About the Guest
Do you often feel inferior to those around you? As a girl, Sharon Jaynes felt inadequate as she tried to get the love and attention of her alcoholic father. This low self-esteem followed her into adulthood. It was only until she started believing what God said about her that she began to live as a daughter of Christ. Today Sharon exhorts women to dismiss the lies of the enemy and to replace them instead with the truth of Scripture.
Do you often feel inferior to those around you?
Bob: Women have lust issues but it is a different kind of lust issue than it often is for a man.
Dennis: As I thought about how to introduce our guests my mind harkened back. Sharon this actually occurred before I read your book. When I saw the title of your book I’m Not Good Enough and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves I thought about when I was a boy I used to go to the county fair. You could go to a house of mirrors and you’d walk in this house of mirrors, I don’t know what we paid for it maybe 25 cents, but you’d walk in there and there would be all kinds of mirrors that would distort what you looked like and they basically were lying to you. When I picked up your book and began to read it I though Sharon Jaynes is on to something here. Sharon has been on FamilyLife Today before and we are thrilled to welcome her back as a guest. Welcome back.
Sharon: Thanks. I’m glad to be here.
Dennis: Sharon is an author, a speaker at women’s conferences, she has been married to her husband Steve since 1980, and they have one adult son. She has written this book I’m Not Good Enough and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves. I’ll ask you the question arewomen tempted to sin and tempted to believe in ways men aren’t?
Sharon: I do think they are tempted to believe lies. I don’t think they know they are telling themselves lies but tend to have problems with self image and they tend to think they are not good enough or pretty enough or smart enough. There is a difference between when a woman goes and looks in a mirror and when a man looks in a mirror. A woman will look in a mirror and think my nose is too big and one eyebrow is higher than the other and she’ll start picking out all the things wrong with her. A man goes and looks in a mirror and he thinks I am looking good today.
So when it comes to that self image I think that women do struggle. It’s interesting when you talked about going into that house of mirrors because I remember being in the sixth grade going into those house of mirrors and looking at the elongated versions of ourselves and then the short chubby versions. I remember my friends leaving and I stood there and I looked at those different pictures of me and I wondered which one I like the best. In my little girl heart I didn’t like the one I knew. I didn’t like how I saw myself on the outside and I didn’t like it on the inside.
Bob: This lie, I’m not good enough that you’ve titled your book with do you remember growing up feeling this about yourself?
Sharon: I always felt that I wasn’t good enough. I lived in a home where my father drank heavily and my parents fought a lot. I always felt like I was in the way. I wanted more than anything to have a daddy who loved me so I thought if I could just be pretty enough my daddy would love me. If I could just be smart enough my mom would like me. I felt so inadequate as a little girl. I still remember those feelings.
Then I remember skipping off to first grade with my new box of crayons and my new lunch box thinking now I’m going to have friends. Now they are going to see that I am smart and I didn’t feel that. I actually got to school and couldn’t spell and here I was again I’m not good enough. I’m not as smart as everyone else. It was all those lies from Satan starting to sow those seeds in my head from a very early age.
Dennis: There are really three sources of lies that can come at us. There is the flesh. There is the world. And then there is the enemy—the devil. There is a personal devil who does lie to us about who we are and who we aren’t.
I went back and looked at Matthew 4 and went back and looked at when Jesus was in the wilderness. The enemy came and basically tempted him on three different occasions. The way Jesus responded to the enemy who was tempting him was with the scripture. Now as you coach women in dealing with the lies that the enemy throws at them are you encouraging them to go to the Bible? To go to the scripture to answer those lies?
Sharon: That is the only place to go. There are four steps that I look at when I’m helping women to overcome these negative feelings that they have about themselves. First, we are fighting a war with the world, the flesh and the devil but I think we need to realize we are fighting a spiritual battle. There is a real enemy there. We look in Genesis 3 where God had created everything and it was good. After he had created woman it was very good actually.
Dennis: In fact, God said that didn’t He?
Sharon: He did. He said it is very good and then He was finished. A woman is God’s grand finale. We need to remember that. Then we see in chapter 3 it says, “Now the serpent....” It wasn’t long before the serpent came in to attack those image bearers.
