Getting dressed for church….

Getting dressed for church….

This morning we will get ready to go to church. We’ll put on makeup and do our hair. We’ll stand in front of our closets wondering what to wear. And all the while we are getting ready for church, we will be talking to ourselves.

Most of us will complain about how we look. We’ll tell ourselves that we’re too fat, too old, and out of shape. Many of us are having a bad hair day and are wishing we had hair like Jennifer Aniston. Others are noticing new wrinkles for the first time. We may even ask our husbands the dreaded question…..

Do these pants make my butt look fat?

We are feeling insecure before we ever make it through the church doors. And when we get there, we may even start feeling  worse about ourselves! Maybe the lead singer is young and beautiful. Maybe the pastor’s wife has fingernails and toenails that match her Chico’s So Slimming outfit. Maybe the lady behind us has on the same summer dress and it accentuates her curves perfectly while it makes us feel fat and frumpy.

Even while we are singing praises to the one who made us in His image we are rehearsing   our own insecurities.

As James would say, sisters, it isn’t right for things to be this way!

He goes on to say……

James 3: but the tongue no one can tame — it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison! With it we bless Adonai, the Father; and with it we curse people, who were made in the image of God.

Sisters, it’s not just those ladies who intimidate us who are made in the image of God—–We are made in his image too! It’s actually impossible for us to stand in church,  singing praise to God while we are cursing, belittling, and berating ourselves! We might be singing the words, but our hearts and minds are way too occupied with our own insecurities.

So now our insecurities have stolen not only our confidence and relationships with other women but they have also stolen our praise and worship!

This morning, I’m going to confront the lies that I tell myself every Sunday morning with the truth of God’s word!

Psalm 139:14 I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders — I know this very well.

And guess what? These pants make my butt look fine!

A tranquil mind gives health to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30 (CJB)

A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body, but passion and envy are like rottenness to the bones. Proverbs 14:30 (AMP)

I’ve told you over and over that I struggle with comparing myself to others. It may seem harmless to look with envy at the athletes/models in magazines or at the fit women in my gym, but it isn’t because every time I do that I come up lacking.

Whenever I fall back into the habit of  comparing myself to others or envying what they have achieved, I  always end up feeling disappointed, discouraged, and, quite often,  depressed.

You see, there is a great difference between comparing myself to someone  and being inspired by her.  When my motivation is envy, I cannot learn from that athlete/model in the magazine because envy forces me to find or create explanations for why she is so much better than I am. These explanations may be as harmless as she has better genes for this than I do, this is her full time job, or may be as negative as noting that  she could not have achieved this look without plastic surgery or photo-shopping.

And, when I’m around real people who are much more than images on a page, not only can I not be inspired by them or learn from them,  I am not  able to develop  true and lasting relationships with these amazing women because  envy, comparison, and insecurity sole intention is isolating me from others.

For me, comparing myself is a habit that pokes it’s ugly head up when I least expect it. I can walk out of my house feeling as if I’ve never been prettier only to arrive at a party to discover that I am surrounded by women who are prettier, fitter, and dressed better than I am. What do I do then?

My options are to retreat into the corner or to come out strong with the truth: I am more than my looks. I am more than what I am wearing. I am more than my level of fitness. I am more than I weigh. I am more than enough……

And I am more than willing to be your friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparisons…..

I think the one of the curses of the fatherless child is to always compare oneself against someone else. For me, I was always searching for a reason why I wasn’t wanted and I was convinced that it had to be all about me —- it couldn’t have been about my mom or my biological father’s own shortcomings, selfishness, or lack of responsibility.

So I began comparing myself with girls who had their very own fathers. They were smarter, sillier, and sweeter than I must of been because their daddies didn’t abandon them. So I’d try to act like them so that I could have my very own daddy one day. And when that didn’t work, I became more and more introverted so that I didn’t have to see what they had that I so desperately needed.

https://i1.wp.com/positivelylace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bikinihalterself-1024x1024.jpgBut it wasn’t until I was about 13 years old that I began to compare my body to others.  I can remember it clearly. My mom was managing some apartments in Stone Mountain and, after chores, we were allowed to hang out at the pool until she got off of work. There was a girl my age  who wore one of those crocheted bikinis and she overflowed out of the top. (If I would have worn one of those tops at the time it would have looked just like it does in the picture – flat!) Not only did she fill out the bikini she was the first girl my age who seemed to flaunt her sexuality.

