Welcome back to the Bible Cafe as we discuss week five of Esther by Beth Moore. During this week of study we saw how anger and pride can fuel the death of many. Haman was consumed with his revenge against Mordecai. He was mentally preoccupied with planning the death of an entire race, based on one man’s action. Can you imagine!
In our study Beth Moore encourages us to look at our own strongholds. Is there someone in your present or your past who consumes you? Do they steal your joy…because you allow them to do this? Haman could have turned his eyes away from Mordecai. Haman could have enjoyed his banquet with his wife and friends. Instead, he was consumed with bitterness and his preoccupation with Mordecai.
As I studied this week, I saw my own stronghold with a friend. For several weeks she’s been asking me for money, and each time I post a family photo on Facebook she sends another email asking for money. I decided to unfriend my Facebook friends to limit my exposure to such frustration, and now her action was impacting all my friends. I feel as if I’m being blackmailed, which I know I am not. She’s sifting me of pride and I learned this when I finished page 122 in Esther. I answered the question “what do I need to hear from this person…”
I need to hear (someone) say that “the money I gave you was a gift in love. When I gave it I did not expect a payback and it was never a loan. It was unconditional, as was your $xxx gift you gave me the year before.”
This is why I am angry at her. If it was given to me as a loan, I would have refused it and I would not have spent the money on the Womens Bible Cafe. When I sent her $xxx cash, I did this in love because I felt sorry for her. Not once did I ask for repayment, nor did I expect it. So when she did this to me I was really offended.
She condemns me for taking my first family vacation in 7 years, which was a 20th anniversary gift from my husband with his money. She is using guilt and manipulation to condemn me, and I don’t want to be friends with someone who is not honest. Never did she ask for a repayment, until I went on my family vacation. Since the vacation I’m flat broke and couldn’t give her money, even if I felt manipulated enough to do it.
My biggest concern in this situation is for the Womens Bible Cafe, since her friend emailed me and accused me of being un-Christian for not paying her back. It’s easy for the enemy to use my pride and attack me in this area, only if I allow it. By sharing my story with the women I love at the Women’s Bible Cafe, they will not be injured by rumors and will know where my heart is. I have nothing to hide.
Do you have a similar story from your lesson this week? Were you able to answer the difficult question on page 122…and uncover your own stronghold? I’d love to hear your story…please post a comment below.
Our Prayer Wall is the place to reach out with your prayer needs and praise reports. Please visit the page and pray for those people who are asking for you to lift them up in prayer. Pray for the leaders of this study and the women in your small group.
Homework For The Week
- Read Week Six in your workbook.
- If you’re using the video or audios for this study, watch Session Five
- Join a small group this week. To see the small group schedule please click here
- For those in my Saturday small group, we’ll be discussing week 6 on Saturday
Discussion Questions- Discuss with your small group or answer them here when you post a comment below
- Esther 4:16 says “And if I perish, I perish.” Complete this sentence for you personally: If I perish then God……
- Have you ever felt a stronghold of perfectionism in yourself or another person? How could this be a detriment to your destiny?
- The Queen asked Haman and the King to attend a banquet. Why on earth do you think she requested Haman’s presence?
- For what reason do you think the Queen might want to make the King jealous with Haman’s presence?
- When is the last time you should have been frightened beyond any outward composure but God stilled you and kept you from reacting?
Related Articles for Esther Online Bible Study
Esther Online Bible Study Begins Sept 24, 2012 (sign up here)