Living Beyond Yourself: Is It Possible?

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s long been said that if you need cheering up, you should do something for others. Looking beyond our own needs allows God to start working on the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – that He wants to develop in us.

    I find it easier to be faithful in my prayer life if I’ve committed to praying for someone else. It’s easy for me to be at peace with myself =), but more of a workout and character builder for me to “so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).

    Honestly, I tend to draw into myself often as a protection against being hurt by others – proactive disengagement, I guess. But one of the best ways God can buff off the rough edges of my character is by having me rub up against other people, get out into the fray and let Him stretch me. Being Gumby may be uncomfortable, but the blessings are eternal!

    (Gak! Was that a mixed metaphor or what?! LOL)

    • Anonymous says:

      What a great idea- making a concerted effort to pray for others instead of ourselves. I think most of us who pray pray for others, but generally as an afterthought. I love the idea of really spending serious prayer time praying for others.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Funny that you highlighted the one sentence from the introductory session that really resonated with me: “Nothing will steal your contentment like self-absorption.” When I find myself being crabby and snarky, it’s typically because I’m focusing on my own stuff, my own perspective of my stuff. When I’m content and filled with joy, it’s because I’m doing things I love to do for others – taking care of my son, preparing meals for my family, even cleaning (eek!) our home.

    All too frequently I find myself on my knees saying, “God, I don’t want to be me anymore.” What I really mean is that I don’t want to be the one in control anymore. As you said, Lindsay, it’s so much better when I let God take over, so why don’t I make that the norm instead of trying to be the one in charge? Something to work on, I suppose.

    • Anonymous says:

      You just hit it on the head for me, too, Jennifer, though my plea is usually, “I don’t want to be like this anyomore”.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it’s in our natures to resist. It’s like exercise- We feel so much better when we do it, but making the effort to work it into our lives sometimes seems SO DIFFICULT. 🙂

  3. Julie Marsh says:

    Just last night I was marveling at my attachment to social media, the friends I’ve made, the perspective they’ve given me. I truly believe that social media has made me *less* self-absorbed (and therefore more content with my own circumstances), and I have friends like you to thank for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s definitely a positive flip side and I think that’s awesome that you’re able to tap into that.

      I’ve been thinking about the self-absorption aspect a lot though as Twitter and Facebook become more and more popular and I’ve actually watched a few people sort of self-destruct in their online self-absorption!

      I think it’s all in how you use it- I made a huge decision a few years ago when I started realizing where all this was headed to give my IRL relationships priority. I LOVE seeing my online friends at conferences and talking to them via e-mail and on the phone from time to time, but I’ve really made an effort to be even MORE connected in my community and with people who live around me than I am with my online friends, as much as I love them. That has really helped me keep perspective on who I really am and what matters to me. I’m thankful to have lots of readers and relationships with people online and all over the world. I’m also thankful that I can close my laptop and just be an ordinary mom doing ordinary things in an ordinary suburb of Nashville.  🙂  It helps me keep perspective and focus outward instead of inward.

      I’d love to know how others of you maintain balance in this respect.

  4. I have begun to learn that

    • Anonymous says:

      What a fantastic idea, Em! I tend to lose focus when I’m praying and go off on a million tangents– that’s a great way to stay “on task.”

  5. I love this.  I love it so much, I hope it goes viral and reaches many bloggers, readers, and social media addicts. 🙂

    Beth Moore is one of my favorite Bible study authors.  Her books are so deep, so rich, that it takes me over an hour to complete the daily workbook pages.  And I’m so glad that you’re hosting an online study!  

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha ha, thank you! I’m glad to be hosting an online study too- I’m actually REALLY glad that Beth Moore has started making some of her studies available online, because it is opening doors to SO MANY women who don’t have time/don’t have the money/ don’t have childcare/don’t have a group/feel uncomfortable in small group settings. I had to pay $80 for childcare during my last Beth Moore study, in addition to materials and that was difficult! It’s nice to eliminate that cost for people- and myself!

  6. Jenna says:

    So, so true. We can’t do anything without the Lord. Our goal should really be to be as DEPENDENT as possible, but we’re always striving for the opposite!

