Comparison (Killing Insecurity Part 14)

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Comparison fuels insecurity. It’s easy to look at other people’s lives and compare what you see to the reality of your own life. Like the quote states above, We compare our behind the scenes to other people’s highlight reel.”

The problem comes when self esteem is tied to comparison with other people.

Comparison can lead to putting others down to feel better about ourselves, feelings of inferiority, or even wanting what other people have (coveting or envying).

What are we comparing?

There is not only the comparison of possessions, qualities, looks, or status. We as humans also compare sins. Have you ever looked at someone and said, “At least I’m not as bad as that person, or that person seems so spiritual, connected to God and I am not?

What does the Bible say about comparison, judging, and wanting what others have…

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor,”~Exodus 20:17.

What does it mean to covet?
1.yearn to possess or have (something).

synonyms: desire, yearn for, crave, have one’s heart set on, want, wish for, long for, hanker after/for, hunger after/for, thirst for more.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?~Matthew 7:1-3.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma,~Ephesians 5:1-2.

It’s okay to admire qualities we see in others. However, scripture tells us to be imitators of Christ.

Last post I talked about allowing Christ to live in us. Jesus is our model. Any good we see in people comes from Him. Any blessings or spiritual gifts we see in people’s lives, we can admire and praise God. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Also what He does for one, He will do for another.

Why do we compare ourselves to others?

We don’t realize how valuable, special, and unique we are.

God loves you friends. Every person has a special purpose and set of gifts given by God. God longs to give us good things. He withholds nothing good. So, the greatest thing we can do is seek God for identity.

Comparison normally does not lead to anything good. Everyone has problems, troubles, struggles, and only God is perfect! And He is crazy about you! He delights in who He made, you! He has great plans for you.

Be Like Christ or Let Christ Live In You

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Is the goal to be like Christ or to allow Christ to live in us? The Killing Insecurity Series would be incomplete without talking about the expectation for Christians to be exactly like Jesus. This causes all kinds of insecurity and disappointment.The truth is without God we can do nothing.

Striving to be like Jesus is different than abiding in Him and allowing His nature to shine through us. One puts the focus on us, the other puts the focus on Jesus.

We can’t will ourselves to be like Jesus. If we could be like Jesus on our own efforts, there would be no need for a Savior, or for the old man to die. We were dead, blind, wretched, and without hope before Christ. It’s only because of what Jesus did that we can live a holy life. And my sweet friends it’s a process, a journey. We are saved by faith and being sanctified by God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be trusted with our spiritual growth. We don’t willfully sin, ignore God’s Word or warnings, or neglect His instructions. We also don’t put pressure on ourselves to be like Jesus. We abide, He produces fruit.

So here’s the good news:

In Christ, the righteousness of Christ is counted as yours. We can’t earn God’s love, approval, or do enough good deeds to be counted righteous on our own. It’s only through Jesus that we are made right with God. This takes the pressure off. It’s not a contest, competition, or a burden.

Being in relationship with God, abiding in Him, and cultivating relationship with Him leads to heart transformation. Heart transformation leads to life transformation. We are changed when we are saved. However, we don’t immediately act like Jesus in every way and every day. If you’ve ever grown plants, you know that when a seed is planted it does not immediately bolt into a full grown plant. It takes time. Another example is a baby. They don’t come out of the womb talking, walking, and running. Growth takes time.

God knows our weaknesses and is not intimidated by them. If we think God is judging us continually, walking with Jesus will be stressful. Truth is God knew what He was getting when He chose you. He knows everything about everything.

Lastly, aside from creating insecurity, the pressure to be like Christ creates unnecessary stress. God wants to shine through us, not for us to try to generate our own light. Give yourself permission to be human. 🙂 Being human isn’t a license to sin, it is permission to rely fully on a Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I’m fully aware that I’m human. Without Jesus I have no ability to live like Him. So let’s rest in what He’s done and trust His leadership, guidance, and ability to transform us. Let’s also be aware that others need grace and mercy as well. Though I’d be nice, we can truly only expect Jesus to be 100% like Jesus all the time. Everyone else will miss the mark in some way.

