Happy Live Unrivaled Tuesday!
The Bible discourages comparison. Let’s talk about our cultural obsession with keeping up with the Joneses.
We each have a unique voice and journey. Each person has their own assignment and pace. Looking to the left or the right can bring significant bondage. When we compare it leads to either self righteousness or pride (I am better than this person) or insecurity which is the flip side of pride (I am not as good or capable as this other person).
Sometimes jealousy, envy, and strife are rooted in comparison. Look at what the other person is doing (especially on social media). How do you measure up? Jealousy is being upset someone else is getting attention or a blessing or has something the person thinks they deserve. Envy is not wanting them to have it. Strife is the fighting, gossiping, arguments, and bitterness that emerge from the sin.
Our measure of how well we are doing in life, in ministry, in business, etc…is best rooted in God. If your church has 10 people that you are faithfully serving-praise God. If the other church has 10,000 whooohoo. Comparing numbers is a waste of time. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.
I had a lady tell me my outreach to the poor was just giving out handouts and their ministry was training people for jobs. Well, awesome you have resources for job training. I have resources to help people not eat out of the garbage for a day and get saved. Then we connect them with larger ministries who help them with rehab, job placement, daily meals, after care, discipleship, etc…Jesus stated if your enemy is hungry feed him. Why worry about what that other ministry is doing. Stay in your lane. I rarely look at what other people are doing unless it’s for inspiration. I am not them, they are not me.
God creates. He does not clone. We are NOT to be cookie cutter duplicates of each other.
I had someone else tell me I needed to be more like this other minister who travels the world preaching. I said no. I reach 144 countries through my blogging (I have two blogs) and social media, sometimes 10,000 people a week. What I need to do is stay rooted in Jesus and do what I see the Father doing. If one person get’s saved, I rejoice. We had one salvation at outreach Sarurday. Thank you God! I don’t care if another outreach saw 100s.
Comparison is toxic. The Bible says the following:
Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.
2 Corinthians 10:12 We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
Our world loves comparison, God asks us to be of the Kingdom-not the world.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
We don’t live for people. We live for God.
Philippians 2:3 Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.
Galatians 1:10 Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
May you and I stay focused on the most important thing; God. May we ditch comparison and focus on running our own race with Jesus. In the end, we will all give an account for our own lives, not anyone else’s. Ditch comparison and find joy in the journey with God. We are not with God to perform or tally metrics. We are with God to love Him, know Him, and enjoy Him! It is impossible to have our eyes fixed on God while hyper focusing on what our neighbor is doing.
May we also stop comparing each other. “Oh you need to be more like (fill in the blank).” I honestly cannot be someone else. I am called to be Erin Lamb, the one Father calls Judah. I do not have the same capacity, heart, giftings, etc…as the person next to me. I do what I am called to do by the power of God in me. I encourage that for everyone. What has God given you? Use that for His glory.
Empowered-Free.Com/Shop (check out books, teaching materials)
EmpoweredandFreemerch.com (check out our tshirts, merch, mugs, and more. Part of the proceeds go towards helping the poor, homeless, and victims of human trafficking)
OperationGodisLove.org (charity work)
P.S If you are in Ohio, I would love to connect with you at the next two book signings!
I hate that we continue to see the same repeat patterns of violence in our culture. Yet history has a way of attempting to repeat itself. Millions of Native Americans and Africans were murdered and enslaved with the establishment of America. Bloodshed is rooted in the DNA of this country. Rape, violence, and mistreatment of people who were marked as different were parts of the foundations of this Nation.
Freedom for all was for white men only for quite some time. Women could not vote, own property, and were more like property than partners. Native and African women were stripped from their partners and raped. Many forced to have children by slave owners who would also become property. Native and African men were tortured, murdered, men raped too (something some history books omit), and even forced to watch the rape of their wives and children. Africans and Natives were denied basic human rights.
Natives and Africans were torn from their partnerships. There were Africans here before the slave trade. Forbidden to marry, and divide and conquer was the name of the game. This too is not always told in history courses in America.
Why do I bring these things forward in light of the rise of mass shootings in America? Because if we do not examine our history and learn from it, it is bound to repeat itself. When we look at history we see a pattern of lack of value for certain lives. We see violence and murder. It did not start in America. It started with Cain and Abel.
The sins of humanity leads to destruction. It truly is not guns killing people (though I am not against laws to protect people), it is selfishness, lack of God love, and sin.
