Monday, February 17, 2014

Competition and Cattiness

Adam and I are part of this Young Adults group at our church.
We met last night and at the end we split into small groups.
All the girls there were together in one group.

We were discussing the message we just heard and what different things said to us.
One thing led to another and I began to share how deeply I struggle with competitiveness.
I went as far as to call it inner cattiness.
Of course I would never get into an open scratch out fight with another girl.....
but I have to be honest with myself about how competitive I get with the women in my life.

In my  mind and my heart I tear certain women down and feel like I am built up.
I say I'm just being honest, but I talk badly about them to my husband and am really slandering their name.
I get easily offended when they say something and I think they're trying to one up me.
I look at the social feeds and just feel this awful rotting feeling towards them.

I buy into the lie and think that I really am better than them.

As soon as I owned that in front of our all female small group, everyone was nodding and claiming the same feelings.
We all felt that inward fight to be the best at...... pretty much everything.
But, by the Grace of God, we all also knew how wrong and evil those feelings and thoughts are.

God acknowledges this cattiness in us I think.
When Paul is writing to the church of Philippi, at the beginning of chapter 4, he addresses a fight between two women in the church named Euodia and Syntyche.
He pleads with them to agree with each other in the Lord.
And then he asks other church members to help them.

It's important that the women stop fighting and stop dividing the church like this.
Paul is always encouraging unity in the church.

My inner cattiness, my inner desire to see others fail so that I will look better, is just another form of pride.
It's just another way that I take glory from God and look to myself to be awesome.

But as Christians we are called first to love God and then to love people.
Jesus Himself says in Matthew 22: 34-40 that "all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

How can I love the ones who I want to see fail?
How can I truly love God if I don't love what He has created?

I don't know how I'll take myself out of competition.
But He can and He will.
He'll use suffering and failings and love to squeeze out all the competition in me and to make me see that He is truly enough.
He paid the price.
He only asks that I take off my dirty rags of pride and put on His pure, shining robes of humility and love.

I have beautiful, loving, hardworking, creative, healthy, God-loving women in my life.
I pray that God would bless them and give them all they need.
I pray that He would provide a loving friend for them in me.
I pray that God would heal unacknowledged hurts and slights.
I pray that He would makes His women shining witnesses of His Love and Grace.

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