InPursuit

Listening To New Voices {Book Club Thursday}

Welcome to Book Club Thursdays!

Own Your Life Book ClubWe’re reading through Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love (aff. link). For your convenience, all the posts in the series are archived {here}. So if you missed any,  feel free to head on over and catch up. Or, to make life even easier,  subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email!

Chapter 3: Listening To New Voices {Owning Your True Identity}

There’s something about words that stick to us. Voices and labels attach themselves to us. If we’re not careful, they become a part of us. Everything we do and say oozes out, filtered through this second layer of skin. We make these labels a part of our very being. We believe they belong to us. We believe they identify us. We’re shamed by them.

Identifying the Negative Voices

Without identifying the negative voices bombarding us, we’re unable to own our lives. It’s essential to our growth that we pinpoint where these voices come from. Maybe the negativity has come from friends, family, or people we’ve met along the way. Perhaps from our past mistakes, failures, or abuse. Sometimes it’s the voice of culture and media, and even our Christian culture and communities.

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Understanding this truth will help us walk in the freedom God intended for us.

Finding Freedom When We Feel We’re Falling Short

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Sally reminds us that “owning [our] lives must begin with a healthy view of [ourselves] that is based on what God thinks of [us].” The moment we hold our lives up to His truth, our perception changes. Scales come off making room for God’s truth to flood our minds and hearts.

Personally, I found freedom from the labels in my life by getting into God’s words. I began by getting 12 truths from Ephesians 1 deep in my spirit. I put them up where I could see them daily. Over and over, I’d repeat these truths. You can get your free printable here.

Eventually, the voices and labels from the world began to sound like clanging symbols the moment I heard them. Why? Because I had God’s truth to hold them up to. If it didn’t align with God’s words, I was not going to receive them.

I also learned through Scripture that God would take everything that the enemy meant for destruction and He’d work it out for my good and His glory. I’m comforted in knowing purpose will always come out of my pain. And ultimately, God will be glorified.

Learning To Like Yourself

Truth. Learning to like ourselves is key to owning our lives. But what if we don’t like ourselves? What if we’re not happy with where we are, who’ve we become, and where we’re going?

Oh, how I’ve been there. How much waste of time and energy this discontentment (and sometimes hatred of self) caused. There came a point in my life where I had to look at myself in the mirror and get honest. Which areas of my life (like growing up without a father, etc.) could I not change? Which areas of my life (like mental, emotional, and physical health) were in my power to control? And which areas of my life did I have to make peace with?OYL_Ch3_4

Sorting through these and then reading throughout Scripture how God loves and sees me, helped me to take personal responsibility for my emotions, feelings, and actions. I wasn’t a slave to my past. Instead, it served me and informed me of God’s goodness and faithfulness, in His redeeming love and power!

The more I walked in this newness of life God offered, the more peace I found with myself. I can honestly say, I’m at a place where I like myself and like Sally, “I’m free…because I care less about what others think as I live into the new person that I am in Christ.”

 

Live In The Grace Of Your New Self

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So we’re learning to identify the negative voices and find freedom from our past and shortcomings. We’re learning to like ourselves because our image of ‘me’ is not attached to the past or voices we’ve heard along the way. Rather, it’s tied to God’s love and view of us. Great. We’re making progress.

So what’s our next step?

The simple answer… live in the grace of your new self. Moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, day-by-day. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Lean into Christ. Lean into the newness of life He offers. Live in the grace of your new self.

Because Jesus doesn’t condemn us, we refuse self-condemnation. “Owning our self-image is a work of grace that leads to the beauty of true womanhood. It is essential to becoming healthy and strong. And it begins when we allow God’s voice of love to determine the state of our hearts,” (Sally Clarkson).

Listening to the new voices begins here. Let’s work through the following questions together (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately). Then meet me here next week when we’ll begin mapping out our life purpose and talk about Living With The End In  Mind.

Thoughts To Ponder

♥Note: We’ve barely hit the surface here. Discussion questions will serve you best after reading the week’s chapter. 

1.) What cultural or Christian influences or tasks make you feel overloaded or shamed for not being or doing “enough”?

2.) Sally says, “Self-acceptance will be elusive until we decide to be content with who we are, warts and all.” What steps have you taken toward self-acceptance? How did you learn to love your “warts”?

3.) To drown out the negative voices in our heads, Sally suggests focusing on the positive voices we hear around us. What affirmations from others have stuck with you? God often speaks of His love for us in Scripture. What is one passage that means a lot to you? If you’re not sure, see Jeremiah 31:3, found in this chapter’s “Own Your Part” section.

Discussion Questions graciously provided by Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life Team
 

© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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