As I read chapter 7 on the fear of not being significant in What Women Fear by Angie Smith I thought of three things:
- How many of us are afraid we what we are doing isn’t significant enough or interesting enough.
- The movies I’m drawn to — most of them have a theme of someone making a difference with their life. Latest favorite: McFarland USA.
- One of the best books I read last year: With by Skye Jethuni.
What draws me to McFarland is the way Coach White grows during the movie. He didn’t come to “save the kids he taught,” setting himself up as the hero. Did he want more for them, yes. But he also saw his own need. Many movies I am drawn to plays into the idea of being significant.
I do believe there is a place for significance, but am trying to wean myself from being the hero. I love this scene.
One of the most helpful books as I’ve been in the process of being reprogrammed in this areas is With by Skye Jethuni. This Amazon customer summary is spot on:
“I just finished reading Skye Jethani’s latest book entitled With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. I am trying not resort to hyperbole, but this book was really life changing. In the book Jethani examines five ways most people relate to God. There is life under God, over God, from God and for God. With the possible exception of over God, all of these sound great and they are to some degree, however they can each represent a very unhealthy relationship. And all of them are to one degree or another about fear and control.
“People living life under God live in Live to appease God through ‘strict obedience to moral and ritual commands.’ This sounds good except at its core is an attempt to control God and our conditions through our obedience.
“People living life over God see themselves as managers, and ‘autonomous beings who have been given a divine manual for operating my life and world and whose fate will ultimately rest upon how well I implement God’s principles and instructions.’ Again this is an effort to control. We don’t have to pray, we don’t have to depend on God we can just do the right thing and ensure that God will always make things go well.
“People living from God fall into consumer Christianity, seeing God as a celestial Santa Claus who we use to get what we want. This is the shortest way to center of the universe syndrome where everything including God revolves around me.
“People who live life for God see themselves as servants, ‘workers created to fulfill a great mission.’ Their ‘sense of value is inexorable linked to what (they are) able to accomplish and the magnitude of (their) impact on the world.’
“My confession is I have been all of those people at one point or another and have lately been life for God and it has been miserable at times because it generates a picture of God not as loving Father but as Father who can never be pleased. This is a false picture and not what God wants. God wants us in the fifth way, Life With God.”
Such a good book. I used it last summer when I worked with a group of interns for a summer project. They were gung-ho to do things for God, as I imagine are many of us :). You’ll need to read the book to tease all five positions out. But how much freer would be be if we realized that God’s heart desire is for us to do life with him?! Will it at time have elements of being under, for, or from God? Yes, but the heart of being with him is a game changer!
So, that’s what I thought of as I read this chapter. Sports movies and books :). What did this chapter stir up for you?
P.S. Next week we’ll finish the book with chapters 8-10. I’m working on our summer and fall reading and will announce them in two weeks so you have time to track down books in any form you want! Let’s just say, I’m excited with the variety and have looked really hard for books that are not expensive, come in paperback and e-versions, and have themes we want to talk about :). AND some books I haven’t read. I can’t wait!!!! (the amount of exclamation points show how excited I am.)
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