HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT SHAPE YOU?
For the next three weeks at Boulder Adventist Church, we will be digging into the book of Esther. Throughout this book, we encounter many characters who are shaped by their environment. In this series we will explore three different branches of environment that shape us:
March 4—Peripheral: This is the widest circle that you encounter. Within this environment you are shaped by the country, state, and city you live in, the culture you were brought up in, and the history that preceded you. This environment is made up of your surroundings and aspects outside of your own control. From country to climate, your peripheral environment shapes you.
March 11—Proximal: Within the proximal environment, you are shaped by your daily life: job, family, friends, hobbies, etc. This environment is a mixture of factors both in and outside of your own control. The majority of people are shaped the most by this environment. It is made up of the people, places, and things that weave together, making you uniquely you. Many people blame or credit this environment for the way they think, talk, and react—the way they live.
March 18—Personal: This environment is often the most ignored. It is the place where you connect with God and with yourself. This is the environment from which Esther draws her strength and power. Her peripheral and proximal environments take the back seat in the story. She does not let herself be defined by her circumstances, but rather by the personal environment she creates with God.
As we journey through Esther’s story together, my goal is that you learn more about yourself—and ultimately more about God. In a book where the name of God is not mentioned once, we see His will prevail and His character shine. Maybe up until this point in your life the name of God has not been mentioned. Maybe you feel your life has been taken over by environments that are out of your control. Maybe it seems like God is failing to step in when He should. My hope is that in the next few weeks, you notice with greater conviction that God’s will is prevailing in your life and that His character is shining even in the darkest spaces of your life.
A Woman of Strength and Dignity: Esther by Charles R. Swindoll
Be Committed: Ruth/Esther by Warren W. Wiersbe
Esther: An Introduction & Commentary by Joyce G. Baldwin
Esther by Debra Reid
Esther: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching by Carol M. Bechtel
Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther For Everyone by John Goldingay
Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament by Richard M. Davidson
Ruth & Esther: Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary by Kandy Queen-Sutherland
With by Skye Jethani