Do I love America? Yes. Do I value this country? Yes. Do I also understand her history and transgressions? Yes. I want a better future for the children coming up behind us. I do not want them to live in terror or suffer from PTSD. How frightening it is that schools, churches, and places that should be safe are no longer considered safe or sacred? We can do better.
I don’t believe video games or mental illness are causing mass shootings. There were no video games when millions of Natives were slaughtered on this soil, or thousands of African men hung from trees. There was hatred, insecurity, and sin.
There is a fundamental lack of God love prevailing in our culture and the world. Love that seeks to do not harm to its neighbor (Romans 13:10) and chooses to forgo selfishness. People who care only about themselves or their people group are dangerous.
Also where you find jealousy, you also find a murderous spirit (Saul with David, Cain with Abel, Joseph’s brothers, the Pharisees with Jesus). Some people do not murder with guns or knives, they murder with lies, slander, gossip, back biting, and nasty online posts or comments.
When there is fear and hatred, you find people may do the most ungodly things in acts of perceived threat or self preservation. It becomes “Us vs. Them” instead of “We were all created in the image of God.”
Our world is suffering from a spiritual and moral crisis that I do not believe will be completely resolved by natural means. Should we do our best to protect people? Yes. Do we also understand there is a spiritual element at work?
Evil is not only the abuse of free will, it is a manifestation of a heart that is sick and sinful. I hope we can look at the spiritual condition of society and stop blaming everything on games or mental illness. I know plenty of people who have suffered from mental illness who never grabbed a gun and shot up random people. The issue is the depravity, sin, and evil in the heart. Only God can transform a wicked heart.
Our world needs God love (unselfish, sacrificial, and pure love for all of humanity). People who do not love do not know God for God is love (1 John 4:8). If we do not stop looking at fruit and start examining roots, I am concerned we will not see transformation in our culture. It is not supposed to be, “God bless me and no one else,” or “My way is best,” or “I am only concerned about people who look like me, vote like me, or believe like me.” Love seeks what is best for EVERYONE!
God, I repent on behalf of my country for our selfishness, greed, idolatry, gluttony, lack of love, senseless murder, the rape/violence/human trafficking, for not truly honoring you or your commandments, for our sin, our lack of honor, our treachery and betrayal, our mistreatment or abuse of any people group, our lust and pride, our calling evil good, our strife/fighting, our deception, our poor conduct and immorality, our complacency and passivity, our dishonor of you and creation, and our failure to set a godly example for the world. I am sorry for our sins. Please cleanse and heal our land.
We need hearts transformed! My heart prayer for today has been, “God wreck our hearts in a good way with your unfailing love. We can only love our neighbors/others if we first receive your great love!”
Some people are angry with God or Christianity. They have their horror stories that normally fall back on 1. Someone who claimed to know God treated them horribly or 2. God did not perform the way they wanted or agree with their line of thinking.
They did not get their way or the miracle they wanted, so obviously God is bad. I cannot explain why God does not prevent every disappointment or hurt. I do know God gave humanity the ability to choose and some people choose unwisely.
I talk about God’s heart towards humanity in all my books. I hope they help people see God is not the monster hiding in the dark with lightening bolts to strike them.
God is not the problem, sin is and misunderstanding the Bible or the character of God. We must understand that the God of Christianity is love. The greatest commandment Jesus gave His followers was, “Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Love fulfills God’s law because it seeks to do no harm to it’s neighbor (Romans 13:10).
God love is not like human love that is based on feelings or agreement. There are people who believe that love is giving them everything they desire even if it us harmful. There are people who believe that love means absolute agreement. It does not. God is holy, without sin. Therefore, God can love us deeply and not agree with our poor choices that fall outside His boundaries. Disagreement is not hatred. God hates sin because sin destroys people. God loves people.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son (1 John 3:16). God loves the entire world, even those who do not love in return. It does not mean that God agrees with everything humanity does. Nor does it mean God accepts everything. God cannot agree with or accept sin because it is opposite of His nature. As stated before, God is holy (without any sin).
What about all these nasty Christians online or in your life. If God is love, why are you encountering hateful or bigoted/racist/sexist/prejudice/angry/hostile/mean/hurtful/abusive/selfish/unkind professing Christians? People can claim God all day long yet the Bible state plainly a tree can be known by it’s fruit. Jesus stated those who knew Him would love as He loves. The Bible also states that those who do not love do not know God (1 John 4:8).
This agape love is a byproduct of intimacy (knowing) with God. We imitate the God we know. There are people who are immature (immaturity is marked by selfishness), carnal (also marked by selfishness), or who struggle greatly with insecurity (insecure people can cause great damage because they need someone to be inferior to feel superior). Unfortunately there are some “Christians” who suffer from self righteousness or a holier than though complex.
