She Reads Truth | Soul Detox | Day 22


Today’s Scriptures: Proverbs 25:26-27 & 3 John 1:11

Today’s Reading:

Our lives are full of cultural toxins, which are those things that are culturally acceptable, but hurt our souls. Cultural toxins can be found in the books we read, the magazines we read, the music we listen to, the television shows we watch, and in the movies we watch. When we allow cultural toxins into our lives, it pollutes us. This week you will learn what God’s Word says about the dangers of cultural toxins and the importance of focusing on things that draw us closer to God.

What are some of the cultural toxins you currently have in your life? How have you seen these toxins pollute your life?

Lets just talk about emotional porn for a few minutes.

So back a few  years ago there was a huge rage about Twilight being emotional porn for younger girls, setting improper expectations of the perfect guy etc. Currently we’re seeing Fifty Shades of Grey and Magic Mike all over pintrest, the internet, Facebook, etc. and a similar debate is being held.

The basic argument is that men are visual, girls are emotional, hence these things that tap into our emotions that we grab onto and dream about and may even get aroused about are emotional porn. Men would be chastised for openly viewing porn without shame, why are women allowed to post photos of ‘hot guys’ and make sexual comments and read these books without the same accountability being set for them? Women aren’t made into perverts, creeps or disgusting. It’s almost praised, actually. (Go feminism, be man’s equal!)

Why indeed…..

Jon and I watched The Vow a few weeks ago (ironically enough with Channing Tatum as the lead), and I’ll have to be honest. It really made me struggle with comparison of our marriage to that of the “perfect” one being portrayed in the movie. Would Jon love me if that happened? Would he fight for me, etc. It went from watching a beautiful love story to putting our relationship under a microscope and comparing it. And I talked to Jon about my struggle with it after the movie, so it’s not like it was keeping a big secret. I hate that I struggled so much with it. It left me feeling discontent for that evening although I’m married to a wonderful man who is no where near perfect, but has served and loved me in many ways in the last year. Satan wants us to use things like comparison to rip apart something beautiful, something real. And he does it anyway he can. For me it was comparing our relationship to a beautiful romantic love story in a 2 hour movie. 2 hours, clearly we only saw the good stuff. What is it for you?

This is not meant to be a guilt trip if you read 50 shades or watch Magic Mike, I was just using a relevant example. I read on a blog today that was having this debate that a wife and husband “didn’t care what turned their spouse on as long as they could reap the benefits”. And I vomited a little, and my heart broke a lot. Emptiness. That’s what we are seeing to escape, and we run to the things that empty us quicker than we can realize it’s happening.  We are destroying ourselves, we are destroying our relationships and then wondering WHY and HOW. We are believing Satan’s excuses of what’s acceptable instead of viewing things through the Truth.

Maybe you don’t struggle with emotional porn.

Maybe it’s materialism.

Maybe it’s something completely different.

Our lives are full of cultural toxins, which are those things that are culturally acceptable, but hurt our souls… When we allow cultural toxins into our lives, it pollutes us.

3 John 1v11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

What’s polluting us?

What keeps us from imitating what is good and seeing God?

She Reads Truth | Soul Detox | Day 19

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 56:1-13

Today’s Reading: 

In order to face the “what ifs” of fear, you must acknowledge your fear and choose to trust God.

What things are holding you back from acknowledging your fears and putting your full trust in God?

3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. 
4 In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

 

I will put…. action.

Action is a choice.

We must CHOOSE to put our trust in the LORD, even when we do not feel like it.

Lord help me daily choose to trust you.

She Reads Truth | Soul Detox | Day 18

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 91:1-16

Today’s Reading:

What you fear reveals what you value the most. What you fear reveals where you trust God the least.

What things are you not trusting God with that you need to?

 

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Fear reveals what we value, What we value reveals what we worship.

Anything we worship that isn’t God is idolatry.

And boy am I an idolator.

 

Yes It’s okay to care about things.  But do they replace God. Are they where we put our faith/security?
Yes it’s okay to have a healthy fear of things. Like a healthy fear/realization of your choices and consequences

 

Ultimately (in everything) It comes down to balance.
To find balance and choose our battles.
I would say a good balance is probably what things hinder you from giving/serving and what things help you. Anything can be good or bad, you can care too much or too little. You can worry too much or not enough.

As explained before I freak out about finances which is not okay, but it also wouldn’t be okay to just ignore them either. Stewardship is talked about in the Bible many times and can not be ignored. Stewardship of time, money etc. I have to learn a balance. Not learning to say “no” and overextending/committing yourself can be a burden to you or hurtful to others when you have to bail, etc.

Another response to fears and anxiety is ignoring them. I just have at points in my own life (and witnessing in others) adopted a “care free” attitude as an actual overcompensating for caring too much. Instead of dealing with things honestly, we suppress things that cause worry and fear and replace it with “I don’t care/it doesn’t matter”. These suppressed things rot away unnoticed until they take over, many times “out of nowhere”. Dealing with things head on can free us up to enjoy the ‘meaningful’ things in life to a longer and larger capacity than we could have other wise.

