Over the years I’ve cultivated relationships with friends who were like drinking buddies, only they were “foodies” or food buddies.  These were people I especially enjoyed being with over a meal because I could get away with my Ladies Eatingsin, even have it coddled, casting off all restraint, I could give license to my carnal nature.  The scripture is clear when it says, “So you must live as God’s obedient children.  Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.  You didn’t know any better then; you do now. (I Peter 1:14)  However, over this past year I’ve come to realize that I do know better, and thus am held accountable to that truth.  Who I spend my time with, and how I spend my time, matters … especially if the fellowship helps me slip back into my old ways of living to satisfy my own desires.  And this truth does not vacillate between family and friends.

Almost, if not even worse, is that when we’re together I am rarely the standard-setter.  I am a follower, a co-laborer in our sin.  Truth be told, by choosing things that are not the most beneficial for me and sharing that may also cause my friend(s) to stumble.  I guess I’d forgotten that it goes both ways.  I realized how they caused me to stumble, yet forgot to consider if I was doing the same to them. “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matt 7:4-5)

Today I am making a point to offer a Thin Within group in my own home.  We’re starting with a small group, though size doesn’t matter.  I’m choosing to surround myself with like-minded women who are all about living a God-centered life.  And I want to be that for them.  Our meeting last night almost brought me to tears as we each shared from hearts of transparency.  And then this morning I read the following posted on social media:

“The church should be the safest place on the earth where people can open up and share the deepest hurts and struggles in our lives. Where truth-telling and loving honesty isn’t seen as a lack of grace but as the faithful and life-giving wounds of friends. Where “I’ve been there” compassion flows like crystal clear water over a waterfall, baptizing the weary, sin-laded soul with hope. Where children hear their pastor and their parents say “Please forgive me” or “I’m not good at this” or “I need prayer” more than they perceive strength or pride or self-righteousness. Where small groups welcome the confession of weakness and sin, and people aren’t afraid to talk about lust, greed, jealousy or wondering if they married the wrong person. Oh, Jesus, as you advance Your kingdom by building Your church please make us a family where sins, sufferings and struggles can be shared without fear of uncharitable judgments or self-righteous rejection. Yet also make us a people who speak hard truths to one another and refuse to confuse grace with coddling sin. You are at work, Oh God. Keep working through the weak and sinful like me.”

Oh that beautifully resonates with my heart.  I want to encourage anyone reading this blog today to prayerfully consider leading a small Thin Within group in your community.  Just contact Heidi or Cathy for details on getting starLadies Bible Studyted.  There are hungry (no pun intended) women longing for a small group to walk this journey with them.  They are ones who don’t want to read it on a computer every day.  They want to come in after a hard day’s work, grab a cup of coffee, their bible and workbook and have a place to sit among women who care.  It doesn’t take fine leadership skills, or a beautiful home.  It only takes a willing heart and open door.


What about you?  Are you causing others to sin by choosing the permissible and not the beneficial?  Do you long for fellowship with like-minded, God-centered women seeking to apply the Thin Within principles to their life?  Please prayerfully consider finding a small group, or starting one.  There few blessings that compare with being used by the Lord to bring others to the Truth.