The true Church, God, nor Jesus hurt you. A sinful person claiming to know God hurt you. One of the steps to healing is understanding people are NOT God and many falsely represent God and some grossly misunderstand or misinterpret the Bible. Some are immature or insecure Christians. Some are carnal. Some simply slipped out of abiding in the love of God.
God is good. God is holy. God loves people. If our view of the Bible does not align with the character of God then most likely we are wrong in our interpretation of the Bible or our definition of love/goodness. Some view love as agreeing on everything, no consequences for their actions, and approval-that is not the same as love. God love is unselfish, holy, pure, involves accountability, and is full of truth.
I repeat God is love-sacrificial, unselfish love. God is not petty, mean, selfish, flakey, rude, racist, prejudice, sexist, bigoted, harmful, nor awful. God is not the problem. People claiming to know God without full surrender to God are the issue. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. He lived a surrendered life!
I pray we heal from awful acting Christians. Forgive them. Release them to God. People can only give away the love they possess. Pray God gives them a good dunking in His love. If your heart is still hurting or wounded, I want you to get your soul healed! It is possible to heal from being grossly mistreated or abused by Christians or clergy.
I hope you surrender all the pain to God and get to know Him for yourself. God loves you deeply and profoundly.
Join the Get Your Soul Healed Tribe:
If you wish for help to process through the pain, you can join my 8 week study and freedom group. It’s no cost to join. You simply need to grab a copy of the new book and the study guide. The study guide is only $6.99. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book and Study Guide. Once you grab the study guide, I will add you to the closed and private group. Sessions start August 1! At 7pm EST this Thursday night I will kick off the study! I hope to see you there. Soul healing activations are a part of the group.
If you do not join the group, I hope to see you at one of the upcoming book signings in Ohio! Come say hello and enter to win some great prizes!!
You are so deeply loved!
Some lessons learned (35 actually). I hope they bless or encourage someone.
1. People tend to value less what is free or where they have no investment. I love giving, yet found people trample under foot lavish giving. If it cost them nothing (time, money, committment, resources) they do not value what is provided. In a few rare cases you find people who genuinely appreciate what does not cost them anything. Psychology Today did an article that showed people who invest nothing have no attachment or sense of ownership. The one who gives or invests is the one who grows to love. Hence God encouraging generosity. Where you sow or invest brings forth an attatchment.
2. People will expect more from you than they are willing to give. I found there are many imperfect people expecting perfection out of everyone else. Or there are people who desire I support their business, their ministry, their dreams, etc…who would not lift a finger or even offer 50 cents for anything I do or anyone else.
3. If you don’t set proper boundaries, people will walk all over you.
4. It is possible to love people and still not give them access to your life.
5. Insecure and selfish people hurt others to cope with their own internal love deficit. People, myself included, can only give away love we possess.
6. Sometimes you reap or experience what you did not sow. Examples from the Bible: Jesus, Job, Joseph.
7. Favor is not a feeling nor do circumstances always reflect the favor of God. Joseph was thrown in a pit. Jesus went to a cross. You must pay attention to the entire story, not a chapter or two.
8. Mankind loves a celebrity, Christian or otherwise. Some people will only support you based on who you know, who they think you know, or to try to get close to someone you know.
9. You must care for all parts of yourself: Body, Soul, and Spirit. Neglect one and the others suffer.
10. People (some not all) are more comfortable with men being confident, assertive, intelligent, powerful and successful. We are still fighting gender stereotypes. Be confident, intelligent, powerful, assertive, and successful anyway. Your audience is God.
11. Some people use “God told me,” or “God said,” as tools of manipulation or to get their way. If God did not tell me, I don’t care what He supposedly told everyone else. I don’t move outside of peace.
12. People who put you down often think you are better than them.
13. Some people want you to suceed, just not more than them.
14. Some people don’t know they are prejudice, sexist, or racist. It just slips out and their cover is “I have a (fill in group they biased against) friend. I don’t see color or gender.” Pray for them. Forgive. Have teaching moments, “That’s rude. That’s racist. That is inappropriate.”
15. Learning to strengthen yourself in the Lord is vital! Don’t look for cheerleaders. Cheer for your own darn self.
16. Some people don’t want to be healed even when they state they do. They subconsciously gain attention or benefit from being sick or holding onto toxic mindsets.
17. I am not Jesus. I point to Jesus. If you let people think they have access to you 24/7, 365 days a week, they will run you into the ground then get upset you broke down.
