Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sabotaging and Seducing

One of the best definitions of comparison I’ve heard comes from Emily Freeman’s latest book, Simply Tuesday. “The best way to Sabotage my own success is to be obsessed with someone else’s.” (page 91)

For more years than I’d like to admit, I’ve suffered with this disease. Your ministry was always better than mine; you always had more invitations coming your way; your grasp of the Bible always awed me … and, and, and.

My feelings of success sabotaged as I looked to you for my plumb line.

A miserable place to live, especially when you really do love Jesus and love ministry.

Immediately three problems arise from the above words:

1. I should know by now that whenever the words always or never appear, the truth is being stretched.       
2. Should success be my desire, or faithfulness? 
3. My eyes leading my heart were always in the wrong place.

Another synonym for comparison is competition. I grew up in a competitive family where success (that word again) was defined by comparison and winning was rewarded.

In a foot race, you are either in front of your competition and they are looking at your back, or you are behind the competition eating the dust from their running shoes.  That perspective defines you in that moment.

But as women, more than winning, I believe our hearts crave connection; someone who will walk with us, someone who gets us, someone who listens and then says, “me too”. Someone safe enough to be insecure with. Someone we can walk with.

God is a relational God, and we are created in His image. God connected with us and invited us into His family. That’s really my heart’s desire—to invite, to relate, to connect.

This desire is stymied when I try too hard to connect. When my heart is to win (success), not to minister (faithfulness). Some personal clues for me are:

When I'm busy thinking about my next words,
I miss connecting.
When I know just who she needs to talk with,
I'm forfeiting my opportunity to connect.
When I steal a glance at my watch,
my connecting is jeopardized.
When her story triggers a memory and I start down that rabbit trail,
the connection is lost.
When my eyes look over her shoulder, just for a moment,
my desire to connect is questioned.

(Oh conviction! I think of my lunch with Denise recently—GUILTY—on at least two of the above. I’m glad that grace is allowing another opportunity.)

In my own life, I think of many times when I have met Jesus through the ears and eyes and hugs of my friends.

I’m learning to treasure the balm of connection instead of breaking from comparison. After all isn’t this an application of believing I’m created by God for such a time as this. I’m created in His image for relationship, for connection, for faithfulness.

But I'm not in this alone. "... your adversary the devil prowls around ... seeking someone to devour." (I Peter 5:8) 

My adversary has had a hay day prowling around and devouring by planting lies; and I've believed him. SEDUCED! 

He seduced; I was sabotaged. 

I Peter 5:9 offers the anecdote, "Resist him, firm in your faith,"

Review, review, review. What are the truths God has spoken to me? Review, review, review!

"But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder,"
Romans 15:15
"To write the same things to you if no trouble to me and is safe for you."
Philippians 3:1

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