That woman is so much more beautiful than me. Her skin is soft; her waist is slender… I wish I could carry myself with the same kind of natural elegance.
Why can’t I be as organized, smart, and successful as that lady?
She is the life of the party. If only I were as funny and quick on my feet as her…
If you analyze these statements of comparison and jealousy, you’ll notice an underlying presence of fear in each one:
The fear of worthlessness… of not being seen as attractive
The fear of failure… of not being a top performer in your field
The fear of loneliness… of not being accepted for who you are
If you remember the last time you felt jealous due to comparison, I’m sure you’ll notice the same kind of underlying fear. The moment we start to compare ourselves to others, we invite fear to dwell deep within our hearts. This fear takes root, and begins to grow something green inside- jealousy. And before long, we begin to take action on the jealousy in our heart.
The bitter fruit of jealousy can take many forms:
It shows itself in our attitude and the thoughts we have toward an individual.
It can be seen in our habitual behaviors, like drawing on perfectly symmetrical eyebrows each morning and cutting out carbs.
It wiggles its way into our interactions with others – the way you suddenly developed a new laugh, one that might draw a little more attention to you in the midst of your funny friends.
What seemed to be simple nuances that are very normal in our culture, become the jealous habits of a woman who is living out of fear.
But we weren’t meant to live this way. I mean, draw your eyebrows on if you want, and hit the gym of few times a week if that makes you feel good, but the moment you start to do these things out of fear, you are locking the shackles of slavery around your ankles, restricting yourself from experiencing an abundant life. The Lord has good things in store for his people. Therefore, the fear of man is not from God.
Timothy writes, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
According to God’s word, we weren’t meant to live out of fear, but out of power, love, and self-discipline.
So what does it look like to live this way, in a world that has convinced us we have to compete for our self-worth?
Living in power: Living in the power of the spirit means proclaiming truth, with authority, over the lies you hear. It means declaring the victory you have in Jesus, and boldly condemning the Father of Lies (John 8:44) back to Hell. Living in power means not living as a victim to “the typical experience of womanhood,” but living victorious, as a gal who knows her worth and stands in biblical confidence.
Living in love: Living in love means reminding yourself of the gospel everyday – that you are incredibly broken, but even more loved. It means trusting that despite your imperfections and flaws, the Creator of All Good Things calls you “my beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). Living loved means finding your hope, confidence, and security in God’s love for you – rather than striving for worldly approval. Living like you’re already loved eliminates the hunt for acceptance because you’ve already found the love your heart longs for.
Living in self-discipline: Living in self-discipline means taking strategic steps to live loved, live powerfully, and live free. It means penciling in the time for quiet meditation on God’s word. It means praying before making a decision that is fueled by emotions. It means choosing God’s love over a hook-up that’ll give you a brief ego boost, and trusting more in your divine acceptance than what the number on the scale can provide. It means not stooping to the level of competition, but living in humility that is birthed by a confidence in Christ.
You see, when you live from a spirit of fear – you’ll be a slave to mankind, media, and the culture we live in. But when you live from a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline, you will be free – able to enjoy every blessing God has for you.
So my challenge for you today is to choose one: power, love, or self-discipline. Choose one attribute of the spirit to intentionally start living in, and notice how your fear begins to dissipate, and the abundance begins to flow.
With Love & Freedom,
Want to learn more about your self-worth as a woman in Christ? Check out my new devotional workbook, Worthy: 10 Days of Remembering Who God Says You Are, now available on Amazon!