Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More thoughts on the upcoming series...

During my prayer and reading time this morning, I began listing the qualities a woman of God should have.

I started in Proverbs 31, but then moved to other sections of scripture where I knew women were mentioned, or where there are lists of things a believer should be. I was surprised when passage after passage popped into my mind.

The pages of my Bible crinkled, and my pencil scratched rapidly against my notebook paper. "Slow down! Let me finish this one first!" I panted, as my mind thought of yet another chapter I could look through.

I listed the qualities in a column on the right side of my lilac-colored paper, and I jotted down references on the left side. Most of the qualities had many references trailing across the left hand side of the paper.

When Mom rang the kitchen bell for breakfast, I counted the qualities I had so far.

Over 30.

Then I reread them all. What a list! I found myself wishing to meet someone who was able to live so purely as this.

"You silly girl." The feeling that had been growing on me came to a head. "How do you expect to run a series of posts on your blog about this topic? You're hardly out of pigtails!"

"Yes...I know." I didn't have any good reasons to give - even to myself. "But I want to live like this - doesn't that count for something? This morning's research has thrilled me - challenged me. I'm going to study this anyway, for my own benefit. ...Would it be wrong to share what I'm thinking as I study?"

"But you'd be a hypocrite. You'd be talking about all these wonderful character traits, that you want to have. And you don't have them all - hardly any. But your readers won't see that. They'll think you're saying you've got it all together. And you'll be lying."

I never know what to call those two "inner voices" that talk back and forth. Are they both me? Is one me, and the other the Holy Spirit? Is one my conscience? Is the other one me, or not me? If it's not me, who is it? Is it thoughts the devil has planted in my mind? Is it my sinful self - the old man? And if so, is that old man me? Or is the new me me? Or are these voices just logical weighing of ideas, with neither being inherently right or wrong?

Whoever - or whatever - they are, they were having a lively conversation this morning. I didn't know whether I was a listener or participant.

I knew what I wanted to do; I wanted to share all the stuff I was discovering! But was that wrong? Would it come across as pride? Would I become proud through sharing it?

But what if working on the series helped me to develop these character traits? What if this challenge was what I needed - to prompt me to more study and prayer?

"I thought I had all this settled! That's why I shared the news on my blog."

"Yes, but maybe I wasn't thinking deeply enough. Maybe I have no business teaching about this stuff."

"But I'm not teaching! I don't want to teach! I want to learn."

"You could study this privately on your own, and learn just as much."

"But what if the girls have good insights to add? What about the older women, who could teach me so much?"

"Are you really wanting that? Or do you want to make everyone think you're wise and smart?"

"Stop it! Of course that's not what I want."

"Ho ho - are you sure? You are wanting to be seen as wise. ... aren't you?"

"But I want to be wise."

"You're proud."

"I want to learn!"

"I think you ought to go ahead and host the series - just be frank with your readers."

"I think she ought to forget it altogether."

"She'll not be as diligent in studying, if she does."

"I think she ought to - "

This was becoming a public forum! Where were all these opinions coming from? Did all the spirit world think they could barge into my head and hold a barrage of campaigns?

Then I remembered the breakfast bell.

"You see - you're not prompt, you're not obedient, and you're lazy. Told you!"

"Of course she's not perfect. But that doesn't mean she should forget about the series. Maybe God wants her to do it."

"But maybe -"

I stood up, put my Bible away - only for the moment - and went to enjoy some solitude at a busy breakfast table. Baked oatmeal and a pumpkin muffin sounded really good.


Ashley said...

Do the series! I would love it. And I'm sure others would too! And now since you have posted it on here, we know your not perfect! We can all learn together.

Anonymous said...

A friend shared with me once that we don't fully enjoy something (Scriptural) until we share it with others.

And a girl doesn't become a 'virtuous woman' the instant she becomes married. Reading the Word, time in prayer, and letting the Word go from our heads to our hearts, but really into our feet in a practical way is what's important.

Please do share.

in Christ,
Amy in NY

Amanda said...

Sounds like you (or whoever) were having a very interesting conversation with yourself (or whoever else)! I don't think you'd be prideful to share the findings of your study, and I think others could really benefit from them. So, if my opinion counts for anything, I'll look forward to reading what you have to share! :)

Amber said...

Thank you for the encouragement, ladies. I look forward to humbly sharing the thoughts I have, and gleaning from others' wisdom. I think I'm looking forward to it as much as y'all are!