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Boundaries (Killing Insecurity Part 13)

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This post is quite practical. It’s about boundaries. One of the signs we are lacking security in Christ is a lack of boundaries. You may be thinking, “I don’t have an issue with boundaries!” I urge you to stay with me.

Answer these questions:

Do you find it difficult to say no to things you don’t want to do or aren’t right for you?

Do you seek to please people?

Do you go along with what is being said or done out of fear?

Do you often feel taken advantage of, frustrated, or used in relationships?

Do you find yourself overloaded, overworked, or burned out?

Do you seek to rescue people from their bad choices?

Do you stay in relationships that are harmful, one sided, or detrimental?

Do you allow people to mistreat you with no consequences?

Do you listen more to what people say than what God says?

Are you always taking from other people?

Are you constantly giving to others and there’s no reciprocation?

Do you overstay your welcome or allow others to overstay their welcome?

Do you take responsibility for others or try to control or change others?

Do you let people get too close to you quickly or try to get close to people quickly?

Do you lack respect for people’s privacy, have trouble keeping secrets, or share too much?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s most likely a boundary issue.

What are boundaries?

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What is the purpose of boundaries?

Boundaries protect the value of something. If you had a million dollar diamond, you’d keep it safe. You’d probably put it in a case, have an alarm system, and surveillance. Guess what? You are someone God considers more valuable than that million dollar diamond. You are valuable and so is everyone else.

Boundaries keep us from being violated, used, abused, and they protect others. Boundaries say, “Your freedom ends where my freedom begins.” We can’t do whatever we want with no consequences. We are called out of security in Christ to set boundaries with people. Jesus set boundaries with people. When Peter told Jesus he would not let him go to the cross, Jesus rebuked him. The highest priority for Jesus was the will of His Father. People did not determine what Jesus would do. He was secure in His identity.

Boundaries are good and rooted in love.

Even society sets boundaries with the law. I can’t walk into my neighbors house and take his belongings. There’s a lock on the door and to take his stuff is a violation of his space.

People, if you let them, will violate and/or take advantage of you. If you’re not careful, you can overstep boundaries with other people. Here are some stories…

Carpool: I used to volunteer to take a lady from an old church ( long ago, no longer attending) to Sunday services. I thought it was noble, to serve and love like Jesus. She wasn’t on my route but had no other way. This woman would slam my car door, complain all the way to church, wander off after church, get an attitude if she thought we’d be late, call my house multiple times Sunday mornings, etc…I at the time thought I was dying to self and suffering for Christ. I realized after weeks of frustration, and seething inside that I was being stupid. Jesus would point her to truth. He’s not a wimp or doormat. He doesn’t delight in sin. Allowing this woman to treat me poorly wasn’t helping her to become like Christ. In community we are called to point each other to Jesus. Love corrects to restore. It’s not loving to allow someone to keep sinning against you.

The talebearer: I don’t like gossip. I don’t like listening to other people’s business or hearing their secrets. I don’t advocate talking about someone behind their back. I try to protect people’s reputations. I’ve had to tell a few people, “You shouldn’t share this with people. Do you have permission to share this? I don’t want to hear this.” It’s awkward. It doesn’t feel nice at first, but it’s my boundary.

The intruder: I think we’ve probably all encountered the person who has different ideas of personal space, who stays late, arrives late, makes you late, arrives too early, stops by unannounced, etc…intruders don’t respect your time or space. You set the standard for how you’ll be treated. I’ve been know to not answer the door, my phone, to leave without chronically late people, etc…it’s not to be mean or demand my way. It’s a to create a boundary in my life.

You and I are responsible for what we allow. We are also called to have self control in our own lives. We learn the boundaries of others and establish our own. God is a fan of boundaries, for love protects.