I read the following Bible verse and thought I totally understood it. And then God showed me something new. "Whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely . . . of good report, if there be any virtue, and . . . any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
I believed that to be a loving Christian woman, I must pretend that I didn’t mind being taken advantage of or mistreated. I ignored any painful matters. (Didn’t this verse mean that I should think only about lovely, pure things?) Because I couldn’t allow myself to think about anything uncomfortable, I didn’t acknowledge that change was necessary. Neither could I pray specifically about what concerned or hurt me (see Philippians 4:6).
Then I learned that one of the original meanings of the Greek word for “truth” is the reality clearly lying before your eyes. I blinked in amazement. Indeed I could admit unpleasantness.
I’ve met many women who have remained stuck, unable to live out God’s design for them because they believe they can’t (as godly women) acknowledge or talk about any hurtful reality, whether it’s abuse, addiction, depression, eating disorders, post-partum or menopausal problems, anger or grief.
I’ve also met women—just like me—who’ve courageously confronted their uncomfortable reality, knowing that there is virtue in honestly growing through the pain to dwell on the true, just, pure and lovely things God has for them.
Lord, help me admit the truth, whether delightful or disagreeable.
Make It Personal: List what is good about your life in one column, what concerns or perplexes you in another column and what hurts you in a third column. Bring the three-columned list before God, asking for guidance in dealing with your reality.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.