Being OK With Where You Are {Chapter 4}

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Today, we start Chapter 4 and I have a feeling this will hit us all in the place we hurt most. My friend Tanya calls “Quiet Competition.” I think if we are going to be OK with where we are, this is something we have to face and overcome with the grace only Jesus can give.

What is it? Let’s read part of Chapter 4….

 

From Chapter 4 {The “C” Word}:

“Comparison is the death of joy.” 
― Mark Twain

“When you are not OK with where you are it is likely your best friend is having the time of her life. Her prayers are being checked off with ‘yeses’  in groups of ten. The sun is shining, her fortune cookie outlook is fantastic, and she is ten pounds lighter. Bless her heart, you love her but you are a bit bothered by it all. You will find yourself clapping courteously for her on the outside, while you shout on the inside , “It just isn’t fair.”

Nothing brings out the comparison monster quicker than admitting you are not OK with where you are. It is as though the enemy is crouched in the corner waiting to attack the moment you say it out loud. He is quick to show you, when you are in the midst of your struggle, how great everyone else seems to be doing. In fact, he takes great delight in parading in front of you the success stories of your closest friends and the masses as you sit rehearsing your latest dashed hope.

Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me

We are an all girl household except for one very brave super dad. We lean towards a flair for the dramatic. If there is one phrase I hear almost daily it is, “That isn’t fair. Why did she get more than me?” I tend to roll my eyes at this approach because I know good and well the accuser had her fair share. This approach rarely works for me. I tell my girls, “Life isn’t fair. This is a great lesson to learn young.”  I also sound just like my mother when I say it. I want them to know, the sooner they realize there is no fair-o-meter hanging mysteriously in the sky the better off they will be. They usually sulk off to their room and toss themselves on their bed in a heap of tears that would give Scarlet O’Hara a run for her money. They are convinced nobody loves them, everybody hates them and they might as well stop living all together. How could they when life just isn’t fair? 

We grown up girls feel it too. I have done my fair share of wailing on my bed. We desperately want life to be fair. And by fair, I mean we want our version of fair. We want things to go our way, on our schedule, with our people.  If we are honest, at times we want God to be a good fairy who shows up with a magic wand. We want Him to turn our soot covered rags into fairytale worthy ball gowns every single time we ask. And for once, we want it to be about us, not our sister. You know what I’ve discovered? It isn’t just us or our kids who know this feeling. Bible girls felt it, too. Just ask Martha.

Mary and Martha and throwing your sister under the bus.

Martha was standing in the kitchen. Mary was at the feet of Jesus. One of them was not happy with where she was, or maybe she was not happy with where her sister was by comparison. Do you know the story?

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” Luke 10: 38-40

This is a snapshot moment in the lives of two sisters. In it we find a house full of hungry people and Martha bearing the weight of feeding them all. She was frustrated. When we are not OK with where we are, tension rises. Can you feel it too in this story?

From Martha’s view, she had the short end of the stick. She was quick to throw Mary under the bus because in her estimation, it was not fair she was doing all the work.

Where was Mary while Martha was in the kitchen? She was lounging at the feet of Jesus. Mary did not feel the tension. Martha was not having it. In comparing herself to Mary, any joy she may have had in serving Jesus died on the spot.

But Jesus said: “Oh Martha, Martha, you are so anxious and concerned about a million details, but really only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.”  Luke 10:41-42, The Voice Translation

I love how Jesus uses Martha’s name twice to make sure He has her attention. I think He said it tenderly. I think He looked her straight in the eye. He was not so much excusing Mary, but gently pulling Martha back to the one thing she was missing. While she was busying complaining about where she was and where Mary wasn’t, she was missing Jesus. He was drawing her back to Himself.

God is saying this to us as well. “Girl, you are so anxious and concerned over your place in life, but only one thing matters.”  Do you hear Him? He is drawing us back to Himself.  He is making a place at His feet for us. We will probably come to Him frustrated, anxious, and with our list of complaints. We may feel like He is holding out on us. We may tell Him it is not fair. The truth is, what He is offering is what really matters. It is a deeper relationship with Him. He is willing to use anything in our lives to accomplish this if we will let Him. The question is, will we take that seat? Will we go deeper with Him, or will we continue to look around at everyone else and want what they have? ”

***

Comparison is a two headed monster. It keeps us in an ugly place and it makes us want what our sister has. If we want to grow through this process and find Jesus in the middle of it, we have to look to Him and not others.  When we are in a place of struggle, we have to look ten times more to Christ and His Word.

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Q. Oh sweet friend I know this is so hard. Do you struggle with the “C” Word  - Comparison?  Has it stolen your last bit of joy? What would it look like in your life if you accepted the invitation to sit next to the feet of Jesus and go deeper with Him instead?

More to come later this week.

xo,

Stacey

P.S. To find out more about the book, Being OK with Where You Are, go here.

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Comments

  1. Gretchen Scoleri says:

    I cried when I read this chapter yesterday, Stacey. Needed to hear this due to some things God is working in my life as of late. Thanks so much for writing this book. You are a blessing to me and so many others!

  2. Rachel says:

    Coming off of a weekend where this was what I needed to hear. Just wanted to let you know, you hit home on this one for me. Thanks.
    Rachel recently posted..What Feeds a Soul?

  3. Krystal says:

    Very well written. I think every woman needs to hear this message. Love it, friend. Keep writing!

  4. Karin says:

    Andy Stanley gave a great message on this and one phrase of his has stuck with me: “there’s no win in comparison.”

    Looking forward to your book!
    Karin recently posted..Lean In

  5. Crystal says:

    Oh girl, nothing makes you play the comparison game more than being in this online writing world of beautiful, talented sisters who do it all so well. We edit, change, create and cover up the imperfections but really? It takes a boat load of prayer and finding that friend I can confess my jealousy to so that I can move forward & not give up on it all, when the enemy tries to convince me I’ll just mess it all up & “she” would do it better. Love your words, friend..this book is going to be wonderful!
    Crystal recently posted..Links I’m Loving

    • stacey says:

      So true – we writer girls edit and change all day long! And them we send it to our editor and she edits MORE! We are all a work in progress. I struggle too friend!

      Thanks for your encouragement!

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