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May 30, 2012
In this issue:
  • Article:  A Look Behind Busyness
  • Coaching:  Coaching Spots Still Available
  • Leslie Answers Your Questions:

    Is It Unbiblical to Love Myself?

  • Book Give Away:  Win my book "Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy" plus previous contest winners listed
A Look Behind Busyness
It is important we understand why we expects ourselves to function like a machine instead of a person. What drives us to have such grandiose expectations of ourselves? Why has our doing overwhelmed our being?

 

Let's examine two causes I find underlie many people's perpetual busyness.

 

Cultural Pressures

 

We live in a world that defines a person's value and worth by his or her productivity and efficiency. How much we get done and how well we can do it are the benchmarks of a good day or professional success. The downside however, is that continued good feelings depend on keeping up the momentum of doing more. This doesn't come without a cost.

 

God defines personhood and success very differently than our culture does. From Christ's perspective, success isn't measured by how much we do but by how well we love and what kind of person we're becoming, even in the midst of life's activities.

 

As Christians, we readily acknowledge the truth of God's word, but in our daily lives many of us still fall prey to prioritizing productivity over building relationships and growing in godly character.

 

When my children were young, I chose not to work outside the home so I would have plenty of quality time to spend with them during their formative years. But even there, I often found myself bowing down to the idol of productivity and efficiency, impatiently yelling at my children when their needs and/or demands disrupted what I wanted to get done for the day.

 

God tells us that we're not to be conformed to this world's way of thinking but to renew our mind with His perspective on life (Romans 12:2). Thomas  Kempis writes in his classic book, Imitation of Christ, "Blessed are the ears that catch the pulses of the divine whisper and give no heed to the whisperings of this world."              

 

People Pressures

 

A second reason we try to do it all is that our well-being revolves not around productivity, but on receiving the approval and acceptance of people in our lives.

 

As a result, we frantically do the things we believe we must do in order for others to be happy with us, to accept us, to approve of us and/or to need us.

 

Read Mark 1:29-38. Here Jesus recognized his limitations and took time out for both sleep and prayer. When Jesus decided to leave Peter's house and go to nearby villages to preach, he left many people unhealed, disappointed and perhaps even angry with him. Jesus was never dependent on what others thought of him but only on what His Father thought of him. The scriptures encourage us to do likewise. (Galatians 1:10).

 

Until you put an axe to the root of your problem, (the fear of man and her inner sense of unworthiness) you will not be able to curtail your outward busyness.

 

Learn to Intentionally Chose Being Over Doing

 

Recently, I sat out on my deck and watched the sun set over the hills. It was breathtaking. I couldn't remember the last time I noticed it. God gently reminded me that he gives me this spectacular gift every night but I've been too busy to notice.

 

Jesus has something to say to those of us who do too much. He says, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG).

 

Superwoman or man is a fantasy and an idol. No person can do it all or have it all. Therefore, we must learn to make wise choices based on what God values and His purposes for our lives. When doing compromises our being, we're out of balance. Doing is important but only when it serves our being - the person we are or who God calls us to be. Let us follow the example of Mary of Bethany when she sat at Christ's feet instead of scurrying about like her sister Martha.  Jesus said she made the better choice.
 

I would love the opportunity to work with you to help you remove the busyness in your life. For an application go to:

 

Leslie Vernick Coaching Programs

 

P.S. I want to warmly welcome ALL new subscribers who have joined our community since last month! You are going to love the resources available to help you grow. I'm thrilled to have you here!

 

P.P.S. Don't keep this to yourself! Forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues or send them to www.leslievernick.com so they can register for themselves.

 

 
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BOOK GIVE AWAY

 

 Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy

Lord I Just Want to Be Happy

by Leslie Vernick

 

Maybe you can't see right now how God could possibly get you to a place of inner joy and well-being.  However, it's not the new circumstances we often pray for that move us toward lasting happiness, but rather something entirely different.

 

Even if nothing changes in your circumstances, your inner chains can be broken and you can go free...into a new path of real hope and happiness. 

 

Just email your name to assistant@leslievernick.com

by June 1st for a chance to win one of two copies!

 

Congratulations to Denise J. of Pleasanton, CA and Sylva N. of St. Louis, MO who were the two winners of Gary Thomas' book Every Body Matters.

 

COACHING

INFORMATION

 

For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below.

