One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever been given is this,
“God wouldn’t ask you to let go unless He had something far better in store.” That simple phrase has entirely changed the way I trust God for the better.
I challenge you to ask yourself these two questions:
- “Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to miss God’s best because I refused to release what He asked for in exchange?”
- “Wouldn’t it be heartbreaking to miss the fullness of what God has in store for my life because I settled for my own best?”
I have learned, through His grace alone (often in the midst of my chasing and wandering), that the most challenging yet rewarding decision we will ever make is to let go and trust Jesus wholeheartedly. It’s to give our lives to Him and to ask Him daily to have His way in and through us in all things. Life lived His way, all the way, is the best life we will ever live because it’s what we are made for. We, as creation, were made for our Creator. We are created in His image for His purpose and it’s not until we grab a hold of this truth and live by it that we will be fully satisfied. Fulfillment comes when we live it out.
Jesus shares in John 10:10 that He came that we might have life and life abundantly. Nothing compares to God’s best; for His best is abundance, and it’s found in Him alone.
Abundance defined is this – exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate.
I’ve found myself praying this prayer often lately, “Jesus, show me what abundance looks like.” His answer is found woven throughout His Word.
1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
In other words, God’s best is better than anything any of us could ever dream up on our own. If we trust that His Word is true, then this verse alone should move us to letting go of our own idea of satisfaction and adopting His. It should urge us to relinquish our best and grab hold of His.
The reality is, abundant life comes with a cost, the cost of surrender…but it is well worth what it requires of us. You cannot live a life of abundance without continually choosing surrender. Making that choice is worth whatever it may cost you because it means gaining more of Him. Gaining more of Jesus is worth whatever you have to release. Surrender is the choice; abundant living is the result.
Friend, don’t miss the fullness of His plan for you because you don’t want to release control into His hands. In the flesh, we often correlate our peace with knowing what comes next. In the Spirit, peace is simply knowing Him.
If you don’t live a biblical definition of abundant life, culture will try to define it for you.
According to culture, and even our own flesh, we have to have so many things to be fulfilled; money, success, marriage, followers, fame… the list goes on and on. According to God’s Word, we only have to have one thing to be satisfied – Him. He is the treasure. We will either spend our lives chasing fulfillment or we will receive what we can find in Him alone and simply follow His lead. We will spend our lives striving and never being satisfied or resting in Him, and being filled to overflowing. We either spend our time on earth building worldly kingdoms which will fade away, or we will live for an eternal, everlasting Kingdom.
We will never find true joy and fulfillment living for the things that break God’s heart or distract us from what He has called us to. We have to be bold enough to pray, “Lord break my heart for what breaks yours, even if it’s WITHIN ME.” We have to be willing to redefine our idea of fulfillment using the truth of His Word as our guide.
We’re complete when we live for His glory, not our own – or anyone else’s.
Take it from someone who has tried to find her satisfaction from a worldly perspective – Worldly “abundance” will leave you empty again and again, because it’s not true abundance.
You can lose every worldly thing and still be living in abundance. Isn’t that powerful?
Abundance is this – laying down our lives, picking up our cross, and following Jesus. It’s laying down our own plan/agenda in order to step into all that He has for us – for HIS glory.
As we follow Him, we get to experience the incredible joy of introducing others to Him. We get to be the light of the world. We get to represent Him and see lives forever changed, hearts restored, and freedom experienced. We get to see the dead come to life and the ruins redeemed through His power alone.
Abundance is contagious, and He came that we would live it. I pray that we choose to live it!
Let’s be the ones who choose the everlasting.
Let’s be the ones who place our hope in the eternal and not what fades away.
Let’s be the ones who experience the fullness of His goodness.
Let’s be the ones who walk in freedom by choosing surrender & releasing our grip.
Let’s be the ones who invite Him to have His way in us moment by moment.
Let’s be the ones who live for His glory.
Let’s be the ones who see ourselves and others the way He does.
Let’s be the ones who refuse to chase fulfillment and remain empty, but receive Jesus and remain fully satisfied in Him alone.
Let’s be the ones whose lives reflect the overflow of our time spent with Him.
Let’s be the ones who stand on truth.
Let’s be the ones who radiate His love.
Let’s be the ones who make Him the center of it all.
