Spirit – what is a telescope? “grouping of lenses that permit observation” – we want to give the HS permission to look inside our hearts – to observe our present & our past – to search us. -- (verse we used last week)  Ps 139 vs 23 & 24 is our prayer for today – let’s say it together  “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you/ makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life
       --  anything in me that offends You/ makes you sad…pretty easy for us to realize and say –find the stuff that offends you isn’t it.. some of us in this room have been taught that the evidence of true humility in a person’s life is to think of yourself as ‘lower than worm sweat’.. Old hymn.. “o Lord what a worm am I”…. LIES! – something that we may not have thought about is that the lies we believe – offend a Holy God – a God of truth.  We don’t see it as offending God at all if we say..  “I’m nothing – I’m a nobody – I have no value/ no significance - but it does!” 

II.  TRUTH – John 8:32  “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” – Explain ‘truth’…  could be the truth of our ‘problem’ – identifying what it is and why it is what it is… 
For example some of the problems/ traps we fall into if we struggle in this area of significance are:  (these come from the book S for S by Robert McGee – class, group offered at LCC )

  * The Performance Trap – “I must meet certain standards in order to feel good about myself”
  * Approval Addict – “I must be approved / accepted by certain others to feel good about myself.”

   * The Blame Game – Those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished..   I blame others for my being the way I am.. It's their fault I am this way..   If they would only... "   "

   * Shame – “I am what I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless.”   Shames says "I am a mistake".. not..  " I make mistakes'

 When God made us – we are His creation coming from Adam & Eve -- Gen 3:1-6 – Adam & Eve were the greatest achievement in God’s creation. – VERY GOOD! – everything else was ‘good’.  But humans – were very good! – made in God’s image.  They were perfect in every way.  They were successful, happy, and full of self-worth/ significance.  All of it came crashing down when Satan’s deception gave birth to sin in their lives.  They lost their self-worth because the sin of rebellion separated them from God which they have passed on to all who have come after them .. me and you… We too are guilty of not trusting God to meet our need for love and acceptance.  Why?

I believe that some of it has to do with ignorance, lack of training and information, it also has to do with sins that were committed against us at very vulnerable times in our lives (causes a lack of trust) or choices we have made based upon lies we believe - independence.  All of which create brokenness of heart – brokenness of the perfect image given to us by God – His thumbprint so to speak on our lives.

Examples THAT mar our significance/ value/worth..
           rejected – sometimes by those closest to us – a parent shows favoritism – siblings – peers – a spouse/ boyfriend
  we fail – perfectionist – we fail again – bad choices – hurt ourselves & others
          victim of abuse – we are horribly hurt or traumatized
           publicly humiliated – feel inferior because I am made fun of --appearance, grades, economic status –
I am a mistake…  I am bad!  Different than everyone else..

We then attempt to fix the brokenness on our own:  
PERFORMANCE -- can’t keep it up –we withdraw from risks, we manipulate to hide our imperfections or attempts to succeed. 
We attempt to become the best employee, the best friend, the best Mom, wife, the best Christian etc..   my story.. 
APPROVAL-- we become Pleasers – high in guilt, high in love
  codependency: losing oneself in others – your children, your spouse – don’t know how to say ‘no’  Gal 1:10 – Living Translation “Obviously, I’m not trying to be a people pleaser! NO, I a trying to please God.  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.”  WOW – that’s strong  --
we begin to withdraw from others or we have superficial relationships – lack of intimacy ‘in to me see’ – we won’t allow it (no one knows the REAL you – shut down emotionally – wear a mask or…  we come Controllers – low in love, low in guilt – protect our image –  Jeckell & Hyde syndrome

BLAME GAME - withdraw from God and others – blame everyone else for personal failures in order to protect the ‘mouse-sized’ esteem we have left.  Walk around with a chip on our shoulder.. anger smoldering just beneath the service….

