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March 06, 2014  4:02pm

Even men can succumb to what I've for years called "Christian co-dependency"; happened to me. I'm not a fan or advocate of pop-psychology, but I've observed generally more mature Christians (regardless of young or old) who become consumed with serving others. It is a natural & usually healthy response to the Spirit, and it also can be driven by the flesh. A Christian must know their true calling via confirmation of God's Scripture & ratification via insights from healthy Christian people. When in the Spirit & maintaining one's calling, a person's thoughts & actions won't lead to burnout or being a doormat. It's when we go outside of God's calling for us (at a given time) that we invite these problems. A good Bible example is Israel being led by God's light at night & protected by cloud during the heat of the day. God directs, guides, and protects us in & out of season - we must simply daily seek Him to remain on task & sense when He redirects us in action or perhaps calling.

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Tim Fall

March 04, 2014  2:05pm

Michelle, your post reminds me of Pink's song Stupid Girls. There are so many ways people can undercut their effectiveness in the secular world and with God's. And when it's one of God's people, it can have kingdom consequences. Thanks for getting me thinking more on this today. Cheers, Tim timfall.wordpress.com

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Annette Johnson

March 04, 2014  10:26am

I read this article yesterday and then just happened to watch a TedTalk about Body Language on Netflix and thought that the two seemed to fit hand-in-glove. "Servant of all" is definitely an aspect of Christ-likeness but it wasn't the only facet of Christ...He also demonstrated decisive and authoritative behaviors as well and it is quite appropriate for women to move and act in confident, competent, and decisive ways.

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Andrea Giesbrecht

March 04, 2014  7:30am

This isn't just about being a Christian woman. I've felt like a fraud, but not because I'm a woman. I have ADHD & rely on tricks, shortcuts, & "life-hacks" to function - which took me years to realize is nothing to be ashamed of, & which other people find useful and ingenious. The shame came from thinking, "other people don't need to invent all these tricks just to live." ADHD is also the reason I'll balk at a challenge. I'm easily overwhelmed and need hand-holding. The hard part is when people tell you how smart you are, & thus you're ashamed to ask for help. As for being a doormat: my supervisor does that, and he's a HE. To his credit, the company realizes how integral he is, but he won't tell his superiors "no". He works late every night - he's salaried and isn't paid for it. But it would be "un-Christian" to say, "No, this is too much work. You can't give this to me." I wonder how his wife feels about that. (Yes, he's a Christian.)

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Ronda Stewart-Wilcox

March 04, 2014  7:08am

I find this complicated to discuss. If all of us were more mutually serving Each other, then this wouldn't be an issue. Christ did call us to lay down our lives, to give up ourselves n to submit to one another (believers). What many women have heard and learned, maybe all to varying degrees, is to please others at all costs. We have heard that this is love. I have learned that loving others includes setting boundaries and operating with high expectations of mutual respect in all relationships. God loves us and calls us to be all that God intended us to be, and takes steps to make that happen if we are willing. Why not regard others the same way? Caution: this is not permission to pursue making everyone over according to what we think "good" is. And that approach is not mutual. Remembet,only God is good. Only God is God.

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Crab Grass

March 03, 2014  11:13pm

What this article is describing is called "codependency," (sometimes referred to as "people pleasing"), and it is unfortunately the same exact thing that some Christians teach women are to be, in the name of "biblical womanhood" also known as "gender complementarianism." I'd encourage any women who are struggling with codependency (some of the traits of it were described in this page) to please read books such as The Disease To Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet B. Braiker, The Nice Girl Syndrome by Beverly Engel, and Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. Too many Christian women (and some Non Christians) think that being love or good means being a total doormat - but it's not, and the Bible does NOT teach that.

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bennett willis

March 03, 2014  12:33pm

To help keep "serving others at work" in perspective, I had a boss who would give you "credit" for the work that others did to help you. He "got the credit" he gave you from their score on the ratings system. He would tell us all that he did this. It did tend to keep you focused.

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Bronwyn Lea

March 03, 2014  11:18am

Thank you for this, Michelle. And I love the phrase "the crop of busy-busy ragweed".

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