Put Away the Measuring Stick
Our constant propensity to compare ourselves
to the women around us
is wrecking our perceptions of both ourselves and them.
The question every performer asks is: “How do I measure up?” The problem is, when we compare ourselves or our things with those around us or their things, it’s a recipe for disaster! Think about it… what are the areas where you struggle with envy?
- Maybe it’s in the realm of material things – Why can’t you live in a house like your friend’s?
- Maybe it’s in the realm of body image – Why is it your friend never has to diet and she looks like a supermodel?
- Maybe it’s in the realm of your marriage – Why doesn’t your husband bring you flowers like your friend’s husband?
- Maybe it’s in the realm of abilities or accomplishments – Why didn’t you get the promotion at work that your friend got?
On and on our list goes. Sigh. Envy is serious business, isn’t it? It can ruin our friendships, our marriages, and our self-esteem. Life was never meant to be a competition, so we need to figure out how to put away the measuring tape! Jesus told a story about envy – let’s take a look.
The Parable of the Workers in the Field
If you haven’t already, read Matthew 20:1-16. As you read the story, try to imagine what would happen in our culture if this story actually happened. I’m thinking the labor union would be involved. After you read the story, spend a few moments reflecting. What do you think was the point of Jesus’ story? I believe the point is that God has the right to distribute His gifts as He will and that the distribution of those gifts is not always going to seem fair. If we are going to find freedom, we must stop comparing.
The grace glimpse taught in this parable is:
Grace isn’t fair.
If I am going to find freedom from performing,
I must stop comparing.
Changing the Recipe
On pages 117-121, I give a recipe for choosing contentment instead of envy.
- Ingredient #1: One heaping cup of Worship
- Ingredient #2: One half cup of Positive and True Self-Talk
- Ingredient #3: More than a pinch of Gratitude
- Ingredient #4: A tablespoon of Rejoicing When Others Rejoice
- Ingredient #5: A generous portion of the Holy Spirit
For Next Week
- Read Chapter 6 in Freedom From Performing and complete the Daily Dose of Grace.
- Write this week’s Grace Glimpse on an index card and tape it to your mirror. Every time you look at it remind yourself that you must stop comparing if you are going to enjoy freedom from performing.
- Choose one ingredient from the recipe above and begin practicing it this week!
Group Discussion – Answer one or more of the following questions and leave a comment.
- How do you think envy impacts our friendships as women?
- In what areas of life have you struggled with envy? What has helped you tame the tendency to envy?
- What was your favorite part of this chapter, and how did God use that in your life?