Let’s be the ones who define fulfillment through His Word by recognizing knowing Him and furthering His Kingdom as the ultimate reward.
Let’s be the ones who live with open hands and ready hearts. Let’s be the ones who say yes to Him wherever and whenever He calls us.
We won’t always get it right, and He knows that. His grace is extended through our weakness again and again. And through His grace, His strength is revealed. We will fall short, and He will forgive. He sees our heart’s desire to honor Him, even when we miss it. He is a faithful Father and friend.
Let’s live in the light of His abundance and radiate His love to a hurting world– One step of obedience after another. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to settle for less than the abundance He came that I might have. I want to live my earthly days to the fullest for the Kingdom of Heaven.
THIS is living – all for His glory and I promise you, it is worth whatever the cost.
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:7-14 / ESV
Maddie is a writer, speaker, and young adult ministry leader in St. Louis, MO. Her greatest desire is to point people to Jesus and to see lives transformed by His love and the truth of His word. Some of her favorite things in life are journaling, coffee shops, thrift shopping, rainy days, & championing/celebrating people. She is looking forward to getting married to her fiancé, Isaiah, in October!
You can connect with Maddie on the LO sister app or @maddiee_joy on Instagram
What a sweet time it was having my new friends Emma and Stella on the podcast this past week. (LISTEN HERE!) We had the best conversation about God and all that He’s done in our lives and I couldn’t help but think that Easter was the
perfect time to share this blog with all of you. So, let’s dive in!
I’ve never personally met Emma and Stella but the reason I wanted them on the podcast is that I believe their story represents so many people’s story from the last year. When I asked them their story of this past year they began
with their experience from last Easter. My post I’d made about Passion City Church the Saturday before Easter crossed Emma’s Instagram feed and it sparked an interest in her to watch Passion’s Easter service! Emma watched
the service tearing up the entire time, and afterward, called her friend to let her know that Jesus had SAVED HER.
Stella then chimed in with her experience. She had actually already planned to watch the service herself because she’d heard that I would be speaking.
Well clearly God can speak through anything, but I am so thankful He chose to speak through my message that day because it gave these sisters hope for their own family to come to know Christ. This sparked immediate conversation among Emma, Stella, AND their brother about having a personal relationship with Jesus!
What I love about their story is that on that day Emma and Stella both took the Gospel personally. And that’s what we all should do in our lives. I think a lot of times people see others having this radical transformation with Jesus but doubt that it could happen for themselves because of x, y, or z. But when you open your heart you see that the Gospel is for everyone, you see that nothing is too big for the cross.
I’m confident that Emma and Stella’s decision to follow Christ will impact generations to come. My grandfather was a wild man at one time, definitely not a christian, and a preacher came in to talk to him which led to him giving his life to Christ.
Without this encounter, it’s likely that my dad or even I might not have a relationship with Jesus. This is why I believe my two friends have potential to impact generations to come.
I asked them what life had been like for them in the past year. Emma and Stella said it’d been so cool to see God doing a work in them over the past year since last Easter. They also mentioned that they’d started a snapchat story where they talked about all that God was doing in their lives and had almost 100 people from their school join! I love this because so many people put social media in a bad light, but in reality, it can and should be used to promote the Gospel, which is exactly what these girls have done. Stella added a little about how their snapchat had sparked so many to reach out and be inspired in their personal walk with Christ. PRAISE GOD!
A lot of times when people come to know Christ, their immediate response is “now what?” But I once heard someone say that obedience is a natural response and that stuck with me. Once you follow Jesus, you don’t have to do anything crazy. You just have to use what you have.
We see time and time again in the Bible where Jesus uses what people have. Even in the story of the woman at the well, she went back to everyone and shared her story, which is what I see my friends Emma and Stella doing. They’re allowing God to use their story to change others’ lives.
We went on to talk about a mutual friend, Britt, from the Passion City Church team. They spoke about a few of the questions they asked Britt in their conversation with her. At one point Emma mentioned a question she’d asked
that could have sounded ridiculous to some people, but I admired her so much for not feeling ashamed for asking. I think that if people would just willing to ask their questions without embarrassment, we’d see a change in a lot more lives.
