Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Women Competing with Other Women Spells DISASTER

If you’re not familiar with the book of Esther stop reading this blog and give it a read and then come back to this blog.

Esther was a young woman who was in a competition, but she wasn’t competitive.  She was forced to live in a system and a society where she was competing for the heart of the king.  Even in scripture Esther is recorded as not wanting to be in the position she was placed in.  She didn’t want to be there, she didn’t want to compete and tried to live as normal of a life as possible while experiencing life within the walls of the kingdom.  Eventually Esther does meet the king and he favors her above all women.  He chooses her for his wife and the competition is over.

Do you think those other women were jealous of each other during this time?  The Bible doesn’t say exactly, but in my experience if there is an atmosphere of competition then there is jealousy.  Our society today is nothing BUT competition.  We live in a system that confronts us with competitive situations daily and for women that can spell D*I*S*A*S*T*E*R when we choose to participate in competition.

What situation do you find yourself in?
  •       You and another woman are competing with one another
  •       You are competing with another woman but she won’t compete with you
  •       Another woman is competing with you but you won’t compete with her

Esther wasn’t competing; she took on the attitude that if God wants to promote her then she was there for that specific time and place to be used by God for His purposesI believe that is the call on all of our lives.  That God promotes and elevates each one of us at a specific time for a specific purpose.  Esther wasn’t promoted to queen just to show the world how beautiful she was, even though she is noted for her beauty.  Esther wasn’t promoted to queen because she was better than everyone else.  Esther WAS promoted as queen to seek the favor of the king so that he might save her people, the Jews.  It was a political move spiritually.  If this is the call for all of us, to be used for a specific time and purpose, to make a difference in this world; to attack the kingdom of darkness in strategic political attacks, then why would any of us women want to compete?  We should be standing by one another, cheering each other on for each success.  Each time a woman you know is elevated and promoted we should share in their joy realizing that God is positioning her for a political attack on the enemy.  When we become jealous of each other, what we’re really doing is working against what God has planned for each one of us.  We are tearing apart the strategic plan making it unsuccessful in defeating our enemy, the devil.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

Instead of tearing apart God’s plan for each one of us, let’s tear apart what spells D*I*S*A*S*T*E*R, stop competing with the women around us and start building up one another spelling a much needed word; S*I*S*T*E*R.  When we drop the DIA from the word DISASTER what we are really dropping is a word that is defined in the dictionary as a prefix meaning: apart.  Let’s all make the choice today to not separate and pull apart one another through competition but embrace each other as SISTERS in the Lord.

If you are experiencing a situation where someone is competing with you, have you decided not to compete with them?  In what ways are you not competing with them? Have you ever experience a friendship with another woman that started as competition then changed to sisterhood in the Lord? –Please share your story to encourage others.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Don't Keep the "Labels" Others Place on You

Stuck-up, nerd, dumb blonde, geek, stupid, worthless, failure, disappointment, liar, shallow, a nobody.  These are some of the “labels” that over the course of my life others have placed upon me.  Is that who I am?  Am I really those “labels”?

I’m a shopper, I love it and I won’t apologize for it.  I don’t believe it makes me a “shallow” Christian; it makes me a normal human being. Just recently I purchased a new jacket at Costco and thought I had removed all of the labels.  I then proceeded to proudly sport my new jacket out on the town with my husband.  We went out to dinner, spoke to a few people along the way and went home.  As I was hanging up my jacket that night, I noticed a label on my left sleeve that was in the form of a large clear sticker with the name of the brand in big bold letters and the size predominately displayed.  I was horrified.  Here I had been walking around with this label on me declaring what I was wearing and the size I was wearing –which the size happened to be a Large!  (Anyone else out there experience this?)  I was allowing this label to tell the world who I am.

The Samaritan woman in the Bible is one of the women who can relate to this “labeling”. Do you remember her; she is the woman at the well who met Jesus.  When Jesus saw her she was covered with labels. 

First of all she was a Samaritan and in those days, Samaritans were considered to be lower class compared to the Jews and everyone around them knew it.  Samarians were in a sense discriminated against because their religious views differed from the Jews.  The Jewish people avoided them in travel and in social settings.  (If you’d like to dig deeper on this subject, here’s a great link): Samaritans: Then and Now

In Luke 4:16-17 Jesus is in conversation with this woman. 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”17 “I have no husband,” she replied.  Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

What do you think the kind of “labels” this woman was walking around with?  For one, FAILURE was one of the labels she was carrying, that’s pretty evident.  I think that’s a big one most of us can relate to. 

As Jesus continued to talk to this woman He gave her hope.  Hope for a new chance at take off those labels and to gain a better understanding of who she was created to be.  Salvation had come to her. 

When we allow Jesus to take the “labels” that others have placed on us we will experience freedom and begin to see ourselves for who we truly are in Christ.  For the Samaritan woman at the well, it took meeting Jesus just once to remove the “labels” of her past.  Personally, my “labels” are still in the removal process; each one being gently removed from my heart and mind daily. 

God knows who YOU really ARE.  Are you ready to remove the “labels” that others have placed on you?  Start a conversation with Jesus today and see what freedoms you can experience.

*My next blog will be about what God says Who You Are in Christ…… be encouraged!