18. It is common for people to want mercy when they sin and harsh judgement when sinned against.
19. The one who opposes you the most sees you as a threat. They see your potential even if you don’t.
20. Learning to love yourself as God does is wisdom and vital to thriving.
21. The most critical people suffer from low self esteem. Putting others down or harshly critiquing them is a means to cope with internal feelings of inadequacy.
22. Some people won’t support you for fear you will surpass them.
23. Rebuke is a friend to the false prophet/prophecy…”No I am not in agreement with that. No I do not accept your word.” People don’t know they are in error if everyone just nods and smiles. Correct in love, not mean spiritedness. Pray before confronting people.
24. Pushy people need loving correction and boundaries set quickly. If you give an inch, they will drag you miles.
25. We don’t owe anyone friendship. It is a gift to be stewarded.
26. Ministry is not meant to be a hostage situation. It’s okay to take breaks or resign from assignments with proper notice. I tend to give 2-3 months notice, longer if it’s a big role.
27. I get to choose with God who I mentor, vs. people telling me I am their mentor. If people will not meet me halfway with participation and playing their part. I have the right to cease letting people waste my time.
28. People treat us how we let them treat us. People waste our time because we let them.
29. Some people view love as agreement. Which it is not. I can disagree and still love a person.
30. God is not our trunk monkey (fixer) who does everything for us. We have a participation role to play.
31. Some of the people who cry out for revival the most are the least active in partnering with God to see revival. Talking and praying about revival is more important than actually going and doing the works of Jesus and making disciples.
32. Some people like their demons yet will try to convince you they don’t. Actions scream over words.
33. If you let people, they will cling to you instead of Jesus. Say NO!
34. You can pour your heart and soul into people that treat it like nothing. Bless them and understand people will NOT treat you any better than they do God. You are ultimately doing it for God.
35. Pray over relationships and every opportunity. God show me who this person really is. When He shows you, adjust accordingly. Love people, yet set proper boundaries.
I am passionate about helping people step into freedom. You and I do not have to hobble through life broken. It’s time to heal! Let’s heal together.
I am launching an Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse study book club on August 1, 2019.
This closed Facebook group will include additional video teachings, discussion, Q/A, and more!
What do you need to join the group?
1. Access to Facebook.
2. To purchase the study guide (only available at https://www.empowered-free.com/shop).
3. Get a copy of the book (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Amazon.com) or (Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse on Empowered & Free).
Once you purchase the study guide, only $6.99, you will be sent a request to join the community/group.
We will discuss challenging questions like where is God when abuse happens? Does forgiveness heal everything? What to do when you have forgiven and you still can’t stand that person? Wrong teachings from the Bible that create circumstances for abuse, how to get your soul healed, preventing abuse, and MORE!
I hope you join the group and to connect with you soon!
P. S one of the book signings will be in Powell, Ohio on August 19th, 2019 (11am-1pm). More details to come.
Last year on July 7th, 2018 Confident & Free was released! Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book was released this weekend, one year later. 🎉💯
What a year. Confident & Free moved beyond a devotional book to a conference and movement. Thank you for your support of the book, the Confident & Free 2019 event, and I hope you support the new clothing and home goods line!
I started the Empowered & Free Merch Store site because I would love for products to fund missions and the needs to feed the homeless monthly. Check out our Confident & Free collection, Free to Soar collection, and the Chosen tees. Be sure to stop by and support a great cause! T-shirts, mugs, and more!
I am happy to report that Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse book went live this weekend! The paperback was launched today-7/7/2019. The Kindle version is already live on Amazon.
Check out the book promo Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book Promo.
My hopes for writing this latest book is to see people healed from deep wounds created by clergy, and professing Christians.
In a world of #metoo, there is unfortunately #churchtoo. When Christians behave in ways that are abusive, unloving, cruel, and violate God’s heart-it impacts the message of Jesus.
People leave churches because of abuse or mistreatment. Sadly, there are people who abandon their relationship with God all together. They project their ideas about Christians onto God. If God is so good, why are Christians unloving? I address this question and many more.
I share with you how I processed through some rough seasons with Christians. I confess, some of my worst treatment has come from people who claimed to know God.
How do we move past the wounds inflicted by Christians and clergy? How do we help people who have been sexually abused by clergy? How do we help spouses of Christians who are being abused? What about spiritual abuse and misuse of the Bible? I tackle these questions and more!
I hope you check out Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse book. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Book. The paperback will go live in a few days. You can order it off the company website. Overcoming Church Hurt & Abuse Paperback.
Once again, thanks for your support!