Comparison

Comparison leaves us in chains.

comparison

 

Comparison cripples. It leaves us empty and angry. This is not a new phenomenon, it has been going on since the beginning of time.  It is a trick of the enemy to leave us discontented and unfulfilled. And it is a flat-out shame we do not see our worth as His Beloved ones.

I grew up the baby of the family, the only girl and  I wouldn’t say I was spoiled but I knew I was loved.  There was no shame in wearing hand me downs, they were nice clothes for sure. We lived in a nice home but we also knew what it was to be frugal and save money.    I learned early what it means to be a good steward of the good things He provides. The town I grew up in was an upper-middle-class suburban wonderland, or so I thought.  I do tend to look through life with rose-colored glasses.

I am a confident woman when I need to be.  As I grow older, I understand the world doesn’t revolve around my wants and desires.  I have many areas in which I need to submit and allow the Lord to change me.  This girl has come to accept my weaknesses and work towards improving these skills.  Simply put, I accept who I am because of He is molding me into His own image.

Being an introvert amongst extroverts

Paul states it perfectly in Ephesians 2:8-10. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)

I was not always this way.  I am naturally an introvert surrounded by extroverts. My brothers were outgoing and frankly, I lived in their shadows.  This baby girl LOVED being their sister. I LOVE being their baby sister.     As fate would have it, I even married a very outgoing fellow. Many people are surprised that I am quiet, even shy in comparison.  Opposites definitely attract!

You can imagine, being shy and an introvert by nature,  I felt very insecure and awkward in social situations and I just KNEW I was less impressive in comparison to everyone else.  As a young adult, I was such a perfectionist, in a lot of areas of life BUT, not in all areas: Martha Stewart, I was not! I was SURE everyone could see my cluttered closets and dishes in the sink. My cooking wasn’t fit for a magazine, nor did I look like a model. In my insecure mind, when I walked into the room, I was being judged harshly.

Am I the only one?

I don’t think so.

It is not a stretch that when I walked into my church, I would compare myself to other women. If I was a betting woman, I would make my stake that I am not alone. I would look around and see ‘the pretty people’ who I just knew had it all together.  I would never consider that some may have just had an argument or dealing with illness or tragedy.  We all walked in with our ‘church face’ on as if the world was perfect and never had any problem whatsoever.  Reality is always different then we think.  We are all dealing with something and we all have struggled. Living in His peace does not mean always have a smile on our face. We need to be more transparent,  real and honest.

But God..

The Word of God has changed me down to the core.  I used to be THAT woman,   but no longer. I am  “saved by grace,  through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:8-10, ESV)

God’s Word says we are accepted by the One Who loved us and died to rescue each one of us! He calls each one of us His beloved. He chose us from the foundation of the world.  Paul also states in Ephesians 1:4-6, ” For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. h In love 5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us within the Beloved.” (ESV)

The challenge to each one of us is to learn to live with the knowledge that You are accepted, beloved and chosen. He has equipped, given you all you need to live the life He chose for you. You can rest assured that if He created this plan, He will give you the strength and ability to fulfill your calling.

 

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