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Faith Imagined: Stand Your Ground: Internet Cafe

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

September 7, 2010

Stand Your Ground: Internet Cafe

My son loves to chase birds. When he sees them sweetly sitting there, he takes off into a sprint toward them. The birds instantly fly away as they see my son heading like a freight train in their direction. He divides the birds like the red sea, and he grins with a feeling of triumph.

One afternoon, I took my kids to the splash park. A single bird sat in the water enjoying herself immensely. My son ran toward her, but the bird didn’t budge; she didn’t even ruffle a feather. Her fearlessness caused my son to abruptly stop. The bird stood her ground, and my son walked away. I figured my son only enjoyed the chase-and-run game when the birds that cooperated.

God has been teaching me a lot about standing my ground. Many times I’m others-centered instead of God-centered, and I worry way too much what people think. If I have to make a decision that others don’t like, I show my fear, guilt and apprehension of their opinion concerning my decision. Unknowingly, others take this as a cue that I’m in the wrong and that their disapproval of my decision is justified.

I try to root all of my decisions in God, and, honestly, many people don’t like my choices. When I show my angst about my decision, I’m indicating that I approve of other people’s disapproval, and I reveal a lack of trust in God’s judgment. The impression I give is not fair to others or to me because it causes a bunch of negative undertones that wouldn’t be there if I were to simply take my insecurity out of my decision making.

I’m learning to be like that bird and stand my ground. Others see my sincerity (even if they don’t agree), and they back away. Plus, I’m not conflicted with emotional stress that my uncertainty causes. If God is the core of all that I do, I don’t have to worry about the waves that my life creates.

When Jesus lived, many people disagreed and misunderstood Him. But no one could doubt His sincerity. He never worried about what others thought because He was only concerned with what God thought. I want to be like Jesus. Even in the middle of complete chaos, I desire to be assured and confident with my God-aligned choices.

Do you have difficulty standing your ground? How does your indecision shape the behavior of others? What can you do to prevent yourself from worrying when others disagree with you?

You can also read this article over at Internet Cafe!

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Blogger Stuff could always be worse said...

I say this again, such a great post! I am learning to stand better at 50, finally. I agree, we should be concerned with what God thinks

9:14 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

Amen mama!!!! I love this story about your son, too:O)

10:04 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Wow - I am so glad I read this article today. There's been a particular situation that I pretty much knew the decision I needed to make but knew there would be those who would probably not agree. I've prayed about this decision. I was just talking about it with my hubby yesterday and had journaled about it as well. Then I finally made the decision just this morning after feeling God confirmed it through my quiet time Bible reading.

Why did I hesitate for awhile on officially making this particular decision? Well, for several reasons; one of which includes what you talked about in this post...people not approving.

Thank you so much for reaffirming what I already know which is that it doesn't matter what others think.

I think it's ironic that I made the official decision this morning and am standing my ground on it, then I read your post this afternoon. I love how you said: "If God is the core of all that I do, I don’t have to worry about the waves that my life creates." That is so true.

Thanks so much for encouraging me today to stand my ground.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

Thanks for the post Alisa. This is a powerful message for any Christian, but for ladies in particular. We teach our young girls sometimes that they need to have concern for others, which is a good thing in and of itself, but it can lead to them being more concerned about how other people feel than about what God's will is in a situation. I am currently working with a number of women in our church who seem to be struggling with this. I will be sure to share this post with them. Keep on inspiring!

1:13 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I love this! Thanks for your postings and words of encouragement! I love them!


2:11 PM  
Blogger Reign and Shine said...

Makes me think of Watchman Nee's book, Sit, Walk, Stand. Based on Ephesians.
I hope to develop a better sense of recognizing what I need to do when. I feel a little too eager to draw my sword and do battle sometimes.
thank for pointing us to God.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Sonia said...

Thank you Alisa. Great post!

It hits home with many of us. Sometimes it is hard to not let what others think get in the way, but three words a previous pastor used helps me a lot.

The words I say when I'm in that kind of situation(sometimes verbally, sometimes internally) are "get over it".

God is still in control in every situation and as long as we remember that, we can stand firm and not waver.

Thanks for sharing!

3:32 PM  
Blogger Dionna said...

You are so right. This is something I've been learning as well. I think there is a big difference in being "others" centered with a giving heart, and being a people pleaser that just doesn't want to say "no." We need to learn to have boundaries and more importantly - to stand where God wants us to stand despite who stands with us.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Toia said...

Having to all you can, just stand and refuse to waver by what you see by sight instead of by faith. Blessings to you on this post!!!

7:19 PM  
Blogger Karen Lange said...

This is so important!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Hippie4ever said...

Thanks I needed that :)

11:30 PM  
Blogger petrii said...

This is something I struggle with as well. God has been leading me to make "unpopular" decisions lately. It has been difficult at times, but when I weather the initial difficult part, it gets easier, because I know that God is leading me.

Thank you for this post and illustration.

Have a Blessed day,

5:54 AM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

Great post Alisa, Love the analogy with your son. I love the picture you used for the post also.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Jennie Allen said...

Girl, I feel you! This is exactly the thing I am growing in.. I just think of Galatians, where Paul says,
"If I were still trying to please men... then I would not be following God!"

It shoots me down.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Alex Marestaing said...

I guess the key is knowing when our dreams our God given or personally invented. Once I know that a dream is God given, then I'm so much more willing to stand my ground and fight for it. Even then though, I need affirmation every now and again.

Good post!

12:24 PM  
Blogger From The Heart Online said...

Amen!! I love how God spoke to your heart through a bird. God can use anything to reach us :)

I struggle with that one too - alot. You're so right! As soon as I reveal a smidge of insecurity or uncertainty, I lose. I show lack of faith in God, in my decision, and excess of faith in the other person's judgment.

Interesting you mention the 'waves of your life'. As we were boating this weekend, I watched the wake behind us and wondered if I'm strong enough to make waves and allow the wake to happen...

Thanks Alisa. I love reading your blog, and I love watching God use you for his glory.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

Dionna and Jennie have made my point. We have seemingly lost the sense of limits and boundaries, but The Good Book reveals that it is healthy to have them. Amen!

12:39 AM  
Blogger Molina Mania said...

I to struggle with being right with God, and the worries of others thoughts. I am trying to live with the right choices but its hard when I let others get in the way. I don't think they mean to but I let them. And its wrong for me and by God. Thanks!!

7:03 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Smith said...

This was perfect timing for me to read this article. Thanks, Alisa!

9:25 PM  

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