This we are engaging with Janet Hagberg’s book Real Power. Hagberg’s model might interest you as a way to interpret the world; it might offer a tool to interpret your own development or your interactions with others. Listen to the Spirit as she loves you even as you are today. For context/introduction see the entry for June 10.

Today’s Bible Reading

Read Matthew 5:1-12

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

More Thoughts for Meditation

Stage One – Powerlessness

“We all feel powerless at times, so we all can identify at least slightly with the stage of powerlessness. As children we were all powerless, although most of us felt secure. We were dependent on other people to supply our needs – and for the most part, they did. But if, as adults, this is our home stage for a prolonged period of time, we will feel trapped – and powerless. …

“The description of power at Stage One is manipulation. This has two meanings. Powerless people feel they are constantly being manipulated by others, pushed around, helped, controlled, duped, or taken care of, but they also find they depend upon manipulating others to get things done or acquire things for themselves….

“People at stage One complain a lot. They frustrate those around them. But it is critical to understand that for those who are at Stage One, their underlying feeling is fear. Fear for them is a frozen feeling that is not easily analyzed. Prolonged fear diminishes self-worth and results in anger vented either at oneself or others. …

“Two key personal qualities will ultimately precipitate the transformation or movement to Stage Two: self-esteem and skills. People have to start feeling good about themselves, and they have to have skills they can use effectively in the world. Acquiring skill makes us feel more competent, more useful, and more hopeful…. Self-esteem develops when you act on your own behalf. You may not know how or why you are doing it, but you feel an inner compulsion to get out of a situation and survive. … We can all use the help of others at [difficult] times. But we also must acknowledge from our innermost being that we are worth the effort and that we will invest in ourselves.”

Real Power, Janet Hagberg, pp1-15

Suggestions for Action

If Hagberg is right, we all have felt powerless in the past, and we all feel powerless at moments in our current life. Invite the Spirit to be present with you as you ponder – when do you feel least powerful? See if God has any words or comfort for you – or any steps for you to take.