I asked them if there’s one thing they’d want to say to people who are listening who might be where they were a year ago, before God transformed them. To that, Emma replied with telling everyone to just do it. Just say yes to that relationship with Jesus. Each day is no guarantee so why wait? Stella added that she’d suggest talking to someone and ask the hard questions.
These new friends are so wise in their thoughts and advice. And get this….they’re only 17 and 14. Whoa! Seriously wise beyond their years. But I think that’s what Jesus does. He equips those who He’s called with wisdom and knowledge.
I’m so excited these two were able to make it on the podcast, because did I mention, they literally took the ACT the same day!? Now that is what I call dedication. Their story makes me so fired up and I know their family will be blessed by all that God is doing in their lives. I cannot wait to see where all God takes them!
Emma and Stella’s miraculous experience is so encouraging and makes me want that for everyone reading and listening.
So, I wanted to walk through what it means to truly give your life to Jesus. And I couldn’t think of a better person to do this than my husband, Christian! Friend, you might have never stepped in a church building before, but just know that does not limit your ability to have a relationship with Jesus. Your relationship with Him isn’t based off how many religion boxes you have checked off.
Christian began explaining the Bible by introducing the 66 books within it. Now, there’s an old and new testament made up of those books. Jesus is physically present in the New Testament but not in the Old Testament. The Gospel translated simply means good news. How awesome is that?!
The good news is that Jesus died and He rose again. This is good news because His death symbolizes the
forgiveness of sins for us and His resurrection means that if we put our faith in Him then we’ll be raised to live a new life with Him. In the Old Testament, in order to have a relationship with Jesus, a sacrifice had to be made. But in the New Testament, Jesus is the perfect sacrifice and He makes a way for all our sins to be cleansed so that we can be in relationship with God.
Christian goes on to read in 1 Peter and talks about what the beginning steps of a walk with Jesus look like. It all starts with repentance. We know that Jesus died for our sins so we ask forgiveness and turn from our sinful ways.
Then comes baptism. Baptism is symbolism of Jesus washing our sins clean. It’s a public declaration that we are no longer who we used to be. It’s also a marker in your life to remind yourself of how different your life will be. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be perfect, because repentance is a constant thing.
In the book of Acts, Jesus says that He knows people are sad He’s leaving, but they should actually be glad because the One who God was sending was better for them to be with than Him. The One who God was sending was the
Holy Spirit. The Spirit walks and dwells with us and quite often we feel the Spirit leading us toward a direction or decision.
Jesus died, was buried, and raised, and we just have to believe that. All the time people will say they want a relationship like Christian and me, but the truth is, without our relationships with the Lord, we wouldn’t have a relationship at all.
I was once speaking at a Juvie center and this girl came up with me and said she appreciated everything I was saying but she couldn’t believe in God because she couldn’t see Him. I then asked if she believed in fear, to which she was puzzled. Well, fear is the belief that something has the potential to harm you. But faith is similar in that you have to have faith that God is potentially there to save you. Yeah you can’t see it, but faith is believing without seeing. So, you really have the choice to believe one over the other.
The upside of faith is that we have a whole book dedicated to it and filled with instruction on how to live out a life full of it. This girl ended up giving her life to Christ and I had the opportunity to baptize her. Seeing her start a new life was incredible!
I say all that to say, if you’re drowning in fear and the things of this world, give Jesus a try. He might be your only option and He’s definitely your best one. And let’s just say if He’s not real, which I strongly believe He is, what are you losing? I don’t think you’ll regret living a life walking in love, joy, peace, and all the fruits of the Spirit. You will live such a better life by the principles in the Bible.
Yes, I’ve never seen God, but I also can’t unsee the things I’ve seen and experienced with God in my life. And that’s enough evidence for me to hold onto this Truth and Gospel and believe in it. So, I hope this encourages you and that you have an amazing Easter! There is so much meaning behind this holiday. It’s not just a day we should show up at church. Let this be a day you encounter Jesus and get to know more about Him. Go start your new life today, friend. You’ll never regret the day you did.
We would LOVE to hear how this blog post landed on you! Share in the comments below or message us on Instagram!
Want more encouragement from Live Original? Follow us on Instagram @legitsadierob and @liveoriginal.
