Sharing our lives with one another…

 

Men and women, arms around each other in a circle

(photo credit)

” We loved you so much that we were delighted not only to share with you the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Words Paul wrote to his beloved church in Thessalonica.  

 

Have you ever been in ministry?

While it might seem glamourous to be in the spotlight or given a special task, but for most of us in ministry it’s an uncertain, prayerful, insecure, and ultimately obedient….ummmm, yes? 

From my own experience, I can attest it wasn’t anything I sought out, ever wanted or saw myself doing. I was not prepared for this, raised for this, or born with an outgoing personality for this. Not only that, I struggle with “people pleasing”. For those of you in ministry, nod your head if you agree that ministry is not the place for a person who struggles with “people pleasing”. Are you with me? 

Nevertheless, when we work for the Lord, whether it is big or small in our eyes, we are saying…

Yes, I will love and rave about you, Lord. 

Yes, I will imitate you.

Yes, I will share your word. 

Yes, I will serve you.

Yes, I will love others.

But there is more. So much more….and if we don’t allow the “more”, we are missing the big picture of what God wants us to do. 

Paul says with all sincereity that he loved his church so much that he shared his life with them. 

John 3:16 says:

” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

God loved us so much….he shared his life and ultimately gave his life for us. 

I don’t know about you, but this brings me to tears. 

It also brings me to my knees convicting me that I have been in the position of “self-closure” in order to protect myself from getting hurt. 

I’ll do all of these things Lord, but share my life with others? Really? What if they misunderstand me? Talk about me? Become competitive? Judge? Realize I’m not that awesome? Leave me?What if….what if….what if. 

I’m fairly certain that many people in ministry or even just in general have a difficult time with sharing their lives with others because of the fears that come along with it. It would be very easy to fall into the trap of placing an invisible glass curtain (or in this case, screen)  separating the servant from those being served.  I’m here- you’re there. This is good. I love you, you love me…wave hi!!!

It just doesn’t work that way. 

When we love, we need to love hard, be on the front lines, and leave the “what if thinking” behind us. We need to be “all about it”. 

Going into the new year, I challenge you Ladies to do this….share your lives with others as an act of obedience to God.  Paul loved the Thessalonians without question. In the position he was in, he could have been so easily rejected and forgotten. Not only that, God knew the final outcome when He came here in the flesh- He didn’t have to “what if”, yet He did it anyways knowing ….fully knowing. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts…..

Much love to you, Janelle 

 

  

 

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Comments

  1. This is a wonderful post, Janelle. I was surprised by how vulnerable-feeling/insecurity-producing it would be when I started my Christian blog. And there’s the whole other aspect of sharing with strangers as well. I’m also a people-pleaser. lol But this post really challenged my heart, and I will continue to ponder it and what it means for me. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you for your words Janelle. Im struggling with the ministry, I really don’t understand why will the pastor put me to be in front of the women’s ministry. Its really hard for me to get close with my sisters in Crist. We are not a big church, but still, it doesn’t seem that I have made improvements. My pastor ask me again to be in front of my sister this coming year. Can you please give me a word. Thank you, and God bless your site. And I been in your blog and really like it, I like all your blog. God bless

    • Hi Laura! What topic does your Pastor want you to talk about? Your sisters in Christ may be afraid to “share their lives” ?? This may be the perfect topic for you. Its a wonderful thing when you can bring together women for the purpose of encouraging and building up!

  3. Thank you for this post! I enjoy serving, but I like to be behind the scenes not up front where it is so easy to be judged. I just started a new business and it requires me to put myself out there, which can hard. Trusting that the Lord has put me in this position for a reason.

    Happy New Year
    Michele, Arbonne Independent Consultant

  4. Great post! I too find it very difficult to share my life. I never expected to write a blog, but God has guided me down this path. Often it is very difficult to cluck that “publish” button. Fear regularly grips me, but often I hear from people who have been blessed and encouraged. As you said, Jesus gave so much for me how could I not give this small piece of myself!

  5. Thank you for this post…I am beginning in a new ministry. (for me) I have been on the sidelines for the past 7 years because of illness. I have learned many lessons and feel as though the Lord is setting me free to go back out and serve. I am going to have to learn a new boldness in love….this is very difficult for me because I, too am a people pleaser. God equips and I’m ready to learn in this next season of my life. Happy New Year to all…..excited to see what this next year will hold for us.

