Oops, I Did It Again.

I did it again.

In my defense it started innocently with a status update, then an Instagram photo followed by an eloquent tweet. I cheered. I smiled. “Awe, so cool” I said.

But it lingered.

And then it moved to real life and it met me in the dressing room trying on swimsuits. And then again at the restaurant across from that chic.

I would brush it off with a casual flip of my hair, and a stiffening of my upper lip. “I got this, I totally have it all under control”, I thought.

Until it started to eat me for lunch. It ravished the peace in my friendships and then it gnawed at the tender joy in my marriage. Finally silencing the truth in my faith.

I got caught up in the tantalizing web of comparison.

I totally fell victim to this crap-trap of lies and twisted perceptions.

I let it eat at the inside of me until the process of being authentic was juxtaposed with false representations of ‘shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’.

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You see, I know better. I know better than to allow comparisons to turn to evaluations. I even wrote (and spoke) about it here. Umm, I know those evaluations brought on unwarranted shame. Like quicksand, I began to fear all sorts of things. Things like, rejection and insignificance and I doubted connection, fearing transparency. Oh, it was ugly.

But an echo from a book I once read came dangling down in front of me, just as I was about to go under.

“If I search around long enough, I’ll find insecurity beneath my grandiosity and arrogant expectations beneath my self-contempt”. -Terry D. Cooper (quoted in So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore)

Pride. Pride was seeping in all around my tender soul masked as insecurity. And the spark that started it all was a simple moment of comparison.

Beth Moore goes on:

“Pride talks us out of forgiving and steers us away from risking. …Pride is a slave driver like no other, and if it can’t drive us to destruction, it will drive us to distraction.”

Can I sum that up in two words: Social Media.

I sat there on that fatefully dangerous day and compared their success to my perceived short comings. I lined up their haves next to my have-nots and promptly declared myself as inadequate. Friend, don’t you dare tell me you’ve never done that, and hold the platitudes please. You and I both know this epidemic is rampant.

Pride was shouting, “See there, I don’t have as many followers as they do, I am not as important or valuable.” “She got more likes than I did.” “I wasn’t asked to join them because I am not enough”. “I’ve been passed over.” “It will never happen, I don’t deserve it.” Because according to pride, it’s all about me and my abilities and my worth.

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“Pride is the result of mistaking the eternal for the temporal. We end up looking in to look up instead of looking up to look in. We get fixated on every self-gain and every self-loss until, in our inordinate self-protection, we end up liking our wounds to the point they can’t heal.” (Beth Moore, So Long Insecurity)

And thus, the struggle to be authentically me.

I was too busy trying to make me like everyone else. Distracted I was, striving to make my journey just like theirs.

No, the truth is I am authentic, I am of undisputed origin, made in a way that faithfully resembles The original. I was created in His image.

Proverbs 11:2 says: When pride comes in, then comes shame. But with humility comes wisdom. And boy, am I ever familiar with shame; we were roommates for far too long. What I do want is humility, an unassuming position, a manner that avoids impropriety. Because I want the real, authentic me to be what shines, it’s the only thing that brings true meaning to the air in my lungs. And I don’t have air to waste chasing someone else’s validation.

“We must stop affirming and reaffirming to ourselves how inferior we are. It is the furthest thing from God’s concept of humility.” ~Beth Moore (So Long Insecurity)

In my quest for the shears to shed this unwanted shame and stifling pride I landed in Galations 5. Paul said it best and so I’ll quote him from the Message Bible, but seriously – you should go check out the whole chapter.

“I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.”

“You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect.”

“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

Galations 5: 4-10, 25-26

Oh how I want the kind of deep down confidence from the Master, so that no amount of yeast can overtake me. I will work out these implications, daily. I surrender to find meaning, I bow low in humility to fulfill my praise to You, God.

Yes Lord, walking in the way of your (word), I wait for You. Your name (Your name alone) and Your renown are the desire of my heart. (from Isaiah 26:8 Parenthesis mine).

 

Linking up today for encouragement with Jennifer Dukes Lee #tellHisstory, and  Holley Gerth and Coffee for Your Heart. Come join us for some encouragement and inspiration!


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17 Comments on “Oops, I Did It Again.

  1. Wow! Did you write that? Betty and I are busy making plans for meals for out-of-towners and I’m praying for strength for 5 days of house guests, etc. Sandy and Bonnie are staying with me Tuesday and Wednesday after everyone else goes back home. Love Always, Grandma G

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  2. Pride is a nasty piece of baggage to carry along on our journeys, and it is tenacious in its continual prodding. I could see it just as you wrote it, the ever confirming affirmations we speak to convince ourselves that we ‘got this’. But instead, stealing a quote from Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book, we need to start trusting that ‘ God’s Got It’ and start affirming ourselves with His living Word.

    Such necessary reminders to submit ourselves to His grace and remember who we are in Him, Brandi! Thank you!

    Thanks for stopping by my space today, too!
    Bless you,
    Dawn

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    • Oh, my, you said that so well- it is a putrid peace of baggage isn’t it?! And it is so true that in surrendering all of our stuff we find true peace, because He does “got it”. And there is nothing more affirming than His word. Thank you Dawn! Have a fantastic rest of the week!

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  3. I’m a chronic Internal comparer too !!! I’ve struggled with this issue all my life. But I’m so glad God doesn’t compare us to anyone !!! And that is enough for me. Blessings. Visiting from Holley Gerth’s Link Up.

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    • Hi! It is so freeing when we finally allow ourselves to see that God doesn’t look at us the same way we look at ourselves, or even others. Thank you so much for coming by today!

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  4. Yup, Brandi…I’m a picker-upper too. I surrender and lay down and ride that emotional high, then pick it back up and get dragged down. It is only through prayer and with great intention and purpose that I can truly surrender that struggle for approval that plagues me. It’s only by His power and in recognizing how utterly weak I am apart from Him – humbling myself and calling it sin – that I find freedom. So when the doubts and comparisons come, I look to Him and know that I can’t pick up what He has forgotten…He won’t let me. Love your words, your transparency and authenticity and I’m so glad you chose to share your heart here!

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    • Tiffany, Well said my friend! It is true that only by His power, His powerful love, are we anything at all. May God give us eyes to see what needs to be laid down for good and what we need to cling to for eternity. So grateful to get to visit with you all today!! Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Been there, done that. Have a few t-shirts. Fight it all the time. And, then this beautiful reminder of why I do what I do. Why I write what I write. “Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place.” Thank God for grace – thank God for Paul who wrote these words and may have fought the same Pride Monster plaguing us today. Wonderful post. Visiting from Holley’s.

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    • 🙂 I’m chuckling at the T-shirt… I have several and use several others for rags… yup! I hope to have coffee with Paul a few times when I get to heaven- his words cut straight to the heart of things – and set me free! Thank you for coming by today!

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  6. Hello! We are ‘neighbors’ at Jennifer’s this week. YOur words ring so true! I’ve heard a lot about that particular Beth Moore Bible Study–so much good stuff there. Yes, you are the one and only you…..God help us remember that!

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  7. “Because I want the real, authentic me to be what shines, it’s the only thing that brings true meaning to the air in my lungs. And I don’t have air to waste chasing someone else’s validation.”
    This part 👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼!!!!!! For me was life giving and means so much. I will surrender every day so that the only thing I’m chasing is His presence.

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    • Colleen, girl, I adore you! And it’s so true- we have only a handful of days here on this earth and I want them to count for eternity. I need to stop wasting them in the comparison abyss. Ain’t nobody got time for dat! 🙂

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