Sunday, January 6, 2013
"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt
We all struggle now and then believing great things about ourselves. Our culture and the enemy have put false ideas in our minds that we aren't good enough, and that if we were like the people we tend to obsess about we would be. This is so far from the truth.
The other day a friend and I were talking about my insecurity. For as long as I can remember I have put myself down, not seen myself as God and others do, and not taken compliments well. I know I'm not the only one. I believe it is because we are consistently looking to the wrong things to speak truth to us. Instead of God's word and the people closest to us being our biggest truth tellers we get lost in our culture and the outward appearance of others. We tend to beat ourselves up so much and think we should be like other people.
The greatest compliment I have ever received was from a close friend or a family member telling me that I'm a great mom. These people actually see me mother my children. For them to be around me, know me well, and to give me that compliment is huge. When someone close to you gives you a compliment take it. Believe it. And continue living to prove that it is true. When we don't accept God's daily grace and stop believing the best about ourselves we stop trying. I know. I've done it. When I put my focus on what I see on the outward appearances of these "perfect" families and marriages, that's what I spend my time thinking about and it steals the focus from my own family and marriage. That will then send me into thoughts that I'm not good enough and that something is wrong. This is not healthy. And when something isn't healthy it cannot grow.
Let's stop this. Stop the comparisons and beating ourselves up. Examine your life. Find your strengths and what gives you joy. Think of what you really love about yourself, and most of all who God says you are.
"Change your thoughts and you'll change your world." -Norman Vincent Peale
I'm still learning to be confident in who I am. But I am me so why not be be the best version I can be? If you don't like something about yourself, change it. Not striving to be like someone else or to please other people but to live out who God made you to be. Interrupt those lies you've been telling yourself over the years and believe what God says about you. Practice that and it will become who you are. You become what you believe about yourself. Make it positive. A daily reminder is necessary. I have scriptures written in my closet and at my desk. But I need more than that. I need to hear truth spoken to me daily, through worship and God's word. If I don't fill my mind with that truth, the ugliness of comparison will steal my joy, cause me to feel not good enough, and leave me wanting to be someone else.
So today I choose to take those compliments as truth. I am a great mother. But I can't stop there. I want to fill my mind and spirit up with the truth about who I really am as a child of God, a friend, a wife, a daughter. And on the days I don't feel like I measure up I need to ask God to help me believe I am who He says I am and ask Him what I can do to improve if I'm not giving my best. I want to be even better. Whatever it takes. I want my little boys to grow up and be secure in who they are because I taught them what God says about them and because they saw me living that out.
When we start believing the real truth about ourselves I think that's when we love more, have a deeper joy, and serve better. That's when we see our world change. Not hoping others will change but seeing the best in yourself and in others. If you don't like the story you are writing then change it. It's never too late to start writing a different story. Let grace be enough for you to move past the mistakes. Choose to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, gentle, faithful, and someone with self control.
In the times where we do start believing the past things that God has forgiven, I have to ask him to remind me who I am and to help me to believe it.