The Christ-Like Pastor’s Wife | Aware, part 2

Welcome to the first February edition of Minister’s Wife Monday! 

During the upcoming weeks of 2016, we’ll be unpacking Christ-like characters for pastor’s wives, A-Z… and we’re still on A. 😀

Last week, we talked about the power of self awareness in building relationships and cultivating influence. (You can read that post here, if you missed it.)

Today, we’re going to dig a little deeper into the topic of spiritual awareness. 

The best way I know how to illustrate this is with a story… 

Just a Christ-Like Pastor's Wife | Kristy's Cottage blog

As newly weds, my husband, Jeremy, and I lived in a quaint, little town in east Texas. 

Our house (which looked very much like an early 1900’s cottage) was situated less than two blocks off the town “square.”  Since Jeremy was gone at work most of the day, and we only owned one vehicle, I got into the habit of walking to the square to shop about once-a-week.

My favorite places to browse were flea markets, the library, and a local clothing store, where I found cute outfits, shoes… and an infamous pair of sun glasses.

One summer afternoon, just a few months after our wedding, I stopped by the post office to mail several packages.   I’m not sure if the weather was particularly amazing, or if I was just a giddy new bride, but I remember feeling especially optimistic and confident that day. 

As I pranced down the sidewalk, with my purse and packages tucked under my arm, I smiled confidently at a few people who walked past me .  As I rounded the corner of the building, I glanced at my reflection in the large glass door…

And realized that the new sun glasses I was proudly wearing only had one lens Somehow, the other lens had fallen out.

I looked very much like a pirate with a black patch over one eye!

To this day, I still don’t know how in the world I didn’t realize that I was peering through a half-baked pair of shades.  But I didn’t have a clue. Not until I saw my reflection in the window.

I hastily pulled the sun glasses off my face (which was growing quite warm), and stuffed them into my purse.

My self confidence, and a whole lot of my pride, went right out the door that morning!  Mirrors are good at keeping us humble.

Spiritual Self Awareness

The apostle James relates a similar story-

If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

James 1:23-25

The only thing more ridiculous than wearing a pair of sun-glasses-with-only-one-lens is leaving them on your face after you’ve seen how silly you look! 

But that is basically what happens in this Scripture. (Okay, maybe not with sunglasses, but you get the point.)

The apostle James uses the analogy of a man looking at himself in a mirror; instead of going and correcting his appearance, he immediately becomes distracted by other things and forgets what he looks like.

To borrow my story again, he keeps wearing the goofy, broken sun glasses even after he’s seen his reflection.

He has been exposed to his state of being, yet he fails to do anything about it.

The state of remaining unaware of our need for personal growth and change is perhaps one of the most crippling faults we Christian women can indulge in. 

Because He loves us so much, God will faithfully place many “mirrors” into our lives. 

These “mirrors” often come in the form of

  • our spouse
  • our children
  • family members
  • friends
  • church members
  • difficult circumstances
  • insecurities
  • limitations and challenges

The “mirrors” are present, you can count on that!  In fact, you may have thought of a few while you were reading my list.

The question is, Are we choosing to be aware? To see ourselves in the light of God’s Word?

And, just as importantly, What are we doing with the Truth once we have caught a glimpse of our reflection?

I believe God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us into wisdom and to broaden the scope of our understanding. In drawing us to Christ, the Spirit of God must very often reveal some unpleasant things about ourselves so that we can repent and be conformed into His image.

This process very seldom- maybe even never– feels “spiritual.”  What it feels like is a trial, an irritation, an ungrateful child, a disloyal friend, a difficult person or circumstance.

It’s all too easy to excuse ourselves, point fingers, or focus on someone else’s faults, when what God would really like to do is help us get a really good glimpse of ourselves. 

Not as we see us, but as HE sees us.

For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly {having sound judgment}, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

Romans 12:3

Cultivating Christ-like Awareness:

A few questions to ponder today:

  • Is there a difficult person or circumstance in my life right now that I would very much like to change if I could?
  • Is it possible that God might be trying to use this person or situation to help me grow, or even to reveal a “blind spot” or weakness?
  • Have I asked God to show me what He wants to teach me through this person or circumstance?
  • How would I respond differently if I saw this as a catalyst for personal growth, instead of just an  inconvenience, irritation, or difficulty?
  • Do I embrace the challenges of ministry as a refining process God wants to use to make me more like Christ?
  • Am I more focused on other people’s faults and short comings than on my own need for personal growth and sanctification?
  • Have I become too “comfortable” with God’s Word?  Is it still alive and powerful and convicting to my soul?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your Word, and for the Holy Spirit you have given to guide me into all truth.

I may not always appreciate the “mirrors” you place in my life, but today I am choosing to thank you for those, as well.  Please give me a new perspective of the difficult people and circumstances in my life. 

Open the eyes of my understanding, and help me to be quick to acknowledge my sin, and to repent. 

Help me to be aware of the ways you are gently and faithfully trying to conform me into the image of your Son.  I know that through this process you receive glory, even in my weaknesses and struggles.

I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

——————–

If you’re a pastor’s wife, I’d love to connect with you over in my private Facebook group! (You can join right here.)

My heart is to encourage and affirm you as a ministry wife, and to extend support and friendship.  Please know that you are loved, appreciated, and prayed for.

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4 thoughts on “The Christ-Like Pastor’s Wife | Aware, part 2

  1. This is excellent, Kristy! It goes along with something I have been working on about God placing people in our lives for a purpose and because of His grace. Thank you for your insight and for sharing.

    Posted on February 6, 2016 at 10:12 am
    1. Thank you so much, Sister! I appreciate the encouraging words and your input always means a lot!

      Posted on February 16, 2016 at 6:17 am
  2. This is a great story- thanks for the laugh on this Monday morning! 🙂

    Posted on February 1, 2016 at 1:41 am
    1. Ha ha! You’re welcome, Jill! 😉

      Posted on February 1, 2016 at 3:04 am