The Search is Over Part 2

Which leads to the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not defraud thyself.

Like I mentioned before, Naomi knew that although Boaz was willing to step in as Ruth's kinsman redeemer, there was the possibility of another man who was an even closer kinsman redeemer. Naomi wanted to protect Ruth from allowing her "heart to race ahead into disappointment in case the circumstances did not go as assumed."

Ditches of discontentment are where I have lived for far too long desperately clutching my supposedly innocent defrauding ways. It is so easy to be defrauded by guys, friends, and especially oneself if we are not alert to the ways this happens. Herein lies probably one of my greatest struggles, and one in which I will probably always battle. "Some women are so emotionally scarred from falling into such a ditch that it literally takes them years to recover and rediscover the capacity to trust any male in their life."

When I first read about "defrauding," I immediately thought that I don't really know what it is, but that doesn't happen to me. Oh how I didn't realize how wrong I was. I have spent the majority of my life defrauding myself and never recognizing it for what it is. Bear with me as I give a little history. Once upon a time, there was this girl who befriended this boy. She basically committed herself to being whatever he needed ... a friend, a chauffeur, a mother-figure, a girl. She dropped everything for him, drove him everywhere, and gave him everything she had. Unfortunately for her, the boy only ever saw her as a friend. The girl has found the one-way ticket to the friend/mother zone where she lived. This however did not stop her from dreaming of the day that the boy would realize that she was the one he wanted to be with, that she was the one he cared for. The girl's lack of control over her imagination and "prenuptial fantasies" led her straight into deception and ultimately ruined the entire friendship. The boy and girl never recovered the friendship and are no more than strangers today.

An important method of limiting your own self-defrauding is through daily discipline over "prenuptial fantasies." Such fantasies may provide you an escape from monotonous reality, but these moments are dangerous. They will aggravate your struggle for contentment because they are not innocent daydreams, but an attack on your godly contentment. You may be so used to daily fantasies that you might not even realize when you begin daydreaming again about your prince. Often a single woman's struggle with contentment can be traced back to her fantasies more than to her frustrating circumstances. Just think for a moment about three words from Second Corinthians 10:5: "Casting down imaginations." Fantasizing about a future with a guy you have been watching in Sunday school or at word is nothing more than your very active imagination. What should you do when you start daydreaming about a guy you've never dated or even formally met? You must take your thoughts to Jesus and leave them in His capable hands. This daily discipline of taking your fantasies to Jesus is the foundation for your future as a contented woman, whether you are married or single. Right now they are just prenuptial fantasies, but when you are married, those fantasies about other men could continue. Lack of discipline in the area of "casting down imaginations" may result in self-defrauding and needless discontentment.

Again, very sorry for the long quote, but it seriously just smacked me right in the face. I can't even tell you how often I catch myself in these absurd daydreams which are ultimately defrauding my heart and my mind. There are far, far too many examples of how self-defrauding has wreaked havoc in my life and my heart for me to even begin sharing about them, but the important thing for me is to hand this over to God and be aware of situations that could cause me to fall into these ditches of discontentment.

It's no mystery that I am a very prideful person. If I am carrying something heavy and someone offers to take it for me or help, I will respectfully decline even if I need the help. I'm usually too prideful to admit that I need help, that I'm scared, that I'm hurting, or that I might just possibly fail at something. My pride is the #1 thing that keeps me from being as forward with my faith as I should be or stopping on the side of the road to offer someone a ride or even just doing something that God is telling me to do that is completely unexpected and not normal. Cue my pride. It has always been one of my greatest problems to overcome my stubborn pride, and once again, my pride has reared its ugly head. The basis of my discontentment falls on my ridiculous pride. My pride tells me that I deserve this. I deserve to have a husband, a family, a house, a career, and with this pride comes the idea that God must have messed up somewhere ... that He must have fallen asleep and forgotten to give me exactly what I deserve. I'm sure God would just love to give me a nice swift kick in the butt sometimes, and I can't say that I would blame Him. I have this prideful assumption that I am getting jipped out of the life that I deserve which leads to little ME arguing with big GOD about what is best. Who do I think I am? Seriously, I am basically discounting so many promises God has made me ... that He loves me, He has plans for me, He will carry me, He will protect me, He alone brings contentment.

"Exchange your pride for Jesus' strength so you may accept whatever assignment [God] has for you from this moment forward."

"My soul finds rest in God alone ..." (Psalm 62:1)

Learning to love,