Sunday, May 18, 2014

Life Is Not A Competition

I, like most all women, have struggled and continue to struggle, at times, with my self-image. This has definitely gotten better over the years as I have experienced a measure of God’s healing in my life, but I find myself, at various times, still struggling with this issue.

Recently, I found myself comparing myself to another woman. All of a sudden, I felt fat, sloppy and “less than.” I found myself back at that place of insecurity and not liking who I was.

Thank God for the Holy Spirit. He reminded me that life was not a competition and that I was loved and accepted just as I was. It took me a little while to recover but it got me thinking again about “this thing” we women do to one another and to ourselves.

Why do I constantly feel the need to measure my worth by how I look compared to other women? Scripture clearly tells me -

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” 2 Corinthians 10:12, 18

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

Of all the bodies God had to choose from when He made me, He chose the one He gave me because He knew that was the best choice for me. Just as David very carefully chose the five stones best suited for his purpose out of all the possible stones in the brook (1 Samuel 17:40), my heavenly Father chose out of all the many, many possible “outer shells” He had to choose from, the one best suited to fulfill His purpose for my life.

When I not only understand that truth, but really accept and believe it deep down in my spirit, then I can grasp the truth that life is NOT a competition. There is no one ultimate winner. We are all winners when we run the race God has personally enrolled each of us in.

I need to always remind myself that I am not in competition with any other woman. I want you to be the best you can be as I desire to be the best I can be. God made all sizes, shapes and colors. One is not better than the other. We are in this together. I need to be continually encouraging you, not trying to “outbest” you. Our Father loves us all equally.

We need to; I need to, fight constantly the temptation to compare and rate and judge myself and others. Scripture tells me I am not wise when I do these things. I’m not wise for several reasons

- I will always either rate myself above you or below you, and neither is right before God.

- I am using my own rating system based on outward appearance, and it is flawed.

- I put myself in competition with you, instead of loving you and allowing you to love me.

- It’s not whom I commend that matters, but whom God commends!

Let us desire to cheer one another on, advocate for one another, prefer and encourage one another.  

Let us seek God’s standard of measurement and seek to live for Him. But more than anything, let us seek to find our place of security in Him. 

Let us press in and fight to know that security found only in Him;
fight against the lies that assault us every day;
fight against the perceptions that our culture forces on us;
fight against that competitive spirit that isolates us;
and fight against the standards of this world and
our own standards that exalt themselves "against the knowledge of God."  

As He brings us to that place of security in Him, we will be free to love our own bodies as He has made them and become comfortable in them as mere “shells” that house the precious spirit of God.

How do we find our security in Him? By knowing what the Word says about us and believing it!! One thing I’ve always been amazed at - why are we so quick to believe the lies and yet have such a hard time believing the truth??

Scripture tells me that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made."  I am made in His image.  He alone is my judge, not anyone else, and especially not myself!!
Can anyone relate to what I'm saying?

We're always grasping at another standard - I need to lose 10 lbs; I need to get rid of these wrinkles; I need to have Botox; I need a new anti-aging cream; I need better clothes; I need a new hair style.  All these things (well, most) are not wrong in and of themselves.  God wants us to be healthy to be about His work, but when we set them up as idols, thinking we won't "measure up" until we do them or have them, then we have set up a standard that goes against God's standard for us.

There is so much "out there" that we are assaulted with every day.  Voices that tell us:

we don't measure up,
we're not enough,
we would look and feel so much better if we would just:
use this cream,
eat this food,
join Weight Watchers,
shop at this store. 
Constantly, it creates within us a sense that we are not enough just the way we are.  We could finally achieve perfection if only, if only, if only.
"But Godliness with contentment is great gain." (emphasis mine)
I Timothy 6:6

Great gain indeed, because then we know the true peace of God and we stop measuring ourselves by ungodly standards.  Contentment in who we are in Christ, who God made us to be.  Contentment in exactly where we are right now in life is where God wants us to be.

I desire to put a stop to that voice that pushes me to "compete" and I draw a line in the sand, that, with God's grace and mercy, I will not listen to those lies anymore. 

Join me, won't you?

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