Grace

27.2.07

UPDATE: New Post for Jacob. Click his name at the top....the tab that says Jacob. I keep most of my updates about him on his new site. Check it out.
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I have a confession to make. I do NOT like self help books. I admit, I do find myself reading them from time to time, and I don’t judge someone if they choose to, I am just sharing one side of the coin in this matter. What I have found is that (in SOME cases) they just make you feel worthless about yourself, and discontent with what you have. No one is perfect, and that will never change as long as we are here on Earth. I have a friend who was telling me the other day about this book she was reading. It was a VERY old fashioned book. Anyway, she told me a few lines from this book that you should make yourself beautiful, smile, and have a warm home cooked meal ready for your husband when they get home from work because that way he will WANT to be home, rather than off some place else. Now, I can’t stop her from reading books if she wants to keep reading out dated books, and books that are usually written by bias people giving their opinions.

I see many times where people find verses to prove themselves, to make it suit their needs. Misinterpretation happens…I know. Whole cults have been formed by misunderstanding verses, or making it say what you want it to say, or not want it to say. My warning to all of you is do your research before you go out and take something from a book and treat it like God’s second truth. There was another book mentioned on how to be a good wife by not getting upset. You know the quote “If Mommy’s not happy, nobodies happy”. Yes, this book basically said don’t feel because your husband might get upset. (these were actually from the Christian book store too) Isn’t it true that your husband should listen to our hurts and love you? You can’t be afraid to feel just to prevent stepping on your husbands toes. I have been taught to share concerns with my spouse and share our pains with each other, we can help to ease each others hurts.

Think back to bible days….were there self help books? Did they have book after book pertaining to how to read the bible, and books summarizing what certain verses meant….concordances to help search for certain topics, university books pertaining to hermeneutics, books telling you how to live? No, they had the Bible, written on scrolls. Not many people would have had a copy, and even if they did most low class citizens didn’t even know how to read. In most cases the Lord was sharing with average citizens, terrible sinners, the worst of the worst if you could say. Lets not forget about the other man on the cross who gave his life to God before he died. He was a criminal.

When I do find myself searching for a self help book it is usually when familiar waves of guilt that I don't measure up, I've done it wrong in the past and I'm not really doing it right even yet come. Perhaps I should re-read that chapter on "How to Pray". All of a sudden, I am struck with the thought that I really don't have a handle on GRACE like I thought I did. Oh, I know in my head that it's God's free gift that I don't deserve and cannot earn. I thought I knew in my heart that God loves me unconditionally and immeasurably. Yet, if I truly understand the capacity of grace and all that it entails, I would not be so hard on myself and continuously focus on all my faults. I would relax in the freedom that grace offers, as it whispers to my heart love and acceptance.

Grace sings a song of victory. Grace holds me in a comfortable place and with a voice of peace, tells me that it is OK. Yes, it is OK. God knows my heart, He knows how I long to do what is right. He knows my weaknesses and faults. He sees me struggle and strive to do my best. It is, however, exactly that - MY best - and MY best is not enough and never will be. That is why God gave HIS best for me. That is why He sent His son ,Jesus, to the cross. That is why it is 'by grace'.
We are saved by grace.
We are FORGIVEN by grace.
We enter God's prescence - by grace.
We present our petitions - by grace.
We offer our sacrifices of praise - by grace.
We live and do not die - by grace. It is ALL about - grace.

When I truly understand the concept of grace with my limited, human capabilities, then I may read another book on this or that and take it just for what it really is. We are human. That doesn’t mean we can’t try to be a better person. LIFE is God’s gift to us. Let grace have its way in your life and give your insecurities and struggles to Him.

Being who I am, I will always continue to try and reach perfection. I want to live in Utopia if only for a day. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read self help books. I do on occasion. Currently I am actually reading a ‘couples’ book. Keeping a strong marriage. If there are verses in the Word you don’t understand, pray, and don’t be afraid to read a book that helps to explain things better. I have seen too many churches forget, or not use the bible. HUGE churches where message points are posted up on power point but not one verse! Lets not forget God’s Word. If anyone wants verses or more info. don't hesitate to email me by clicking on 'contact' in the top right of my blog. I could be typing here all day if I showed all sides of the coin. I think this post is long enough lol.

p.s. Completely off topic, but did you know my middle name was Grace?

7 comments:

mamaof2sweetangelboys said...

WOW, what a wonderful post Shanilie! You're right, noone is perfect but w/God's will & GRACE, we can strive to be the best that we can be. That's ironic that your middle name is Grace :) Have a good day :)

Ellie said...

Great post. You put a lot of thought into this one didn't you?

Shanilie said...

Connie: Glad you enjoyed the post. I don't usually post about anything that could potentially cause tension, but I try not to shy away from the things that I believe. Thank you for the comment my great blogger friend :)

Ellie: Well, I was more or less just irritated with hearing such ridiculous things from a friend based on what she read in a self help book. But from what I can see in her life is that she is really searching for peace. I hope she finds it.

Devra said...

I keep thinking about Genesis. When God created the earth He said "And it was good." He did not say "And it was perfect." If good is enough for God then it should be enough for us too!

I also hate those self help books that make us feel lousy. Parenting is a gift we deserve to open and enjoy to it's fullest potential!

Shanilie said...

lol. What a coincidence! I do a post on self help books and get a comment from someone who has written one. I like the approach you took, getting various examples, thoughts, and experiences from other Mom's. This book sounds like it does the opposite than a lot of self help books to tell you how to do things perfectly and you end up feeling lousy afterwards. Thanks for your comment. I guess you never know who's looking at your blog :)

Kiki said...

Woot! To vastly over-generalize, I would say that self-help books are 97% flaming poo.
Excellent post, my friend.

Shanilie said...

:) Thanks Keira lol

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