“Mom, am I pretty?” Three daughters. Each is very different in personality. Yet, each has asked this simple question over the years. As they grew older, my opinion was dismissed by the more important opinion of culture. You can hear my daughters, right? “Of course you think I’m pretty. You’re my mom.” For each, pretty became defined by the world: t.v., social media, friends, the mirror.
I can’t quite remember when they started to be aware of their bodies. I just remember it happened way earlier than I had expected. However, none of the three have ever asked “Mom, am I fat?” Rather, their body image woes were a periodic declaration as they walked by me. Proclaimed in various emotional states:
Frustration: “Ugh, everything I own makes me look fat!”
Disgust: “My skin is horrible.”
Anxiousness: “I can’t try on bathing suits, let alone go to the beach! I need to do squats.”
Insecurity: “Ugh, She’s so perfect. I wish I looked like her.”
Women can easily become obsessed with outward appearance. And, it starts young. What we see in the mirror or on the scale determines our mood, destroys our confidence, and lays claim to our identity (daughter of the King vs. vegan; alive in Christ vs. beautiful). We sacrifice money and time to change, camouflage, or fix what we dislike. We sacrifice our emotional well-being in the desire to look different. Outward appearance has become a stronghold; enslaving us and taking our thoughts captive. Whether the bricks of our body image stronghold are insecurity or vanity isn’t the issue. What matters: this stronghold distorts and destroys relationships, derails our Kingdom purpose, and can, if left unsurrendered, devour our faith.
I have felt every single one of my daughters’ feelings. As their mom, I want them to see all that I see. As a believer, I pray that they see themselves through God’s eyes because His love for my girls is far above the love I feel. I want them to know He is better than any feelings they have about their bodies. I want them to seek Him and trust that God doesn’t want us burdened, enslaved, or consumed by body image. He doesn’t want this false idol (or any) to snatch His daughters from His hand. He wants us to live in the freedom and power of Christ: Freedom from the penalty of sin, but also empowered to resist every temptation. God has not left us alone to battle the stronghold of body image. In truth, He has equipped us to demolish it so that we experience His abundance and glorify the Kingdom.
So, let’s take each brick of this stronghold and lay it at the foot of the Cross. Let’s expose each brick in its walls to the light of His truth and determine their worth in light of His love. Let’s see ourselves through God’s eyes and exchange the bitter fruit that grows from the stronghold of body image for the immeasurable grace, abundance, peace, and love that flows from His truth: we are his image bearers.
BRICK ONE: PHYSICAL APPEARANCE DETERMINES YOUR WORTH
God doesn’t focus on outward appearance. In fact, He often reminds us not to focus on outward appearance because it is superficial, fleeting, and ever-changing. God is quite clear that outward appearance is not the measure of worth:
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as a man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in life to come.” (1 Tim 4:8)
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
Worth is determined by the condition of your heart. Ok. Ok. I can hear your eyes roll…remember: three daughters.
“Yes, Carol. I know. My mom and God call me beautiful. Inner beauty is what truly matters and determines my worth. But! What I look like, on the outside, is judged by the world and makes me feel _________ . My life would be better, easier, happier if __________ (insert physical feature(s) changed.”
I not only hear you. I feel all of it as well. But, in these thoughts another brick is exposed. Where the enemy wants to enslave us to the worldly definition of beauty (much like our physical appearance, what the world decides is beautiful is ever-changing), as daughters of the King, we know the world does not define the standard of beauty. God, and God alone, does. So what is the defining attribute of authentic beauty? According to Scripture, beauty is ignited FAITH.
BRICK TWO: THE WORLDLY DEFINITION OF BEAUTY
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)
There is a beauty that not only doesn’t fade, it grows increasingly more dazzling: surrendered, ignited faith. As faith increases, strongholds weaken. Faith renews our minds and transforms our hearts. We begin to see ourselves through God’s eyes. And in His eyes, you are:
WORTHY (Zephaniah 3:17)
A MASTERPIECE (Ephesians 2:10)
A TEMPLE (1 Cor 6:19-20)
A CROWN OF SPLENDOR (Isaiah 62:3-5)
BEAUTIFUL (Song of Songs 4:7)
WONDERFULLY MADE (Psalm 139:13-14)
And, make no mistake about it, the brighter your inner light shines for Christ, the more you become His image bearer, the greater you reflect His beauty. Throughout Scripture, God repeatedly and lovingly reminds you that the wellspring of authentic beauty is to be alive in Christ. He doesn’t want you to look in the mirror and pick apart His creation only to turn it to ashes. He wants your life to reflect the beauty of Christ:
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.” (James 1:23)
Surrendered, ignited faith empowers you to see your true reflection: IMAGE BEARER.
