“A heart at peace gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” (Proverbs 14:30)
I’ve noticed something recently. It’s almost “under the radar,” but I feel myself going there again. It’s that place where I am comparing myself to others, and am hunting for their approval or confirmation of my value. The evidence comes in some of the most subtle ways: My constant checking of Facebook for the umpteenth time, as well as thoughts of jealousy or “sizing up.”
Sometimes it sounds like this: “She is so much better at [fill in the blank] than I am.”
“Why does she get [fill in the blank] and I don’t?”
It doesn’t matter how we fill in the own blanks in our hearts, it’s still there—A feeling of lack: that we don’t have enough, or that we are missing something (often something that we feel entitled to). This especially feels prevalent when it comes to other women. Instead of being inspired, or rejoicing with another woman’s strengths, we find ourselves falling into the deep pit of comparison.
How I react when I get in this place may differ. I may try to work harder or make myself busier. Or I may try to drown out my thoughts and feelings in hours of Netflix shows. But the root issue is the same, and I have to deal with it.
It is here that I have a choice to make. Only I have control over my heart, and what I choose can change where I end up.
Recently at church, Brad shared that what we do is not tied to who we are. Yes, God may convict us to change our thinking and actions in a certain area to agree with Him (repent), but He does not do this to shame us. This is to bless us. It’s getting us to walk a better path.
Right in the middle of the church service, I literally had to take a deep breath and hand some things over to God that I had been struggling with that very morning. God reminded me of the truth of who I am, and I was able to receive it right there in that moment. And you know what else I received? Peace. Almost immediately, because I chose to trust God’s heart and immediately say “yes” to what He says about me.
It’s not always easy, and sometimes I have to do this multiple times a day. But I am learning that as my heart stays open to God’s stirring, and I respond in the midst of the “everyday,” it makes life so much better. So instead of comparing myself to other women and being jealous, I want to choose life. I want to be a life-giving person. I can choose to come alongside other women and celebrate their successes. I can cheer them on and encourage them, and not give way to bitterness. In return, I am able to walk in peace and joy and thankfulness.
This post was written by Heather Dillard. To read more about her, click here.