September 23, 2011

Think I Told a Lie (Retraction)

I need to correct and clarify some things I wrote in a post a couple of days ago. I second-guess things I write just about every time I write but I try to just let it go. This one I really need to correct, though. In the post entitled How Can We Do It All, a post about things that have helped me in balancing various roles of womanhood, #5 is the culprit. This is what it said ( I have removed it from the original post):
5. Take care of self, then take care of others.
I am by far a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, teacher, PERSON now that I have taken some time and continue to take time to focus on self-care. I can do things to help others now that I would have never dreamed of doing at the size and mental state I was in before. This means that sometimes I have to leave my family to spend time alone or have true quiet time with the Lord. I have to take time away from them in order to exercise. It's a sacrifice that I think my husband (and my kids if they could express it) would say has been well worth it. Taking care of this body, that is actually not my own, is not selfish.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Another scripture to consider here is:
Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
How should we love others? The way that we love ourselves. This is not a selfish love but a sacrificial love. We should have a sacrificial love of self, with the chief purpose of our self-love being to love others well. Think about it.
A couple of things are wrong here. First of all, the heading. Take care of self, then take care of others. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Kind of. As long as you understand I don't mean LOVE yourself more than others, then I think we're okay. The message I was trying to send is that we can not do the work to which God has called us, to the best of our ability, if we do not take some responsibility for self-care first. Self-care being quiet different from self-love. Scripture clearly states that we are to love others first, to think more highly of others than ourselves and that we are to die to self, daily. In fact, we are to deny our selfish, fleshly desires and put God first. I the whole issue here has to do with our motives. We can take care of our bodies because we want to look good in a bikini so men will stare at us on a beach and make us feel good about ourselves for being so hot (loving self) or we can want to become a healthier person so that we can serve others well (loving others). See the diff?

Read this awesome post about why Pastor John Piper chooses to exercise. In a nutshell "I have one life to live for Jesus. I don't want to waste it." (Love him!)

The other thing that is wrong is my exegesis (explanation of ) Galatians 5:14.Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." I said that we should love ourselves first and then copy that love toward others. This is an error. On the same day I wrote that post I opened up a book to begin reading, Lies Women Believe. Would you believe there was a whole chapter on this very topic? ;) Here is what Nancy Leigh DeMoss has to say about Galatians 5:14:
When Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, the point is not that we need to love ourselves so that we can love others. Jesus is saying we need to give others the same attention and care we naturally give ourselves.
She goes on to say:
We are constantly looking out for ourselves, deeply sensitive to our own feelings and needs, always conscious of how things and people affect us. The reason some of us get hurt so easily is not because we hate ourselves but because we love ourselves! We want to be accepted, cherished, and treated well. If we did not care so much about ourselves, we would not be so concerned about being rejected, neglected or mistreated. The fact is, we do not hate ourselves, nor do we need to learn to love ourselves. We need to learn how to deny ourselves, so we can do that which does not come naturally--to truly love God and others. Our malady is not "low self-esteem," nor is it how we view ourselves rather, it is our low view of God. Our problem isn't so much a " poor self-image" as it is a "poor God-image." Our need is not to love ourselves more but to receive His incredible love for us and to accept His design and purpose for our lives. Once we have received His love, we will not have to compare ourselves to others; we will not focus on "self" at all. Instead, we will become channels of his love to others.
Hm. Enlightening, isn't it? I can't wait to get into this study! This is a much better and more educated explanation than the one I wrote!

Please forgive my irresponsible use of God's Word. It is so easy to manipulate scripture to make it say what we want it to say. While I believe the message I was trying to get across is not necessarily "un-biblical", some of the terminology and scripture references I used just didn't work and I'm so sorry for this confusion.

I thank each of you who reads this blog for being so gracious as you come along on my journey. I am learning every step of the way and I'm sure this will not be the last mistake I make. I want, from the bottom of my heart, to share God's word with the utmost integrity and accuracy that I am able.  May I never compromise his beautiful Truth. No matter how hard it is to read or hear--it is freedom.

For you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32


Anonymous said...

:) I'm proud of you, Keelie.

You may find this interesting under the "God is aware of us" category:

When I read your list, I was struck by the errors you just wrote about.

I proceeded to write a comment about the whole "love yourself first so you can love others" error, but t got too long.

I ended up erasing it and simply quoted the verse about thinking of others more highly and made a rather incongruous comment that I thought would make you wonder what I was talking about. :}

And then I prayed and asked God to whisper the truth in your ear.

You see, I knew what you were trying to say in #5 and I knew that what you had written about the love thing is a teaching that is very popular and widely held, so you weren't purposely twisting scripture.

I also knew something else that is very important--I knew that you had a heart for God and wanted to please Him more than anything else.

I believed that His whisper would be enough. And it was.

Then you went and showed us all what integrity looks like by writing this post. I'm glad to know you, Keelie.

And you blessed God's heart real good with this post.


Keelie said...

Well, I certainly thank you for not writing the whole correction out! Much easier on the ego this way;) lol. Honestly, I would have probably shut the whole blog down if I had gotten that comment. No kidding. Struggling with lots of pride issues for one thing and very emotional.Not a good combo. I apreciate your sensitivity in correcting me and then your follow-up with prayer. I definitely did catch on to your comment--I thought either, she didn't even read this post or she wants me to go back and look at something... LOL.
Thank you. This is cool. I hope others will read these two comments and see how #1 the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts #2 our prayers are truly heard and #3 you gotta keep it real!

Love ya, Deb!

Absolutely, Positively Josie said...

You thank your readers for being gracious, but we thank you for being REAL. I admire the EARNESTNESS in your mission to rightly divide the Word. How easy and comfortable it is
to tailor the Word to our own suiting, and how uncomfortable and unnatural to deny ourselves! To admit we're not gods. To turn our ego on its head.

I glory in the Cross on account of you, sister. When I see you and your frailty, I see me and mine. When I see your strength and learn from you, I thank God through Christ for living in you.

If you have to write this post a hundred more time, I beg you to do it.


Lydia said...

I randomly came across your blog today and was so encouraged! I can relate to so much of what you shared, and I love that it comes from the perspective of a sister in Christ! Keep going, don't give up! Your ultimate goal in this life is to glorify God, and reading your blog caused me to do just that!