Is there anything more beautiful?
BRICK THREE: IF PHYSICAL APPEARANCE IS FLAWED, THEN IS GOD FLAWED?
The other bricks are heavy. This brick is heavy and ruinous. God is all-knowing. There are reasons Scripture reminds us, again and again, not to focus on outward appearance: it is fleeting nor does it determine worth. Scripture is your armor; reminding you to set God above all. He knows anything set above Him becomes a false idol (even “good” things). If body image is set above the Creator, then your perceived flaws can lead you to question God’s very nature: His goodness. His justness.
“If God is good, then why do I look like this?”
“If God is just, then why does she get to look like that, but I have to look like this?”
Whether your idols plant seeds of doubt, shame, resentment, bitterness, jealousy or judgement, vanity, and pride doesn’t matter. Setting anything above God damages your relationships, hinders your Kingdom purpose, and devours your faith. Through His Word, God equips you to guard against and destroy every stronghold, including that of body image. His truth reveals both His nature and who you are to Him so that the enemy cannot pluck you from His hand.
In the battle against body image, the most hashtagged verse on the gram is Psalm 139:13-14:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139: 13-14)
For good reason, too, Psalm 139 is a jewel which celebrates God’s character and acknowledges our desperate need for Him. However, “fearfully and wonderfully made” out of context turns this mighty sword of a verse into a band-aid. And Psalm 139 is no band-aid!
No. It anchors you in the humbling truth:
God does not change.
He is flawless.
He is good.
He is just.
He is faithful.
He is intentional.
His love is perfect.
“Fearfully and wonderfully made” reveals that the God who does not make mistakes formed all of you to be set apart for His glory.
Take a second: intentionally and lovingly crafted. Set Apart. Let “Fearfully and wonderfully made” take your thoughts captive:
Perfect love formed every detail of you. Chosen. Purposed.
The wonder of Psalm 139 is–acknowledging who God is and praising Him–it leads us to the important question: Set apart to accomplish what, Lord? The more you give to God, the more you sink into the water of His very nature, the more you see your true reflection: His divine signature woven into every cell, hair strand, fingerprint, iris, and body part.
So, when you look in the mirror, see the truth of Him: sister, there is no flaw in you. You are altogether Beautiful. Created on purpose for His purpose.
In context, Psalm 139 is a weapon against the stronghold of body image. It cuts through the enemy’s lies that your worth is tied to the outward appearance momentarily preferred by the world. Psalm 139 is a shield. It lifts us out of self and protects us from the world’s darts. Psalm 139 is the truest of mirrors: one that reflects the unchanging, rock solid truth of who God is and who you are to Him: an image bearer of Christ.
He is without flaw.
You are his handiwork.
Praise Him, so that your soul knows the truth well.
His works are wonderful.
You are altogether beautiful.
Carol Bevil is co-founder of Fuel Your Body, Feed Your Soul, a God-first approach to nutrition, body image, and food relationship. FYBFYS is founded on Romans 12:2 and focuses on renewing the mind to transform the heart.
Carol has been married to the best guy for 23 years and is a momma to four. She is an author, speaker & coach who has multiple certifications in cycling, personal training, and nutrition.
Raised in a Jewish family, she felt God’s relentless pursuit her whole life. Stubborn and willful, she begrudgingly attended church with her husband where she constantly pestered the Pastor. One Sunday, he challenged her to read the Old Testament and look for Jesus. There He was … on every page. She was baptized at the age of 40 and has spent the last 14 years doing her best to surrender her willful spirit and share her passion for Christ with everyone.
Read her books:
You Are His, 21 Day Devotional anchoring your identity in God’s Truth.
Break Through: 6 weeks to demolish diet culture strongholds
Follow her on Instagram @fuelbodyfeedsoul
I am so excited to share a snippet of my piece from the Powerful Workshop launching April 1st! Body Image is something we’ve all most likely struggled with at one point or another, and this workshop is here to combat all the lies the enemy feeds us. It’s not too late to sign up, friend. Do yourself a favor and join HERE! Now, I pray these words encourage you today!
When I was little my dad used to be the king of nicknames. He literally had a nickname for everyone. Except for me. I would beg him for a nickname and he would always say the same thing to me when I would ask. “Sadie, you are just the Original.” There is no one like you and essentially nothing to compare you to. He would often call me the original and I know now telling you this story how beautiful that is that my dad would say such a thing. But as a young kid I was like… “the original” … really … that doesn’t really have a ring to it.
I wanted to be something else because honestly everyone else’s was just a lot cooler the mine.
What I once thought was lame all the while was actually my father speaking Truth over my life. I think too many times we do the same thing. God has spoken something over us and calls us by name, wanting us to walk into the fullness of the miracle that we are, but we look around and just think, “eh, if only I was them then I would be something great.”
If you follow me in life at all you can see that at some point something shifted in me and I started to actually believe what my father said was true and I wanted everyone else to believe the same thing, so I started a ministry called… Live Original. Crazy how who we are is always tied to our purpose. You see, so many of us are trying to figure out what our purpose is, but it would be near impossible to figure out what your purpose is if you do not even know who you are. You may think, “well how do I find out who I am?” I want you to start by knowing that you too, are an original.
Let’s look at a couple definitions of original.
- Present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest.
- Created directly and personally by a particular artist; NOT A COPY.
These two definitions actually tell a lot about our identity. The first speaks to who God is and the second speaks to who we are.
- Present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest.
- God is your original designer. He is the original creator. He is the first and the earliest creator. The word used for Him as the creator in the old testament is Bara. That word is never used for humans in the bible, because that world is reserved for the original creator. Although man has made many things, all of them could be credited to God because God made the man who made the thing.
- Created directly and personally by a particular artist; NOT A COPY
- This is you. You were created personally by God.
You were created personally by the original creator and not to be a copy. And you may say, “Well Sadie this is like 1st grade learning level. How is this going to help me with my body image?” and to you I would say, “If it is so 1st grade then why do we struggle with comparison so much?” I mean, seriously? If we know that we are an original, we know that we are not a copy, we know that God makes all creation good, and we know that we have a unique purpose then why are we all in the same boat of insecure, disorder, comparison, and complacency? Let’s look at what comparison actually is and try to break this down.
The definition of comparison – a consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people.
The truth is you could look at someone all day long and there will be similarities because you’re a part of the same creation, but there will also be dissimilarities because you are not a copy!
You say she’s so pretty, she’s so skinny, she’s so curvy, she has the curliest hair, she has blue eyes – YESSS she does because that is how God made her! LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE!
Yes, there will be things people like about her that you don’t have and things people like about you that she doesn’t have if you start living who you are to the fullest instead of trying to be a less version of her.
Psalms 139:11-16 says,
“For you were formed in my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; my soul knows that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance…”
I love that David wrote this. His soul knew full well that he was fearfully and wonderfully made. You might say it was easy for him – he was a king, a hero, a musician, and he killed lions and bears with his own hands. But if you remember the story, that same David, was the last pick of all of his brothers.
And If I know anything about insecurity it’s that it doesn’t matter how far life takes you or what you achieve. You can still hold on to things people said about you in the past and compare yourself to other people. Even when I was modeling at New York Fashion week I was insecure because I still saw myself for what people had said about me and it was so easy to compare myself to every girl walking beside me.
How hard is Psalm 139 to believe? Let’s be real. How hard is it to believe that for our self and about our self?
Do you believe that God formed you?
Do you believe He knit you together?
Do you believe that you are wonderfully made?
I mean does your soul KNOW full well that you are wonderfully made?
For the full version, video teaching from me and all my favorite mentors (this lineup is UNREAL), visit thepowerfulworkshop.com to read more about this body image workshop (launching 4.1.21!), and get signed up TODAY!
