A Sneak Peek
by Sally Sharpe
In my role as Senior Editor of Abingdon Women Bible studies, I have the privilege of immersing myself in rich and relevant study of God’s Word and calling it a day’s work. As I edit, I often find myself being blessed personally, thinking to myself that what the author is saying is meant just for me. Lately this “aha” experience has been happening quite regularly as I’ve been working on a study by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman called The Christ-Centered Woman: Finding Balance in a World of Extremes.
The title alone grabs you, doesn’t it? I mean, who of us can’t relate to the need for balance? According to a recent article from the American Psychological Association, 49 percent of women surveyed said that their stress has increased over the past five years. I’m not surprised by that statistic. As women we often find ourselves facing competing demands as we juggle responsibilities and interests related to family, home, work, church, and community. That’s why this study is so compelling. Rather than the typical “self-help” solutions that the world offers—solutions that often leave us feeling even more frustrated or guilt-ridden when they don’t “work” as expected—Kim leads us to the biblical answer to stress and imbalance, which is living a Spirit-filled, Christ-centered life. On the surface that might sound more spiritual than practical, but Kim shows us in very down-to-earth terms what it means to place Christ at the center of our lives and how this impacts every aspect of our everyday living.
Using the metaphor of a wheel with Christ in the center, Kim identifies seven reliable “spokes” that help to support a Christ-centered life. One of my personal favorites is the concept of “good enough.” I realize that may sound blasphemous to some. After all, aren’t we supposed to do everything “as to the Lord” (Colossians 3:23)? And what about the Proverbs 31 woman? Certainly she didn’t settle for “good enough,” right?
Kim helps us to see these passages from a proper perspective, breaking the bondage of unrealistic stereotypes that make us feel we don’t measure up—that we’re not domestic enough or resourceful enough or successful enough or mom enough or whatever enough! She explains that the concept of “good enough” is determined not by outside forces but by internal ones, and she shows us how it shifts our focus from a performance or works-oriented mentality to a mindset of grace, freeing us from unhelpful comparison and critique. That alone has the potential to dramatically impact the way we navigate life and the many choices we must make. And that’s only one of many practical benefits to be found in this study.
From beginning to end, The Christ-Centered Woman addresses real challenges we face as women seeking to follow Christ. It combines biblical truth, profound insights, refreshing grace, and even a dose of humor now and then. And that’s a recipe for a great Bible study.
For even more of a “sneak peek,” join us in Nashville on April 25 for the videotaping of The Christ-Centered Woman. Click here for details and registration.
This guest post is contributed by Senior Editor of Abingdon Women Bible studies, Sally Sharpe.