God has given me the precious gift of being surrounded by a multitude of amazing women.
I have friends that I admire on a daily basis for the way that they exemplify His character, His hands, His mouth, His heart.
This special blessing is not hidden from the Enemy. He knows these things about my life.
He sees the treasures I’ve been given to come in contact with so many examples of godly women.
He also knows the burning desire I have to please God, to be the best me possible, to fully live out my potential…
And oh, how the Enemy can work to twist my best intentions into something ugly.
Somehow, a sense of admiration for another woman’s caring deed or a godly charcteristic can quickly turn to comparison. This comparison feels justified because I’m measuring myself against all positive, God-pleasing qualities. Then, unconsciously, woeful comparison turns to jealousy and a niggling feeling of insufficiency because I’m not doing what they’re doing, and therefore, God (and everyone else) must be observing that I don’t measure up.
Though my mind doesn’t recognize that this is jealousy at first, the Spirit alerts my heart that something is amiss with her frustrated state.
Knowing I must seek a solution in His words, as always, there is gentle but obvious nudge if I pay attention (which often takes longer than it should), and freedom settles into my wound-up heart as I read:
“You are jealous of one another…
Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?”
-1 Corinthians 3:3
Paul was writing to Christians. He knew that they would be jealous of one another if they didn’t keep their perspectives focused on God, and was he ever so right. For when I am in unity with my Jesus, I am well aware of His specific promptings on my heart. I know when He’s asking me to do something, and I know when I’m putting pressure on myself to be someone else. There’s a stark contrast between His leading my life and my jealous desires to “measure up” to other godly women.
He reminds me that I can be blessed by seeing others follow Him, but I can’t be bothered by it. All that does is allow division, disunity, and just plain grumpiness to take root.
Oh, the freedom He wants to let me rest in. Sometimes, my overcomplicating of His desires for me cause so much pain and so much more work for my heart. If I can just remember to rest in His plan and gifting in my life, then I can be perfectly happy when I see him working Himself out in their lives.Leave a Comment
Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis says
Such truth to this. What an encouragement this was to me this morning. Thank you so much!
Dana Butler says
Amen!!! So, so true!! Being secure in my identity in Him gives me an ability to rejoice with others when they do well….without comparison or jealousy taking root in my heart. Unfortunately…. I don’t always walk this road perfectly…. But His grace picks me up and draws me back in and reminds me again who I am…..
Isn’t He faithful?!
Thanks for this, Sarah. Super encouraging. Great post.
How so very true… even though we don’t mean to do this, often times this is what it ends up being. It can turn into a downward spiral very fast when the devil whispers and edges it on in our minds… telling us we don’t measure up, telling us we can never compare to others, that we aren’t trying hard enough yet we are doing all we can do, so why even try. But the devil’s a liar! God is good… I’m so thankful for His Grace.
Thank you for writing so boldly about this topic. It has been a huge struggle of mine over the years and God has finally brought me to the point where I am comfortable dealing with it. I have removed myself from facebook indefinitely – because I found that was the place I was finding myself 1. wasting time 2. comparing myself to other moms/wives. The very last line I hope to tuck away somewhere in my heart to bring back on those days when my “overcomplicating” of his plans for me becomes a struggle. Thank you for those encouraging words!!
I can’t tell you how often I’ve deleted and re-added the Facebook app on my phone… for the very same reasons! Comparison can be so poisonous if we are unaware!
A model in Australia was admitted to hospital 2 nights ago after what seems to be a suicide attempt after being trolled on Twitter and sadly sat up to 2am to answer the tweets – very very sad!!!!! It has caused a lot of controversy in the media and on various forums.
I believe it is time for many people to find their self-esteem or whatever it is they are looking for in social media, including blogging.
As for everything good the Internet provides there is the dark side and sadly many of us fall for it, especially young people. I find it very scary, especially when I see what some people who are openly Christian are writing. I’m not an innocent party, not that I’m a troll or write nasty things, but it so easy to get “hooked” and want to know everything our “Friends” are doing.
I. for one, need to spend less time on the Internet and more in His word and praying for myself, others and this world which really needs our prayer – we also need to be praying for those who are in charge of these social media websites, that there will be some sort of way of stopping them get out of hand.
So true. I’ve definitely been guilty of this jealousy. I’m unemployed and when I see people with jobs, there’s some part of me that says: “Because I haven’t got one, they’ll think less of me”. But when my perspective is right, I know the most important thing is living out God’s plan for my life – not what others think.
And what a challenging verse you shared from 1 Corinthians – thank you!
Lynn D says
In our virtual culture today, comparisons seem to come so easily because we’re so connected to so many people, whether by phone or email or just reading their blogs. The real connection starts with our connection to Jesus, and then to the people whose lives we touch out of our love for Him. We’re so exposed to what so many others are doing, but you’re right. Ou FOCUS needs to always be on Him. Thank you for the reminder.
Beth Williams says
Such wonderful truth! All comparisons are essentially “ungodly”. You either have pride–you’re better than them, doing more, etc. or you feel “insufficient” and feelings turn to grumpiness.
We need to stay connected to Jesus and become the person He wants us to be. Allow His molding on your life & don’t look at others!
*sigh* thank you for your honesty ! For posting this! Comparison has been
My struggle lately…..I have a twin sister and while God is leading us in different directions in life … Both good because He is leading I have found it hard not to compare myself , where I am in life to where she is. All that to say I was very encouraged by this post! Thank you for speaking truth into this issue! God bless!
Eileen Jennings says
There is nothing unconscious about the process of what you mentioned above, the Bible lays out how our thoughts can lead and how we must take them captive. The whole unconscious theory was created to undermine the concept of the sin nature. We battle against it daily as the Apostle Paul stated, the very thing he desires not to do, is the very thing he does.
When Christians use such terms, we justify the reason behind the secular notions and the enemy of our soul is howling with joy. Hosea states, My people perish for the lack of knowledge. When taking a class in humanities (Christian version), the professor pointed out how the term unconscious or subconscious came about, by secular people who wished to subvert the truth of the sin nature of humanity, therefore hiding the need of a Savior.
The Bible tells us we are born spiritually dead, after our parents Adam and Eve, it is why we need to be “born again” through faith alone in Christ alone to be spiritually reborn, made spiritually alive to God. However, we still will battle with our sin nature or our fleshly desires and shortcomings until we are delivered into the fullness of our redemption.
God gave us principles to un-complicate our lives; it is why He said His yoke is easy. As you said it is we who complicate things. The enemy of our soul cut a very, very wide path and as in the story of Pilgrim’s Progress, it is so easy to get of the narrow path that may seem small, but it is made easier by not looking at the path, but the path Maker. Same thing you said, God bless you.
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