And I knew then that I didn’t and wouldn’t ever measure up.

I wish I could say that I outgrew that feeling or that I stopped comparing myself to others only to come up lacking almost every time. Truth be told, it became a habit that usually left me feeling quite horrible about myself. A habit that caused me to withdraw from others because I knew that I didn’t measure up to them.

I became so petty in my comparisons that I’d notice much more than their figures – I’d see their matching finger and toe nails and decide that they wouldn’t like me because I was more of an all natural girl. Or, I’d look at their clothes only to decide that we had nothing in common so they wouldn’t like me.

Those surface judgments stole possible friendships.

I’m telling you this because God brought it to my memory during my prayer time the other day. He asked me to look back at that moment in time and see things as they really were. She was simply a little older than me and way ahead of me in her development. I eventually caught up and  could fill out that bikini top. But it took years for me to catch up to feeling as comfortable in my own skin as she did prancing around the pool that summer.

God then lead me through praying for forgiveness….. Forgiving myself for those horrible comparisons that I made and forgiving him for always being so critical of his creation.  He reminded me that the Word tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made  and that I am created in his image, according to his likeness.

If, like me, you often compare yourself to others then maybe it’s time for you to ask God to show you the root of where those comparisons began so that you can dig up that nasty vine and plant seeds of forgiveness and acceptance.  And, together,  we will break this horrible habit that leaves us feeling so insecure that we allow surface judgments to steal possible friendships.

As usual Paul hits us hard in this area when he writes,  “In https://i0.wp.com/slvlogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ouch.gifmeasuring themselves against each other and comparing themselves with each other, they are simply stupid.” 2 Corinthians 10:12b

Scripture References: Psalm 139:14, Genesis 1:26

Photo Source

Photo Source

media-1I’ve never been one to have allergies. But I’ve got them this year to the point that I spent yesterday in bed with a hanky, benadryl, and the remote control.  In between blowing my nose and taking short naps I noticed that daytime television is not a fit woman’s best friend. Women with perfect bodies pop up between fast-food commercials that are designed to make your mouth water. I could either  find myself  drooling over a big, juicy burger or hating myself because I don’t look like the women I’m seeing ion television.

And media doesn’t stop there.  I can find  temptation on the pages of My favorite magazines, cookbooks,  and Pinterest pages. And the air-bushed models  could cause me to look at my arms, legs, or buttocks with disgust.

So what’s this sick girl to do? Should I turn off the television to avoid temptation? Should I close the magazine so that I’m unable to compare myself to someone else?

Not only would that have been boring but it’s unrealistic. Everyday I am going to be tempted to eat what I know I should not eat. And I am always going to see women who are prettier, stronger, and leaner than I am.

The only thing that I can do is consistently eat the best of God’s provision along with obeying God’s word by not comparing myself to others. I’ve got to choose over and over again to be the best me!

That’s all I can do!

 

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We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12

Comparisons are never, ever wise. If I go to the gym and compare myself to some of the ladies there I will definitely leave  depressed and feeling as if I’ve just wasted an hour of my life. And if I compare myself to some of the bodies that I see laying on the beach I’ll end up feeling much better about myself than I should.

Both comparisons are extremes. And that’s how we measure ourselves. We go to the extreme, don’t we? We either end up feeling good or horrible about ourselves.

These comparisons are not limited to body image….

We compare

  • spouses
  • children
  • houses
  • finances
  • spirituality
  • churches
  • careers

The results are much worse than how we end up feeling. These comparisons can destroy a relationship or stop a new friendship from ever developing. We can get so caught up in the comparison that we fail to see the person that we are comparing ourselves to.

It’s possible that they we really need each other but can’t move past our feelings of insecurity to get to know them.

(Just so you know, when you compare yourself with someone and come up ahead of them that’s also insecurity!)

Rather than doing all this unwise comparing, let’s just simply choose to be wise,  be our best self, and do the best we can with where we are and what we have, and accept that the other person as she is.