Dull, drab, unfashionable, that’s exactly how I felt only a couple of years ago. After having a baby, moving to a new city and leaving a career, I felt a little lost. The identity I thought I knew was no longer and I found myself self-conscious and uncertain. It is during these seasons that it is so easy for the comparison trap to hook us.
Looking around, seeing the appearance of confidence, talking with women who are passionately pursuing their purpose, scanning stylish women who appear to have it “all” together, it is tough to regain identity and courage.
Self-confidence is preached, but I am not sure that is exactly what we need. God-confidence, an innate understanding of who made us, who we belong to and the One who calls us Beloved- that’s what we long for. He knitted us together and knows our every insecurity. But, He also called us to walk together as one body, beautifully designed and deliberately crafted to complement each other in a work of art that proclaims His glory.
My friend, Marsha Apsley, recently published, “40 Days of Faith and Fitness: A Devotional Journal” for women to inspire and encourage them as they seek identity and freedom. The excerpt she shares today is all about becoming… The journey isn’t black and white, good or bad, up or down, it’s a process of yielding every day and trusting the heart of God is FOR YOU. Be encouraged as Marsha shares from her heart and inspires you to become all that God has purposed for you!
Excerpt from “40 Days of Faith and Fitness: A Devotional Journal”
“We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.” Ephesians 2:21
There are several references in scripture of how we are a temple…..our bodies are a temple or the temple of the Lord. We see temple referenced here yet again. But for this verse, I want to focus on the first part “we are carefully joined together”.
I love women! I love the community of women. I love going on bike rides with my “girlfriends” and studying the Bible in all women’s Bible study. I love to call myself a woman. And yet competition and comparison can rear its ugly head among women. I know firsthand!
I remember growing up and constantly comparing myself to other girls, sometimes even my closest friends. And while they were my friends, this comparison would give me this sense of competition. I wanted to be prettier and more liked than she. I wanted a boy to pick me over her.
And even as women, let’s be honest, we’ll size ourselves up with other women. How many times have you been out, possibly already feeling self-conscious for one reason or another, and then someone walks into the restaurant and you begin the comparisons in your mind?
I’m raising my hand. I’ve done it. It could be a stranger or it could be a close friend.
But here’s the thing, we’re in this together! We’re all part of this life together. If the Lord lives in your heart as He does mine, we’re sisters in Christ. We can’t let this comparison and competition take over. We’re supposed to be lifting one another up and encouraging each other.
I used to think that if I complimented someone then I was in turn putting myself down. Or if my friend had success in some area, be it a job or weight loss or whatever, it meant failure for me.
That is so not right! How is it that we come to think this way?
As the verse says “we”, we, you and me, sister, we’re joined together. We’re in this together. And we’re all a temple of the Lord.
Prayer: Dear God, please remove any spirit of comparison or competition from my heart. I want to be supportive of the beautiful women around me. Thank you for making me a woman. Help me to encourage the community of women and help us to be confident in the unique way that you have made each of us. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Action Step: Give a genuine compliment to a female friend or stranger today.
Marsha Apsley, M.S, LMHC, is a counselor and is passionate about helping women live fit and free. She does this by focusing on whole person health and wellness with an emphasis on how women feel about themselves. She believes that a healthy lifestyle needs to be built on a firm foundation of faith. Marsha recently published “40 Days of Faith and Fitness: A Devotional Journal”. It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Connect with Marsha and find out more about her services on her website. Find her on Facebook and join her free Faith & Fitness with Marsha Group . She is also on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram @marshaapsley.
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