Saturday, July 30, 2016

trading self-focus for self-forgetfulness and awe

I blogged over at Desiring God recently on a pervasive problem within women's gatherings and resources - a preoccupation with self-focus instead of God-focus. I hope you find it helpful!

Women, Trade Self-Worth for Awe and Wonder

If you’ve spent much time in Christian women’s circles, you may have noticed that we have devoted many gatherings to exploring our identity.

Retreats, conferences, and topical Bible studies rush to assure us that we are redeemed and treasured, that our lives have purpose, that our actions carry eternal significance. If we just understood who we are — the message goes — we would turn from our sin patterns and our spiritual low self-esteem and experience the abundant life of which Jesus spoke.

Recently I attended a women’s conference at which this message predictably took center stage. One after another, all three keynote speakers took us to Psalm 139:14, urging us to see ourselves the way God sees us, as fearfully and wonderfully made. It could have been just about any women’s event, with just about any typical speaker. Christian women ask Psalm 139:14 to soothe us when our body image falters, or when we just don’t feel that smart, valuable, or capable. We ask it to bolster us when our limits weigh us down. But based on how frequently I hear it offered, I suspect the message may not be “sticking to our ribs” very well.

Why is that?

I believe it is because we have misdiagnosed our primary problem. As long as we keep the emphasis on us instead of on a higher vision, we will take small comfort from discussions of identity — and we will see little lasting change. Our primary problem as Christian women is not that we lack self-worth, not that we lack a sense of significance or purpose. It’s that we lack awe...

You can read the rest of the article {here}.


  1. Heading over to continue reading, but have to tell you here that I've just finished a Facebook Book Club with the women of my church featuring your Women of the Word. We'll be gathering for a face to face discussion of life changes and interacting with the content, but wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the wisdom God has gifted to you, and your ability to share it with straight-forward clarity.

  2. You have hit a nerve that our Father had opened. Thank you for the wisdom.

  3. " the thin gruel of self-reflection! " Jen, you never disapppoint.

  4. Jen,

    Your teaching of God's Word has been such a gift. Its helped me to become a servant rather than desire to be served. It has made me strive to live humbly and submit to how God would use me, in simple ways, in my local church. But these commands are just simply found in the Word of God and you've helped me study it deeper.

    Thank you so much for your faithfulness to the inerrant scripture and for being a beautiful mentor from afar to many of us younger women and mothers.

    So thankful for you! (all the way from Canada)

  5. I found your blog after reading this wonderful article on Desiring God. It summed up so much of the difficulty I've had my whole adult life with women's groups. For so long I thought something must wrong with me--perhaps I lack emotional vulnerability, or social grace, or love, even. It was only this past year that the spirit freed me from those chains and affirmed my wariness. And you said it perfectly. I was so pleased to share it with all my friends. Thank you.