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Insecurity, comparison, jealousy, pride, gossip, judgement…
Oh….It’s an ugly band of bullies, each one with its own strategy to keep us locked away in our own little boxes… away from genunine friendship and true confidence.
We were created by God for relationship. And aside from the most important relationships we have as women- with God, our husband, our children, and our families…
We also desperately need good friends in our lives who will be there to pray for us, to give us good advice, a kind word, a listening ear, someone to identify with, and a cheerleader to encourage us along life’s journey.
But have you ever stopped and wondered why it is that women seem to have so much conflict with each other? (Okay, well… Maybe you’re not one of these women… But just think about women in general and how they can respond to each other at times.)
Unfortunately, we all have the ability at one time or another to allow ourselves to be badgered by insecurity, comparison, jealousy, pride, gossip, and judgement when it comes to others.
But if you really stop and think about it…Perhaps, it’s for the very reasons listed above- showing how beautifully good relationships can affect our lives- that this happens…
Yes, insecurity, comparison, jealousy, pride, gossip, judgement are tactics from the devil to thwart the good that God wants to give us through relationships with others.
Yes, friends, healthy relationships with others- if left without threat- could actually help us become stronger and more encouraged in our roles as wives, mothers, and followers of Jesus.
And while those feelings may not always be visible above the surface in our words or actions, they can be seen in more subtle ways in our lives via our thoughts and attitudes.
For example, when we see someone else who looks the way we wished we looked, achieves something we wished we could, or acquires something we wished we had- although we may not say anything outright against her- have you ever found yourself either feeling badly about yourself or maybe envious of her?
I know I have. (Gasp!!!)
I know…Shocking, isn’t it? Lol. But, rest easy… God’s working on me, and He’s helping me to learn more and more how to line up my heart and feelings with His…one reason why I’m writing this post.
You see, something I’m learning is that, instead of allowing those ugly feelings to go unchecked, God wants my heart to be filled with His love towards others.
He wants me to reflect who He is to those around me. That’s what a “Christ-ian” is afterall, isn’t it? A follower of Christ!
So it just makes sense that our heart and our thoughts towards each other should ilne up with His, right?
I think the following Bible verse sums this up pretty well…
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:5 NIV
Would Jesus be jealous of someone else’s success? Resentful? Absolutely NOT! And that’s how we are supposed to be as well, if we truly belong to Him and wear His name.
No, it’s just not “okay” to allow those ugly feelings to remain and fester in our hearts. Rather, they must be brought back to God in repentance, and we need to ask His help to move forward with the right kinds of attitudes that He wants us to have.
God created each of us and loves us all so much, and what He wants is for us to be a blessing, support, and cheerleader for others… to be a tangible demonstration of His love in the world.
And when we choose to follow His heart and have His mindset… not only are we doing others good, but we’re doing ourselves a whole lot of good as well….
…Because instead of beating ourselves up for not being where others have arrived, allowing seeds of resentment to grow, or allowing a sour attitude to ruin us on the inside, we’re instead choosing to focus on someone else’s good and trusting God to make all things beautiful in our very own lives as well in His perfect timing. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Just think about it. What if we lived in a world where we didn’t envy each other?
A world where we didn’t feel as if we were “less than” everytime we saw someone who had a little more sparkle than us?
Or, on the other hand, what if we didn’t look down on others who maybe didn’t have as much as we do?
In that kind of world, we would all be there for each other. We would all be cheerleaders on the bleachers of life spurring each other on rather than jeering because we found some flaw or were resentful of the other’s success.
The Bible sums this idea up well when it tells us:
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 ESV
That’s the kind of world God wants us to live in…And those are the kind of women He wants us to be…
Not selfish or self-seeking, but expressions of God’s love, grace, and encouragement toward each other.
Which is why we should continue to pray to our Father in Heaven, “May YOUR kingdom come. May YOUR will be done…On Earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Life should never be about any of us building a kingdom for ourselves, where we become the focus.
Our lives and any successes we have should be pointing everyone to the One Who loves us all more than anyone ever could, Who gave us more than anyone ever could, and Who can do above and beyond what we could ever ask or think in EVERY life that is yielded to Him. (Ephesians 3:20)
So, Sisters! Let’s pick up our pompoms and totally disarm the devil of those tactics in our lives with God’s power, His love, and His Word.
We’re not in a competition against each other.
We were meant to be each other’s cheerleaders in life…women of impact and influence for the glory of God and the good of each other.
So, let’s cheer loud and strong, not allowing one negative feeling from the band of bullies to have any place in our lives.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 ESV
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV