Have you ever struggled with seeing other women as competition? I have.
For many years, it was extremely hard for me to look at a beautiful girl and not feel threatened in some way. I would think that because she's so beautiful, someone may not notice me. Or, if she dressed well, maybe no one else will notice that my outfit was nice too. Because of my pride and deeply rooted insecurities, I was never able to really connect with other women and forge genuine relationships with them because I always saw them as competition. It was almost like I was playing an imaginary game (the comparison game) that only I knew about, and I had to win, every time. It's ridiculous I know, but that was my reality.
I wonder how many of you would be honest enough to admit that you struggled with, or still struggle with the same thing? For a long time, I knew that I was incredibly insecure and this is why I often compared myself to other women, but I'd always brush it off, and ignore it. I never felt the need to address it because I was honestly ashamed. I felt ashamed that I was so insecure. It was only until the Lord revealed to me just how much of an impact comparison was having on my life and the women around me, that I knew I needed to do the work that was necessary to walk in freedom and healing.
The Lord helped me realize that because I always saw women as competition, I projected my insecurities onto them. For example, I'd make a girl feel left out because I struggled with envy and didn't want to be around her. Or, I'd ignore a girl because I felt threatened by her gift, or her presence. The thing is, I really had nothing against her, it's just that I was so incredibly insecure that I didn't know how to cope, and in the process, I ended up hurting someone else. Because of my own issues, I've hurt other women, and to be honest, I've experienced this same kind of hurt from other women.
I've been made to feel less than and incapable by other women. I've felt left out and rejected by women that I looked up to. I've been made to feel that I wasn't talented enough, good enough, or pretty enough by other women. Thinking back, I realize that maybe they didn't make me feel this way intentionally either- maybe, just like me, they were insecure and struggled to cope with their insecurities. A few days ago, I began to think about how harshly we treat our fellow sisters because of our own insecurities. I'm not talking about our biological sisters, but fellow women. We back bite and gossip. We push them aside and ignore them, all because we have issues that we refuse to acknowledge in order to heal.
As women, it’s time to grow up in this area. Truly. I genuinely believe that once we commit to healing and go before the Lord in repentance and prayer, He will help us. It's possible to look at another woman and call her beautiful, without seeing her as competition. It's possible to celebrate another woman's accomplishments and be genuinely happy for her. It's possible to call out the gifts in another woman and encourage her to walk in her full potential.
It's possible because with God, all things are possible.
I want to remind all the women reading this week that she's your sister, not your competition. As women, we're in this together; especially as Christian women. Most of the hurt I've experienced from other women was in the church, and I believe that it doesn't have to be that way. Change starts with us. Let's look upon our sisters and encourage them. Support them. Love on them. Cry with them. Laugh with them. Celebrate with them. Doing so takes nothing away from your worth or value. Let's commit to loving our sisters with the love of Jesus Christ.
Remember, she's your sister, not your competition.
[Check out this week's worksheet for deeper reflection regarding this issue.]