 

Leslie Vernick Coaching Programs

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

June

 

Jun 12 AACC Webinar training

 

Jun 19 Focus on the Family Radio Interview and staff training

 

Jun 23 Generations Women's Event, Solid Rock Church, Portland, Oregon (Open to the public)

 

September

 

Sep 6-8 Faithlife Women's Conference, Dallas, Texas

 

Sep 27-29 AACC Conference, Brandon, MO

 

October

 

Oct 12-14 Agape Total Life Center, British Virgin Islands

 

Oct 19-21 Ladie's Bible Conference, America's Keswick, Whiting, NJ

 

Her (Leslie) material was biblical, relevant, interesting and easy to follow. She was very transparent, personable, sincere and had a good sense of humor. Leslie always followed the time constraints of our schedule and availed herself to the ladies for personal conversation and counseling during free time.

 

The women were very appreciative of our choice of speaker. I, personally, was blessed by her humble manner and the way in which she ministered to the ladies.
 
Sharon Borg, Chairperson
Metro District Women's Ministry Committee

 

 

Leslie Welcomes

Your Questions:

 

Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness.  Send your questions about dealing with difficult people, stress, or relationship issues to:

 

Leslie@LeslieVernick.com

 

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

 

Note:  Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.

 

If you'd like to invite Leslie to speak at one of your events, please contact us at

 

1-877-837-7931

 

or

 

leslie@leslievernick.com

 

www.leslievernick.com

 

LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

 

Is It Unbiblical to Love Myself?

Question:   My counselor tells me I need to love myself more and need to improve my self-esteem. The Bible says that I'm not to think too highly of myself. So which is it? Do I love myself enough or too much?

 

Answer:   That can be a trick question for many Christians. The Bible isn't against loving ourselves. In fact, it assumes it. For example, when the apostle Paul tells husbands to love their wives as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28) or when Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves (John 13:34), there is an assumption of natural self-love or concern for our own well-being that is common to all of us. Proverbs also tells us that he (or she) who acquires wisdom, loves his own soul (Proverbs 19:8).

 

However, as Christians we've often associated loving self with rampant selfishness and egocentricity which is clearly against what God's word teaches. So let's look at what biblical self-esteem and self-love would look like.

 

First, self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves; self-image is the way we think about ourselves. Since our thoughts and feelings go together, if we think too highly of ourselves, we will have an inflated self-esteem. On the other hand, if we think too lowly of ourselves, we feel inferior and worthless. A healthy self-image is where you see yourself truthfully, as God sees you.

 

That means that you see your beauty and your sins and don't only see one side of yourself. Some Christians get caught in only seeing their sinful side and forget that they are indeed a magnificent creation of God (Psalm 139) and that God has indeed put gifts and talents inside of them to be used to serve him and others. On the other hand, some people are quite blind to their sinful side and can be jealous, prideful, arrogant and judgmental and don't even see how sinful those things are (Psalm 36:2).

 

When you love yourself too much, the focus of life is on you, either how wonderful you are and how much you deserve, or on how miserable you are because life, people or God aren't giving you everything you think you should have. When you love yourself biblically here are three things you would do:

 

1.  You would seek God as your highest priority. God says that he is our soul's only true satisfaction (Psalm 21:6) and that following his ways lead to great joy (Psalm 19:8; 1 Peter 1:8).

 

2.  You would seek God's wisdom for your life. Proverbs tells us that those who fail to find wisdom, harm themselves (Proverbs 8:36). God says that his wisdom helps us see clearly through the world's philosophies and Satan's deceptions that may mislead us.

 

3.  We will correct and discipline ourselves. At first, this may seem counterintuitive. People think that when they love themselves then they can indulge themselves because they feel so special or entitled. Credit card debt, obesity, sexual promiscuity, pornography, drug abuse and alcoholism are at all time highs. Not only do we indulge our fleshly appetites, we also indulge our immature and sinful ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. We sulk in self-pity, throw temper tantrums when we don't get our way, nurse angry and hateful thoughts and wallow in our morbid self-analysis.

 

The results of a self-indulgent psyche or lifestyles are not happiness and good self-esteem but bondage. When we indulge our sinful nature, we don't feel better; we feel worse. God tells us one of the causes of self-hatred is ignoring discipline (Proverbs 15:32).

 

So, I can't answer your question on what your counselor meant, but, by looking over these applications, you can evaluate where you are in loving yourself biblically and seeing yourself truthfully. Ask God to show you areas where you need to grow.

 

For more information on this topic, see my book How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me First World.