Our enemy, Satan, is so good. So good at warping reality.
If you were to pass me on the street or sit next to me at a Bible study, you’d never know that I struggle with this sin. Shoot, I didn’t even know I was struggling with this sin until God brought it front and center last fall.
I grew up thinking this behavior was normal because it’s widely accepted and even rewarded. This sin is easy to hide because it’s tucked away in my thoughts, hidden behind the have-it-all-together look I portray to the world.
But it is so not normal and so not good. It’s like a slow-growing cancer that invades my thoughts and eats at me from the inside out.
Some people call it discontentment, some call it comparison, others call it something else. I’ve been trying to put a label on it but it seems to elude me every time…maybe because it’s more than one thing.
It’s what every woman does when she enters a room, or at least all the women I’ve chatted with. If you’ve never thought about it before or if you are a man reading this, let me enlighten you on how the average female brain works upon entering a room full of women:
Immediately she scans the room and sees the physical appearance of each and every woman. She begins to size herself up with each one. She sizes up their weight, height, complexion, hair color, eye color, what kind of clothes they wear, how well their clothes fit, how new their clothes are, what brand their clothes are. Then she notices their personalities. Are the outgoing? Are they talkative? She also notices who they are with. Are they talking with someone of greater importance or of lesser importance? She considers their accomplishments as well. How successful are they? She even goes as far to look at their spouse and children, if they have them.
As if the above wasn’t bad enough, now comes the really awful part.
This is all done in attempt to see whether or not she is better than these women or less than these women. She wants to see how she fits in with every woman in the room. And it’s just the beginning.
Now, she starts cutting down each woman. It does’t matter if they are prettier (or fill in the blank with some other insecurity) or uglier than she is. The prettier girls, she finds their “flaws” so she is on a level playing field with them. The uglier girls, she finds their “flaws” and exploits them because she herself, in fact, doesn’t have that flaw and she’s all the better for it.
It’s sick. It’s disgusting. It’s not the heart of God.
I’ve been praying about this, a lot. In fact, it all started with prayer. I asked God to show me my insignificance compared to His greatness. And He did. Yeah, totally blew me out of the water in a not-so-good way.
I began to see how ugly my thought life was. And this never-ending onslaught of tearing down other women led me to him over and over again, asking forgiveness and seeking a new mind with new thought patterns.
This sin is sooooo destructive.
It builds walls between women.
It keeps women from being in community with one another.
It creates an always-going competition to be the best and it’s exhausting.
I would go as far to say that this secret sin of tearing women down is just as rampant as a man’s secret sin of pornography. The world tells us that competition is normal, that sex is normal. But take each of these out of context, and it’s plain, ugly sin.
I’ve struggled with this for years but I just didn’t know it. I can look back now and see this all the way back to high school, maybe even before that.
I had just made All-State Choir for the second year in a row. You would think I would have been happy. But I wasn’t. I so wasn’t. I wasn’t because I had made 10th chair, for the second year in a row. Eleventh chair doesn’t make the cut by the way. Everyone was cheering me on, but I was mad. Mad that I didn’t get better from one year to the next. But even more so, mad that other girls, my friends, had made better chairs that me. My friends weren’t even competing directly against me! But they had still done better.
I eventually went to on to college as a vocal performance major. After one semester I quit the music world and entered another major. Why? Because I was tired of competing, tired of having to be the best. I couldn’t handle it anymore.
And you know, we aren’t supposed to be able to handle it. God didn’t wire us that way. Satan wants us to think so. He wants us to tear down others so that we are “better than they are” and he wants us to believe the lie that we aren’t good enough as God created us to be.
But it can all end here.
You can take a stand with me today and change this, one woman at a time.
In order to do so you have to arm yourself. Satan is not going to like it and he will put up a fight. Take these verses below and write them on index cards, mirrors, anything. Have them ready the moment you begin that dark descent, tearing women down.
Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Phil 4:8
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Phil 2:3
Join me; be real and authentic with other women. Let’s change our thoughts, becoming each others’ cheerleaders instead of each other’s competition.
There’s so much more I want to cover about this topic. This is just the beginning. Come back next week and check it out. Or better yet, click on the blue FOLLOW KRISTIN button and have it emailed straight to your inbox!