He told one major lie when he said God is holding out on you. You will be happy if…and that is the second most critical lie that I talk about in the book. One is I’m not good enough but the other is you would be happy if… and he came to her with those temptations and basically he told her a lie because he wanted to see how well she knew the truth. He asked, did God say that you couldn’t eat from any tree in the garden? She said there is one tree that we can’t eat from. We can’t even touch it. When she said that he knew she really didn’t know the truth that well. Then he said you’re not going to die. If you do this you’ll be like God. Basically God is holding out on you.
Think about what they had. This is the only woman ever who had a perfect husband. He had a perfect wife and they had all their needs cared for. They had a personal relationship with God. And yet that enemy came and said oh, listen there is more. God is holding out on you. Of course, she bought the lie. I think so many of our temptations and our struggles are from that same lie. Satan comes in and says you’ll be happy if…
Two common emails I get are I would be happy if I were married. They are women who want to be married. The second is I would be happy if I were married to someone else. So it is whatever you don’t have that is what the enemy is going to tempt you with.
You brought up a great point. We see how Eve lost that battle in the garden because she didn’t know the truth. Now we go to the wilderness and we see how Jesus won the battle because every time Satan shot out a lie to him he said, “it is written” and then he counteracted that lie with the truth. That is exactly what we have to go in our own lives.
Dennis: That is really the great need in all of our lives whether male or female. Bob and I were kidding about this at the beginning. I do think that men and women do struggle over different issues that are related to gender but ultimately when you boil it down the enemy does come in whether male or female and he tempts us to believe a lie about ourselves, life, God.
If we take the bait then we sin and we turn from God. We tell God we know better than what he does. That is basically what happened in Genesis 3 in the garden. Adam and Eve said God you don’t know what you are talking about. No this tree is going to help me be like you.
Sharon: Then I won’t need you anymore and I can be my own god.
Dennis: That really is the ultimate sin in all of our lives which is pride. We want to replace God. We want to be number one and we want to tell God to take a hike.
Bob: Let me ask you about this sense of not being good enough. You said you struggled with this throughout your childhood and then in your teens. How did that belief that you weren’t good enough mark your life? How did it press you in the wrong direction? What impact did it have on you?
Sharon: I think it held be back in a lot of areas where God was calling me to do certain things because I constantly said I can’t. So I didn’t and I held back. I think probably at a much earlier age than I did start writing I felt that prompting from God but I felt like I couldn’t do it.
I remember one time about 15 years ago I felt God calling me into ministry and someone had asked me to come and partner with her to start a radio ministry and all those feelings of I’m not good enough came up. I had already kind of conquered this. I was already putting this process into place but those feelings came back up.
My husband and I went away on vacation and I was praying about that. Lord, do you really want me to be doing this? I mean my voice is too southern and I don’t have an English degree and all that was coming back up. We went to this beautiful restaurant one night and there was a little band playing in the corner. We had taken some ballroom dance classes and my husband said let’s go out and see if we can remember the fox trot in front of all these people. I said I’m not going out there an embarrass myself in front of all these people but let’s see if some other people go up and then I’ll join them.
The first couple came forward and their steps were perfect. They had taken classes a lot longer than we had and they moved around that room as one. I thought now I know I don’t want to go but then other people filtered in and I thought okay I’ll go.
We got up there and tried the little boxes with our feet and then another couple came. The special thing about this couple is that the husband was in the wheelchair and they came up to that dance floor and that wife held her husband’s hand and danced back and forth with him. They danced around his chair and they laughed and were happy. Then they played a slow song and she pulled up her chair beside his and they held each other and swayed back and forth. I had to hide my face in my husband’s jacket so they couldn’t see tears streaming down my cheeks.
When I did that I looked around the room and there were hundreds of people in that room and they all had tears. I looked at the band and they had tears. God began to speak to me at that moment and he said Sharon, I want you to notice. Who moved this room to tears? Was it the first couple who had the perfect steps or was it the last couple who really had no steps at all and the wife did it for him.
