The enemy is after our relationships. He knows his method, though quiet and subtle, can bring us to a paralyzing halt. He attacks us at the core of our identity in who God says we are. He comes after beauty with every evil intention to kill, steal, and destroy.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Comparison, it’s our worst enemy and one of the tactics that I believe the enemy uses to paralyze us and to keep us from growing, serving and stepping into abundant life and the best display of God’s beauty and glory in and through our lives.
You’ve heard it said and probably experienced it too, “We want what we don’t have.” If we have curly hair, we wish for straight hair. If we are more reserved we think, “if only I could be more outgoing” or if we are full of energy we wish for more of a gentle spirit. Even in the church we might see a woman doing a fabulous job leading a Bible study or speaking or singing and think, “If only I could speak like her, teach like her or sing like her.” Comparison can also sneak into our lives when we begin to compare our situation to another woman’s situation and think, “if only I were married, if only I had that job or that opportunity, then life and ministry would be so much easier.” Comparison is our worst enemy. We often look at other women living out their purpose and giftedness and compare ourselves and begin to feel inadequate, threatened and even jealous.
Comparison can become a habit or an addiction, and can rob us of our joy and unique purpose. When we get so tied up in comparing, we take our focus off of God and the unique way He desires to spread His glory in and through us.
A phrase my mom often said to me was, “Bloom where you are planted.” She continually encouraged me and affirmed my identity in Christ. She said, “Be yourself, do the most with what God has given you. Don’t be jealous of others; instead, learn from them. Be motivated by them. Give God thanks for the beauty you see in others who are using their gifts.” She lived out this phrase of blooming and growing and reflecting the beauty and glory of God where God had placed her.
I must admit that I have done my share of comparing to other women and feeling like I didn’t measure up or that I couldn’t be used as well. Often my reaction was to try harder, to strive, to perform and to muster up the effort in my own flesh to be better. This often left me feeling defeated. So how do we deal with this comparison issue?
Stop! Stop looking at others and start looking to God.
Stop the comparing. When the temptation arises to compare to another, just stop. Stop and choose to be thankful for the beauty you see in others. Learn to appreciate the uniqueness, diversity and beauty that we all have as women. Stop comparing and start affirming. We often look at what we think is a weak area in our own lives and compare it to the strength we see in another. Instead, I’m learning to appreciate and enjoy the diversity that God has gifted in others. It’s a beautiful thing to stop and see how God uses each of our different experiences, our unique situations, our diverse passions and testimonies of His grace and redemption in our lives. We are all different and used in different ways and that diversity is beautiful in the body of Christ. We need each other's differences to encourage and lift each other up and to work together in unity to display the beauty of the body of Christ.
Giving thanks takes my attention off myself and puts it back onto God, the Giver of good gifts. When I start to hold myself up to another, I can ask God to show me the beauty He sees, and then thank Him for it.
And as as I am grateful, I can also be thankful for how He has made me. I can continue to ask God to grow me, conform me and use me the way He desires. I can be who God has created me to be and bloom where He has planted me. It’s a beautiful thing when we can be content in how God has created us. We can show up and be ourselves and let others show up and be themselves. Gratitude is a much more effective defense against comparison.
Romans 12:4-5 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
Holly Stone is the wife of Brian Stone, Lead Pastor at Valley View Church. Holly currently serves as a Life Group leader and is actively involved in women's and children's ministries at Valley View. Holly and Brian have 2 children, Julia, age 8, and Sam, age 7.
Connect Through Fellowship
Our June gathering will be Monday, June 25, at 6:30 pm at the home of Vickie Keene, 1004 Bearcamp Road (40272).
Hearts and Homes is a casual gathering of women each month in the cozy atmosphere of someone's home. Everyone brings a finger food, appetizer or dessert and we share a meal together. If you'd like to connect with other women for fellowship, devotion, and prayer, this is the place!
Connect to God in Prayer
We invite you to join our Women's Prayer Meeting on Saturday, June 9, from 10:00-11:30 am for our annual VBS Prayer Walk at church. We will begin in the Worship Center.
Do you ever wish you were better at prayer? Each month is a little different, but this is a perfect place to flex your prayer muscles. We take time to bring our personal, church and community needs to God. We also celebrate as God answers prayers. You will be so blessed that you'll bring a friend next month!
Connect Through Study
Living Life Together is so important because others help us fulfill our purpose, grow in our faith, and serve others every day.
Part of our faith@home strategy is to lead all generations in studying God’s Word together. On March 5, we began a Unified Bible Study using the Gospel Project. We invite you to join us on this journey through the Bible by starting or joining a group. Learn more at vvchurch.org/lifegroups/
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL is JUNE 11-15 from 9 am - 12:30 pm each day For children age 5 (by August 1) - 5th grade (just completed)
Our VV Kids team has been preparing for an incredible Shipwrecked VBS this year! Kids are going to venture onto an uncharted island where they are rescued by Jesus! It's going to be phenomenal week!
Visit vvchurch.org/vbs to register your child.