I Am Not A Mermaid {Lindsey}

Recently, I was babysitting a precious girl named Abi. She is not a baby; sometimes I feel like she’s older than me.

After arriving in the morning, we sat side by side reading our own devotionals while her funny, attention-hungry Chihuahua lay across my lap. I’ve never liked Chihuahuas but now I do.
Then we got in the pool and lay on rafts for an hour while having quality conversation. We had said that when we went back inside, we would eat pizza and watch a movie–best babysitting job ever.

But then all of the sudden-it was game time. Abi told me that we needed to throw coins on the bottom of the pool and pick them all up with one breath. I am not nautical.

Not only am I not the best swimmer, I’m also pretty terrible at holding my breath for any length of time. I whined, but Abi persisted that conversation wasn’t enough and that we had to play a game because it would create bonding between us and grow our friendship.

Abi is so wise.

We laughed and played and I was glad that she had encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and showcase my weakness against my will.

Sometimes showcasing our weaknesses is the best thing we can do. I don’t particularly care that I’m not the best swimmer, but this year has pulled me out of my comfort zone in many ways and I began to feel weak in MANY  areas that I once considered strengths.

Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.“ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Experiencing my weakness helped me to see a lot of areas where I had tried to be self-sufficient. I have discovered so many areas of my life in which I fought to control while marginalizing the authority and power of God.

As I have been seeing my weaknesses, I have felt guilt and anxiety for even having them. I so often forget the sufficiency of His grace. God has already forgiven these shortcomings in me. He knows my weaknesses better than I do and He still chooses to cover me with His love.

I am learning that as I confess my sins and weaknesses to God, I need to also receive His love and forgiveness. As I step increasingly outside of my comfort zone, I live the life I’m called to, a surrendered life in which God’s strength and power is made known.

Today I pray that you will bring your weaknesses before God and receive His acceptance. Who better to trust with our shortcomings than our God? His grace is sufficient. He deserves all the glory, praise, and honor. I’m so thankful to live the rest of my life experiencing my weaknesses so that I may live in God’s strength. May His strength be made known in each of our lives.

PSYC 101: Cognitive Dissonance (Lindsey)

                                    Definition of cognitive dissonance:
psychological conflict resulting from simultaneously held incongruous
beliefs & attitudes
(as a fondness for smoking and a belief that it is harmful)
“The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.”
A great example of this is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. This blog will pull a lot from Romans 7:1-25, which I encourage you to read.
Imagine Paul, a former persecutor of Christians, now sold out for the Kingdom of God.
On the road to Damascus, Jesus revealed Himself to Paul in such a way that he changed his belief system entirely and accepted Jesus as the resurrected messiah-a concept he had previously rejected in thoughts, words, and actions.
As he was led to fervently make Jesus’s payment for guilty sinners known, he also made controversial claims that God’s covenant with the Jewish people was also for Gentiles. Paul probably came from a family line that found Jews superior to Gentiles and they certainly did not believe that God was making a separate covenant with Gentiles. He shaped much of early church thought about how Jews and Gentiles as he enduringly asserted that all people are united in what Christ had done.
God worked mightily through Paul’s shift in worldview. Then in Romans 7, we see how after radically changing his deepest beliefs about the Jesus and the church, Paul still struggles with desiring what is good but not being able to carry out good works. He deals with a powerful cognitive dissonance over knowing what is right but still committing sin.
Many of us experience this same sentiment as feelings of confusion, frustration, guilt, shame, or learned helplessness. The good news is that we don’t have to remain in these feelings. Our Dad calls us to wake up and experience His freedom.
One day we will experience His freedom perfectly but until then, we will wrestle within what Paul expressed as desiring to serve the law of sin with his flesh and the law of God with his mind. We can both look forward to our complete freedom while experiencing daily victories through combating lies of the world with God’s Truth (John 8:32-36).
Regardless of our awareness, each day the world is washing our minds with debilitating lies. We absorb the messages from radio, TV, magazines, our peers, etc. about our identity and our role in the world. These messages are often not congruent with what God says about us.
In a world full of rebels who reject God, rebels like we use to be but only by God’s grace are now daughters, we must guard our minds. We need the refreshment of scripture in a land that is thirsty.
To sin or to obey will be a decision we will struggle to make each day. We will choose to obey God out of loving and knowing Him (1 John 2:3 & John 14:23).
God warns Cain in Genesis 4 that sin desires him, it’s waiting for him, but he must choose what is good and rule over it. What habitual sin will you rule over today? What temptation will you combat with Truth?
Remember that as 1 John 1:9 promises, God is faithful and just to forgive us when we confess our sin.
End your cognitive dissonance today. Confess what thoughts, actions, or beliefs are contradictory to God’s Word and bring them before Him. Be at ease knowing that your beliefs and attitudes are solidly built on what God has said.
I pray that you would experience peaceful freedom
that can be found in drinking deeply of Truth.