SHAME – isolation – hide – or.. have superficial relationships at best -- attempt to change outward appearance – ‘The Swan’ tv show – plastic surgery
·        Deep sense of Inferiority -  
·        Habitually Destructive Behavior –

·        Self-pity –

·        Passivity –

·        Isolation and withdrawal –

·        Loss of Creativity – (talents stifled)

·        Codependent relationships –

·        Despising our appearance –

 Scripture says:  “We will know the truth & the truth will make us free”
 What is freedom?  Liberty – not enslaved or imprisoned – to untangle
Tonight I want you to be able to start taking the path in becoming free of seeking your security and purpose from worldly sources – personal success, status, beauty, wealth and the approval of others – which does NOT equal significance!
“freedom” – to do whatever I want? – NO – for most of us.. freedom = I no longer have to do what I always did! - = bondage

Biblical Examples – Moses, Abraham, Esther, Deborah, Paul, Gideon

  How can we change?  How did they change? Knowledge isn’t enough to produce change – even tho identifying the problem is half the battle, how do we get to the solution?  Even knowledge about God or memorizing Scripture – it isn’t enough ..  Human beings are relational, physical, emotional and spiritual beings.  We develop and learn when we put ourselves in an environment of growth which includes all the elements of honesty, affirming relationships in community, right thinking, the ministry of the Holy Spirit and time.  Then……we practice patience and persistence. 'Keep showing up'!!!

One tool that is similar to the one you were introduced to at our first class was this:

 1.  Identify the lies you believe and why..
2.    Use the truth model (write down the discovery):
          T   Trigger Event – life situation that happens to us..  sometimes a ‘nickel event’ can go up to a $500 event – we are stirred up – triggered and there is more emotion there than the situation warrants or.. we lose perspective…    if this happens it will lead to…
          R  W Rong thinking - Thoughts about the event.  Perception, unrealistic thinking, faulty thinking
U  Unhealthy Response – Emotional reaction, could be an action that is not objective/ unhealthy – lash out / withdraw/ act out..   
          T   Truth about the situation (get outside input /counsel if needed) Challenge the R with truth.  Ask yourself.. ask God  What is the truth?  Meditate on His response.. listen..  
          H  Healthy Response/ reaction  --maturity begins to be the reward of thinking and meditating on the truth..  This is not about positive thinking .. it is about truth thinking…  some things will have to be made known to us experientially however, Book: Nice girls don’t change the world – by Lynne Hybels --  depression – living her life through her husband – fulfilling her duty for Christ – burn out by performance…  ‘she had an experience with Christ – changed her forever – we all need to experience truth in this way’ .. 

her words: ‘Knowing oneself loved by God is not a matter of knowing about God’s love.  It’s not a matter of saying the right words or even claiming the right beliefs.  It’s about something that happens on a level deeper than words and ideas and knowledge and thoughts.  It’s something that gets inside someone’s soul and never leaves’..

You see it is His love that will change us… It is experiencing God – experiencing Jesus – experiencing the Holy Spirit..  We WILL get up from that moment changed forever! 

IV. TREASURE – discovery of who we really are..  Significance means – fully loving and accepting ourselves because we are completely loved and accepted by God. 
God’s equation is Significance/ Self-Worth = God’s Truth About You..  PERIOD…  Hebrews 10:10  we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  “Because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”  What we are doing in this treasure discovery is peeling away at the things that keep us from genuinely knowing the truth that already is…  we just don’t believe it..  so, we peel away the lies – one by one..
2 Thes 1:2  – The Message..  “Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.”

What some of us fear more than anything else is each other!  We fear that someone else’s success may make us look bad.  Fear others’ choices because they may invalidate my choices.  We fear getting close because if people really know what’s inside, they will reject us. We fear being exposed – fear the unknown…

If we are going to  live courageously for God – we have to begin to trust….  If we are going to be people of significance –we must delve deeply into the truth of who we are, ground ourselves daily in the healing and empowering love of God……..

          We are fully accepted -  fully loved..  no matter what we’ve done or what has been done to us…  Our value and worth has not changed!!!   We are significant in Christ!!!!

May we be people who acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses – men and women who are dependent on and radically alive for God!
May we not be afraid to weep.
May we be strong and gentle leaders.
May we pray deeply from the depths of our souls and allow the God of the Universe who created us .. meet us in that place.
May we dismantle abusive systems and silence lies with the truth!
May we never hesitate to let God’s passion push us, compel us, and righteous anger energize us.
May we be dangerous men & women – Men & Women who sing songs of joy and talk down fear!!! – knowing who we are in Him!!!


1.       What is the world’s equation for our value? How does this equation get internalized by us?
2.       Discuss the different definitions shared tonight – any 'ah ha' moments…  share 1-2 of what you personally believe about yourself currently in each of these.
3.       What are the traps we fall into if we do not have the proper view of  ‘self’?  Which traps do you identify with the most?
        Performance, Approval, Blame, Shame
4.       Share your experience in personal inventory – (Utilizing the telescope of the Holy Spirit).  Have you spend time recently on this and identified lies?