I think Dave must get tired of hearing about all the thoughts I have, and truthfully, if I followed through on all the things that pop in my head for us to do for and with people, we'd never have a free moment to be together as a couple or as a family! :-) And all these thoughts are from a woman who has a personality that gets tired when she's been around too many people! I sometimes think that Satan uses this ploy (the myriad thoughts of things I could be doing for people) to try and convince me that I'm never doing enough, that I can never be enough, and that I'm not good enough.
My accountability partner (a fancy, churchy title for a true friend given permission to speak the entire truth into my life) and I spent the past fall making a list of the lies that we found ourselves listening to. Many of the lies I listed had to do with how much I wasn't doing for people. There's my husband (whom I could definitely serve better), my children (whom I could definitely parent better), my friends (whom I need to spend more time with), my extended family (whom I feel I often neglect), my neighbors (whom I need to invite over more to build deeper relationships with), my church family (whom I would love to be able to do more for - in the way of notes, meals, prayers, checking up on, personally welcoming and keeping up with each person), my co-workers (whom I could encourage and pray for more), and my students (I would love to be able to attend more of their sports games, and perhaps have a Bible study/prayer time with the girls, and be more purposeful in my interactions with them outside of the classroom). And these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head; I know if I stopped to think any longer, I'd have more.
When I shared with my accountability partner my list of lies, she, of course, saw it all from a completely different perspective. We decided that we would switch our lists of lies with one another, and find Scripture to speak the truth about the lies we listed. It's not like I haven't identified the lies Satan tries to use with me most often (through Bible studies, truth-telling friends, and the Holy Spirit), it's just that the thoughts sneak in disguised as "good things to do." One by one, those "good" things pile up until there is not a single individual in the world who could do, and be, all the things I have piled on myself. Did you catch that? "I have piled on myself." I know that I am not the only woman with this struggle! Because of the filter we see things through and the lies we are vulnerable to, we sometime miss seeing Scripture as objective truth in those areas. My accountability partner and I reckoned that the only way to handle our lists was to find the truth for one another, and that's just what we are doing. We will meet tomorrow night to trade our lists back, but each lie will have a corresponding scripture that we will read and meditate on when we find ourselves falling victim to the schemes of the evil one. We will then be able to check in with one another to see how we are doing in deflecting Satan's lies by putting on the full armor of God.
I pray that you all have someone in your life to have these truth-telling moments with - a person that allows you to be who you are (really and truly), and yet loves you enough to encourage you to continue growing. I am thankful for my friend, tonight, and for the truth of God's word.