  6. Denise Ross says:

    Hi Jenell
    You’ve hit the nail on the head for me with a few of your points. Hidden insecurities that I couldn’t put my finger on before now, I know of and will work to move forward with strength from our creator to mend and work for The Lord, thankyou for your frankness and truth.
    Many blessings to you and your darling family for 2014 xx

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I am going to make sharing my life with others a high priority in my life. I noticed a little typo in the John 3:16 verse, where you typed Whoever believes in Him shall NOW perish. LOL

  8. Oh how you speak the truth! It’s hard to be vulnerable. Growing up being picked on or constantly judged makes you retreat into a corner and be careful how and what you share with others. I think that it is important to open yourself up even if it is a challenge, fully being aware that some people may look at you differently. We need to be true to ourselves and to God.

  9. Connie B. says:

    Thank you for sharing what you did. It’s always a scary thing stepping out to do what it feels like God is calling me to do. Sometimes it’s not “scary” right off the bat, but only after I’ve already stepped out. Then I wonder – did I do or say the right thing, what if I was totally wrong and now my foolishness is out there for all to see? How shame can rob me from finishing well. But God calls me to continue to give and to share of myself. This was a good reminder to continue to do this as I pray and think on how I should be leading in women’s ministry and in other areas as well this year. When I think back to when I’ve been most impacted by other people, it has been when they have stepped out and shared their lives with me. It’s wonderful to “see” the heart of God this way!

  10. Thank you for your post. Your point about obedience to God’s will really strikes home. My husband & I have been involved in Music Ministry for many many years (that’s how we met :-) ). Our children have never know what it’s like to only go to 1 mass on a weekend. We’ve been struggling lately with do we continue or step down again? Are we being selfish or are we doing God’s will? We had been involved in a program for over 13 years and stepped down to try and focus on the children. We left that parish and joined a new one for a “fresh start”, focusing on volunteering our gifts as substitutes when we were able to, not because we had to. After a year at our new parish, the administration changed, and we were asked to re-energize the ministry. We declined several times, but finally agreed to help out on a temporary basis. It’s been a year now (so much for temporary! lol) and the ministry has grown, with formal choirs and an excited energy coming from the wonderful singers who came out to share their talents. Who can resist the chorus of children singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” on Christmas Eve with their sweet voices? Not everyone is happy of course, because with change there are always growing pains, but we have the support of our Pastor and his associate. We’re struggling with wanting to let go, but feel that God gave us these gifts to share with His people, not hide them under a bushel basket. Our children are involved because that’s what we do as a family. Despite the exhaustion of a very busy Christmas season, trying to juggle jobs that actually pay the bills and the busy schedules of a tween and a teen, we are already looking towards Easter, and beyond. We keep praying about it, and I’m trying to keep an open heart to listen to God, but it’s not easy.

    • Hi Eva! Thank you for sharing your life with me! It sounds like you are very busy! My best advice comes from the written word-which is God’s will! Phil 4:6-7. So often we look for answers ,ask for a big sign, a feeling or hunch. But, the Bible is right in front of us :).Your family comes first-then ministry. Say yes when it’s a joy to serve, say no when it becomes difficult to manage. Eph 2:8 reminds us that it is by grace we have been saved, through faith, not of works. God doesn’t need us, we need Him! I’m so glad you are using music to praise God-that’s such a beautiful thing! Much love to you, Janelle

  11. Lovely post. Thank you. I am in ministry and it is often very hard. I do try to open myself up and I do it more and more, but sadly it strikes me as so difficult because the ones who respond with the most negativity and finger pointing are my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I don’t know why that is. I find it is far easier to be me with a person who is not a Christian and share with them ALL that God has done. Sad to say but I think in this year as well as being open to sharing our very vulnerable hearts, I think it is important as the body of Christ to also be open to receiving this openness and hold it carefully and delicately appreciating the vulnerability rather than responding without thought. Does this make sense?

    • Ohhh YES! It makes perfect sense. I completely sympathize. I’ve come to the knowledge that I am in control of my behavior only….I commit to giving tons of grace as God has given me so much :) That’s all we can do. People are very quick to judge and being judged hurts. But, as long as what we are doing is in line with God-it can be well with our soul. Keep on keeping on Kelly!!! xoxox.

  12. Janelle, thank you for this. You are always a blessing to me. This fall I took a leap of faith as I was asked to lead a small discussion group at our ladies’ Bible study. In many ways it’s been a blessing, but each week I totally struggle with insecurity & anxiety about my ability to do this & do it well for the Lord. I truly am trying to trust & lean on Him, but I still wonder if I’m the right one for this role. Please pray for me – to have the Lord’s peace & know if my anxiety is something to ignore or the Lord speaking. Thank you & God bless.

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