We all want to feel significant. Am I right?? We want to be -ER or -EST.
But when the only way we get our validation is through “yard-sticking” (being better or best), rather through God’s unconditional delight in us we’re sunk.
I compare, and I think “Ahhhh! I’m better than that!” and pride sneaks in. Or I compare and I think, “Oh, I’ll never be as good as ______” and I forget my worth in Jesus. Pride or Insecurity are the dangers of focusing on -er and -est.
This is an on-going struggle, kind of like whack-a-mole, needing constant attention because the yardstick will pop up over and over.
The other day I wrote about the first 3 practices that I’ve tried in combatting the tendency to yardstick. Here are the final 2. What would you add?
4. Practice gratitude.
Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. 1Timothy 4:4 MSG
Stop and make a list of the gifts, talents, and opportunities God has given you, thanking Him for the “good works He planned for you long ago”. Even things that seem like limitations may be used for God’s glory. Think of Peter and Paul in jail and their witness.
5. Embrace the discipline of genuine affirmation that comes from a place of abundance not scarcity.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Sometimes, especially when someone else is getting a boatload of attention, it’s hard to be affirming. We can choke on our words because we think “It’s not FAIR!” But when we can be authentic and specific I believe it will strengthen our confidence in God as a God of abundance and not scarcity.
One caveat…I do believe that there are times when we’re called to protect our soul from people who somehow Satan seems to consistently use to reinforce the lie of “not good enough”. This doesn’t mean they are bad people at all, but I unfollow and unsubscribe those who bring out shame or anxiety in me. Boundaries can be a blessing.
None of this is easy. What thoughts would you add?