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Monday, July 15, 2013

fishbowl findings: dealing with people

Religion, I discovered, is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States.

this book.
this book i am reading that is making me think longer and harder about every single thing i do.

(you can actually get a free copy if you click on the title above)

it is a book i can only take in increments because of the conviction i feel.

it goes on in a chapter entitled A Nation Asleep in Bondage to describe what i see all over the US. 

I found that believers are ready to get involved in almost any activity that looks spiritual but allows them to escape their responsibility to the Gospel.

the author describes in this chapter his shock when he came to america and saw the multi-million dollar church buildings, the "entertainment", he referred to the church services as and the need for churches to build more and offer more to go along with our busy lifestyles.

it is typical of what we see everywhere. 
people in other countries are willing to face beatings and even death just to own a copy of the Bible. 
we in America are willing to do nothing even close.
we read our Bible if it's convenient.
we attend church if we like the music and the room temperature.
we share the Gospel only if people ask.

quite a difference, really.

along with my thoughts and feelings from reading this book, i have been immensely aware of the issue that i talked a little bit about in my post the view from the eyes of a pastor's kid

living in a fish bowl.
it can be a rough place to live at times, and while i try to tell myself i'm not the only one living in a glass house, i don't always listen to myself.
however, i have been blessed to find a group of women who either are or have been in the same situation as me.

i recently asked a group of my girlfriends whose husbands or fathers are in full time ministry what the hardest issue they dealt with was.

the answers kind of broke my heart a little bit.

the people you invest most in are the ones that end up leaving..stabbing you in the back...
or stirring up division the one time you aren't there for them.

the deeper you build relationships the deeper you get hurt.

critical people that don't understand...my hubby tells me 
not to worry about it, but it still gets to me sometimes.

I couldn't trust anyone in the church because they were only being nice to my face
 because of my dad. I was treated one way while they were looking and 
completely differently when they turned away.

 the 'fakeness' of people

my hubby gives and gives and gives...and then they leave..

 Showing love when people just know better & should be doing better

being able to find a true friend you can really trust

so you may be wondering where i am going with part one and part two of this blog.

can you see the difference here?
in india (and many other countries) people are being persecuted and uniting together to walk miles, and give up everything to hear the Word of God.

in our country, we are lazy, lackadaisical, and more concerned about our opinion of how things should run in the church instead of our convictions of how things should run in our lives.
we are so busy being critical of other people, (especially in leadership) running around trying to find churches that make us the happiest, that we are missing the hurting people who need the Gospel!

oh the sadness.

before we get too depressed here.
let me tell you my goal with this post.

my goal is to encourage all of the women who are in ministry:

the women who are watching their husbands and or fathers continue to be criticized.
the women who are giving their hearts to people, and being stabbed in the back.
the women who are serving their hardest, and watching people walk away from the church without even turning back to say goodbye.
the women who are watching the negative voices overtake the positive voices.

2 things.

number 1.
you are not alone! 
reading all of the thoughts of the women who shared their hearts with me reminded me of a psalm my mom shared with me - my eyes will be on the faithful of the land.
you are not the only one dealing with this.
you are not the only one going through pain, frustration, sadness because of people!
there are faithful people around! 
remember that, because satan wants you to feel alone. isolated. frustrated. and depressed.
and i have definitely had those feelings before!
search for the faithful and keep your eyes on them.

number 2.
you are serving Christ alone.
do not forget that.
it is so hard to remember who you are serving, because you are watching your husband, your father or yourself work so hard to serve people! people who are just that...people. 
people who can make mistakes, who can have bad attitudes, and can hurt you!
this verse sums up what we need to remember...

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. 
It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians. 3:23

i hope this has been an encouragement to my sisters in Christ who are struggling with people.
disunity, division, selfishness...those are never from God.
don't allow a few people to cause you to become bitter at every other person.
the tendency is to stop trusting people.
to second guess everybody.
to want to quit.

remember paul? obviously he had the same problem too! he says...

I will gladly spend myself and all I have for your spiritual good, 
even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.

and sometimes that is how we feel.
the people we invest the most in are often the ones who hurt us the most.
i could tell story after story.
but i choose not to focus on that.
because ultimately, i am not serving them.
i am serving Christ.

HE is the one who will bless and reward you for your service to Him!

keep going.
keep serving.

if people hurt you? renew your mind and keep serving Christ.
if people criticize your husband? renew your mind and keep serving Christ.
if people walk away from the church and never say another word to you? 
renew your mind and keep serving Christ.
if your husband is being put down? renew your mind and keep serving Christ...you be his crown! (proverbs 12:4)

you work on being one of the faithful ones that others can keep their eyes on!
and find someone who is being faithful and hold each other up.
we can do this if we work together.

yes. living in a fishbowl can be difficult.

but it is a calling that God has given to our husbands (or fathers...or both!) 
and if He has called, He will be faithful to give the strength we need to keep serving.

stay strong and keep serving Christ!


  1. Anonymous4:15 PM

    Hi Rachelle! I was just reading 1 Peter 4:12 where it says to not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes....but rejoice as you share Christs sufferings." Like you said, we live with imperfect people, and our eyes must be kept on the only perfect One or we will quickly feel defeated! As it says further down in verse 19 we must "entrust our souls to a faithful Creator while doing good."
    Keep pressing on!

  2. Hi Rachelle, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  3. Such a great reminder!!


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