One of the greatest gifts we are given as Christians is the gift of community. It’s what held the early Christians together through persecution after Christs’ death. And it’s the glue that should hold us together today.
Unfortunately, every good thing God has created, the devil has twisted and perverted for our demise. Community is now plagued with jealousy, deception, pride – you name it! These behaviors all stem from a sneaky tool the devil likes to use called comparison.
We, as sisters, have seen the comparison game played out firsthand. Some play the game to win by comparing another woman’s shortcomings to get “ahead” in life. Others play the game to win by pulling another woman’s inadequacies to “level” the playing field. Whatever way the game is played, all of us have played it at some point in time.
As Christian women, we tend to take bad attributes like sin or mistakes and use them as weapons to assault our friends’ character. You might have a bad habit of fits of rage, but the second you see a sister in Christ doing something wrong, you start to think about and treat her as lesser than. You gossip about her when she’s just left the room. Or worse, you say hurtful things about her in your head and in the confines of your home so that you aren’t technically being rude. You elevate yourself by pushing her down.
Some of us, on the other hand, are wildly aware of our issues. Instead of facing them in a healthy way, we privately and publicly shame ourselves. We say mean things about ourselves, calling ourselves stupid, clumsy, dumb, and worthless. We undervalue ourselves because of our mistakes, banishing ourselves from community. But misery loves company. You might hear a friend confide in you about a problem they are having. Instead of constructively building your sister up, you quickly accept her shortcomings so that, in your eyes, she is just as bad as you are.
While many fall into these two categories, there is one that is worst of all. Still some of us decide we won’t play the game, so we choose not to trust others at all. This is at the root of the devil’s plan. He wants the daughter of the King to act, think, and believe that we are anything but royalty. He wants us to fight battles we were never meant to fight.
What is sad is that we engage in this kind of warfare every single day. It’s tearing us apart. What is the point of community if there is no unity inside of it? How are we going to live out the blessings of joy and intimacy if we can’t have healthy vulnerability among other Christian women?
There is no better way to escape this trap than to admit you’ve played the Christian Comparison Game. We all have done it, even I, and we all have the choice to change the game. The key to outsmarting the devil is to use God’s Get Out of Jail Free Card. Ask God to help you accept His forgiveness for your sins and failures. Ask Him to show you how to better receive forgiveness. Then work on extending this same forgiveness.
It is easier said that done, but if you start today, you’ll be free sooner than you know it. Take this as a challenge to grow in your understanding of community. Use this as an opportunity to have firm Christian friendships with your sisters in Christ. Take this as the path towards the freedom you were always meant to experience.
Featured photo by Amanda Ciurdar