He said to me in my heart you do what I have called you to do. I will do it for you. I’ll give you the power you need and give you everything you need if you will simply obey what I have called you to do. I’ll do it for you just like she did it for him. I began to see that it isn’t perfect people who live in perfect homes with perfect children. That is not what the world is looking for. Its many women who will be obedient and will do what God has called them to do. It’s relying on His power to say I am good enough because God has empowered me and equipped me. He has called me to it and he will see me through it. He will give me the power to do what I need to do.
Dennis: I like how what you are saying. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Ephesians 2:10. Obviously it comes right after verses 8-9 which talk about how we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. Verse 10 says for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Personally I think God has a plan for every person on the planet. He desires that they walk with Him and enjoy him and obey him. I wonder how many people who are listening right now and especially young listeners who hear this broadcast too have already begun to think about this. There is something they would like to do that God is calling them to do but they have answered the same way you did. I don’t think I can do that. I’m not sure that God can use me.
Yet he calls us to faith and obedience and what I like about what you are saying here is you are challenging individuals to say is God capable of using you? The answer is unequivocally yes!!! He delights in using broken clay pots to declare who he is. What I wish I could do at this point is to come alongside the radio listener and say could I ask you a question? Could I put my arm around you and ask what do you think God is calling you uniquely to do? What is your purpose? What is your calling? What are you about?
How does your life reflect that purpose? Are you believing the truth about God’s call? He is able to equip you and accomplish that through you or are you questioning yourself like Moses did and like Sharon did? Are you short circuiting what God wants to do? I personally believe that the hope of America is found in the pew among the people of the church—The people who bear the name of Christ who profess to follow him and who have an assignment but they haven’t fully engaged in that assignment. I think it begins by sorting through everything that is occurring in your life and begin to evaluate what God is calling you to do. What is his purpose? What does he want me to do uniquely and what is my assignment here on this planet? When people do that God will meet you at that point of weakness and he will accomplish what concerns you.
Sharon: One thing I had to do was go back and look at who God used. I think that is something we all need to do. Go back to the Old Testament and look at those different men and women God used. Moses was a stutterer. Jacob was a liar. David was an adulterer. Rahab was a harlot. Balaam’s donkey was a donkey for goodness sakes.
So, look at who he chose. Gideon. When he called Gideon to come and lead the army he was so afraid of his enemies he was hiding in a wine press. But God came to him and he called him oh, valiant warrior. He wondered if God was talking to him. But see God looks at us not as we see ourselves right now but he looks at us and calls us according to what we could be if we trusted in him.
Another verse that I love is 1 Corinthians 2:9 and it says, eye has not seen, ear has not heard and what has not entered the heart of man all that God has prepared for those who love him. So why aren’t we doing it? Why aren’t we going out and doing all that God has called us to do. I think it’s because we don’t believe him. When we say “no” to God or I can’t it says a lot more about what we think about God than what we think about ourselves because it’s like saying God you are not able. You are not able to use me. I don’t believe you can do it.
Bob: I was having this conversation with a friend over the weekend and we were talking about what is at the foundation of all of this. What is your source of authority? Where do you believe real truth resides? If you think it resides in your own subjective impression to the stimulus that is around you well that is going to lead you in one direction. But you have to keep in mind that your subjective impression to what is going on around you is influenced by the father of lies.
But if you say my source of truth is what is found in the objective revelation of God on the pages of scripture. If you say the Bible is my source of truth and I’m going to believe that even when it doesn’t match my feelings or it doesn’t match my experience or circumstance. That is when you are responding in faith and that is when you are saying no to the lies that you talk about in your book I’m Not Good Enough and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.
I want to encourage our listeners to go to our website FamilyLifeToday.com. Just go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information or to order a copy of the book from us online. If it’s easier call toll free 1-800-358-6329. That’s 1-800 F as in “family” L as in “life,” and then the word TODAY. Of course when you get in touch with us we can answer any questions you have or let you know how you can have copies of Sharon’s book sent to you.
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Now let me encourage you to be back with us tomorrow Sharon Jaynes is going to be here again. We’re going to talk more about believing the truth and rejecting the lies that come at us from outside of us and inside of us. I hope you can be back with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today Keith Lynch and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our host Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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