    Jenna
    momofmanyhats.blogspot.com

  7. Hi, Lindsay!  I’m a long time “lurker” on your blog, but I wanted to post a comment today.  I have done this particular Beth Moore study 3 times (I lead the study for different groups of women….I didn’t just randomly decide to do the same study 3 times.  Not that there is anything wrong with that), and I am in the middle of a different Beth Moore study at this time (as of now, I’ve completed 10 of her studies, so if you need any recommendations for future studies…I’ve got ’em!).  For those reasons I was unable to participate in this online study with you all, but I wanted to write a comment and let you know that you’re awesome for doing this!  I know it’s out of your comfort zone, and I know you’re a little freaked out about it, so I figured you could use as many words of encouragement as possible. 

    You are a blessing and I think it’s great that you’re offering this for all kinds of people, even those who may not feel comfortable walking through the doors of a church, but are hungry for some Truth.

    I’m going to be praying for your study and those participating!  Thanks again for doing this!!  You have NOTHING to be nervous about! 😉  

  8. Anna says:

    The part of the introduction that most resonated with me was when Beth quoted Psalm 27:13, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” It’s interesting that the part of the study which most resonated with me is a variation on what you pulled out above. In order for us to see the goodness of the Lord in our world, we must have people who are not lost in self-absorption, but instead are out doing good for others.
    I think this verse hit me so strongly as it seems that with the economy, natural disasters, etc. recently the world had not seemed like a very “good” place. It reminded me that we need to look for the goodness of the Lord here, as it does exist. Very reassuring for me!

  9. NancyB says:

    What stuck with me as I listened was “The spirit of the Living Christ lives within us to remain FOREVER”.  FOREVER AND EVER. That’s just so powerful and when I hear that and think about it and feel it I sit up taller and think clearer and feel proud to have him within me.

    • Anonymous says:

      One thing about this study that I love is that it very clearly explains the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and how the Holy Spirit works. I grew up going to church, went to Christian schools and took religion courses in college and it wasn’t until THIS STUDY that I actually came to understand the presence of the Holy Spirit. That alone makes the whole thing worthwhile to me!

      • NancyB says:

        I was confirmed when I was 12 – I’m pretty sure the whole event meant nothing to me.
        Now most catholic churches don’t hold confirmation until kids are about 16 years old.  We always laughed and said it was because they wanted to keep them going to catechism and (required during the process) church as long as possible.
        After just the introductory session I’m beginning to think it’s so they have a clearer understanding of what receiving the Holy Spirit really means or should mean to someone.

  10. […] Living Beyond Yourself: Is It Possible? ‹ Suburban Turmoil […]

  11. Anonymous says:

    The thing that resonated most with me was that the Holy Spirit is going to change not only my life, but my day. I need daily living help. People have wondered frequently how I’ve been making it since May…the truth is, I’m not. I’m that person Beth was talking about at the end who wonders if this thing is unto death and, truthfully, kinda hopes it is because…..man that sure would be easier.

    The crazy thing with getting in the Word is that the light begins to shine in your life and there is no more hiding. No more excuses.

    I’m Coming Out, Lord. But not by my strength. By His!

    • Anonymous says:

      Amy, I had been wondering over the summer what was going on with you. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this right now and I’m glad you’re doing the study with us.

      You make such a good point about the importance of actually picking up and reading your Bible. It is through studies like this one that I remember that the Bible is a HUGE part of God’s direct connection to us, and that we can’t have a real, ongoing, DAILY relationship without it. I love doing Bible studies that include a lot of Bible reading, because they give me the discipline I need to do it.

      I’m excited to see how these next ten weeks play out for all of us, and I really hope this helps you get through this dark period in your life. Praying for you.  🙂

  12. Jenny Lomax says:

    When I first started watching the video, I couldn’t help but
    stifle a laugh or two, because I knew so many women from my childhood that she reminded me of.  However, she has such a
    gift and threw out so many thought-provoking phrases and verses and subjects, and it seems obvious that the Spirit is working through her.  Makes me a little jealous 🙂

    I loved the Galatians verse, because the fruit of the Spirit
    are all the qualities that I would love to be able to possess.  After all the other things that I can accomplish on my own, a soothed soul isn’t one of them and I’m thrilled to be part of this study.

  13. […] My post launching the first week of the study can be found here.  […]

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