 

Balance  =  Freedom

Freedom from fears, freedom from bondage, freedom to truly live.

 

She Reads Truth | Soul Detox | Day 17

Today’s Scripture: Exodus 4:1-17

Today’s Reading: Fear is having faith, but it’s placing your faith in the wrong things. Fear is placing your faith in the “what ifs”. So much of our fears are focused on things that may or may not happen. There is no reason to fear things that might not even happen. Even people in the Bible struggled in fearing their own “what ifs”. You will read today about Moses’ “what if” fear and how God gave him strength to overcome his fear.

What are some of the “what ifs” that fuel your fears?

Continue reading

She Reads Truth | Soul Detox | Day 16

Today’s Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-18

Today’s Word: There are four types of fears: fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown. It is very likely that you are struggling with one or more of these fears. These fears can paralyze you and keep you from God’s best. Remember what 2 Timothy 1 says in that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

Which fears do you currently struggle with the most?

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Types of Fears: Loss, Failure, Rejection, Unknown

Losing, grief and loneliness.

Failing or lacking control.

Being rejected, compared or judged.

Fearing the unknown or being unprepared.

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Blue Letter Bible is one of my favorite bible sites and I wanted to share a part of today’s Day by Day Grace.

We are also engaged in warfare, spiritual warfare. “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). As spiritual soldiers, we must use spiritual weapons. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). The promises of God are part of our spiritual weaponry. We can stand victorious in battle by the promises of God, just as the Apostle Paul did. “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you…And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” (Acts 18:9-11).

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Friends our fears are due to spiritual warfare. We need to be aware of it. No matter how we address our toxins, or our fears, or try to deal with them and heal through them… the context is the same. We live in spiritual warfare. There will always be temptations to sin, and to fear. But Perfect love casts out fear. The LORD is already on his throne, he has won the battle and is on our side. We can stand victorious in spiritual warfare that is external and internal. Our relationships for example are always going to be under attack because Satan does not want healthy relationships, marriages or families to survive.

We must be aware to be proactive. Not the what if’s but rather the RIGHT NOW. What areas are we fearful?
Lets look through the lens of spiritual warfare to gain a heavenly perspective.
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline

How does fear hold us captive?
It holds us captive in the areas that the spirit of power, love and self-discipline are lacking.
Lets tip the scales back in our favor, for His glory.

She Reads Truth | Soul Detox | Day 15

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 27:1-14

Today’s Reading: We are often paralyzed with irrational fear that something may happen. Rather than living by faith, we live by fear. These toxic fears can cripple our lives and rob us of our joy. This week you will read what God’s Word says about toxic fears and how we should face them.

How have you seen your toxic fears influence your actions and thoughts?

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Anxiety runs genetically in my family. And by genetically I really mean spiritually through the generations. My great grandma was a case (although she was hilarious and I loved her she just WORRIED about everything, you could see concern about something in her eyes always.) My grandma and my mom are the same and so naturally I just am anxious.

My sophomore year in high-school on my way to winter homecoming I was a nervous wreck. The typically feelings of “am I pretty do I look fat in my dress, will my crush notice me, etc.” This was a new school and this was the first event like this with new people and I was mostly worried about being alone. My dad on the drive there simply said “Leslie, what’s the absolute WORST thing that can happen?” After I responded he said “Now you’re prepared for everything”.  This is probably silly and simple, but it worked for me.

When I get all worked up I think “What’s the worst that could happen?” I give it to God and pray for his grace, preparation and strength to the worst case scenario and anything in between. Silly maybe, but it helps calm me down before I go from anxious to freak out.

Although, freak out happens more often than I’d like to admit.

She Reads Truth | Soul Detox | Day 14

Today’s Scripture: Mark 11:12-25

Today’s Reading: Not only should we speak life-giving words to others, but we should also speak them to our circumstances and ourselves. The toxic words we speak to ourselves can be some of the most dangerous.

What types of toxic words are you saying to yourself? What steps do you need to take to stop saying these toxic words to yourself?

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A recent situation brings to mind the toxic fears that over come me whenever financial situations arise. An inconvenient charge/fee or an unexpected charge makes me go from  zero to “we’re never going to get out of debt and going to be homeless” in about .5 seconds.

Finances are my #1 freakout and cause fear, which means this is the biggest area of false security/idol for me. Between Jesus and my amazing Husband I’m learning the balance the “be a good steward” with “trust the Lord”. I let ‘stewarding’ money rob me of my joy, which frustrates husband who is learning the growing pains of budgeting that can create tension between us. Satan is going to destroy us and our marriages however he can. We have to recognize the sources of these fears so we can see the eventual consequences if we don’t learn to trust God and put him first.