I’m a procrastinator by nature – my M.O. is to put things off until the last minute possible. I never studied for tests until I absolutely had to (usually, the night before)… and when I was in college I found myself doing the same thing with my faith. I refused to go all-in with Jesus because that meant I had to say no to a lot of the “college experience” that society tells us makes college the “best 4 years of your life.” I remember literally thinking, “once I graduate, I’ll really dive into my faith.” Yet, if you had asked me if I was a Christian, I would have told you yes without hesitation. Looking back, there were seasons where I don’t really feel like I had a right to call myself that.
Imagine a woman telling you that she’s a registered nutritionist and fitness coach. As you get to know her and observe her life, you see that she never exercises, only eats junk food, and her degree is actually in business, not nutrition. You would think that woman is a complete fraud calling herself “a nutritionist and fitness coach.” A Christian, by definition, is someone who follows Jesus. To follow means “to act according to the lead or example of someone.” If I’m not walking with Jesus and striving to imitate Him in the way I live, why would I call myself a Christian?
I think for a lot of us, it’s easy for Christianity to become a safety net. We know deep down that we have to be a Christian to get to heaven, but we think we can put off going all-in with Jesus because there are other things we want in the moment that don’t align with the life He calls us to. We want physical intimacy outside of marriage. We want to wear risqué clothes & feel hot. We don’t want to risk being different and not fitting in. But once we “sow our wild oats” or “get it out of our system,” THEN there’s Jesus on the other side.
Trust me, I’ve been there and I get it. But there are a few problems with this mentality. First, it’s a really risky way to live. In the words of Bieber, “youngblood thinks there’s always tomorrow,” but the reality is that every single one of us is going to die at some point, and none of us know when our time will come. Assuming we have tomorrow is assuming that we have control over our timeline, which is a false sense of control…and by choosing our flesh over life with Jesus, we’re risking eternal life— the greatest risk of all.
Second, the things that the world offers and our flesh longs for lead to emptiness, anxiety, depression, insecurity and shame. College was, in fact, NOT the best 4 years of my life because the things I chased and looked to for fulfillment left me utterly empty.
If you can relate to this, I have good news. There’s no shame in your journey and it’s not too late for you. Quite the opposite, actually! God is waiting for you with open arms. The life He offers and our souls need leads to fulfillment, joy, peace, purpose and confidence. Saying YES to go all-in with Him doesn’t mean you’re going to be perfect. We’re all like babies learning to walk. When a baby falls, his parents don’t shame him or
get angry. They get excited at his attempt and encourage him to get back up and try again. It’s the same with God – He delights in our effort. We just have to choose Him and try! Abundant life is waiting on the other side of our “YES.”
Grace Hackett is a born-and-raised Nashvillian. She works for her family’s nonprofit, Love One International, and she’s passionate about sharing the joy that is found in Jesus. She’s happiest when she’s with her husband and pup or family and friends, and her favorite foods are sushi and ice cream.
Follow Grace on Instagram @gracemhackett
“If only I had what she had, then I would be happier.”
“I wish I was that loved, it looks like everyone loves her so much.”
“It looks like that is working out for her really well, why does nothing ever work out like that for me?”
“They always like, comment on, and re-share her photos, they must like her more than me.”
“Wow, she has got it all together all the time and I just feel like a mess all the time.”
These thoughts above are thoughts that I have struggled with in my life. I am not proud of these thoughts in any way. But at a point in my life, I have thought them, they consumed my mind and took away my joy. They say, “comparison is the thief of joy,” and I have come to realize that it is Satan who is the thief of Joy and he does all that he can to try and make us believe that what we have isn’t enough.
Satan who makes us fall into comparison is the true thief of joy.
So how do we do it? How do we escape from comparison? How do we be women who encourage and uplift other women no matter what our circumstances may be?
We fall before the feet of Jesus Every. Single. Day.
We ask Him to show us the areas in which we have made ourselves the center. We repent of those things and we ask him to invade our hearts and be at the center of all that we do.
Comparison cannot be overcome without the One who has overcome it all.
It is so much easier said than done though, right? One minute we are reading the word of God and feel seen and known by Him. The next minute we are scrolling on social media consuming our minds with content that makes us feel like we are less than. It is a vicious cycle and one that we will always need to be ready to go to battle with. Our battle with comparison belongs to God.
Let’s equip ourselves with scripture to ground and strengthen us when we catch ourselves falling into moments of comparison:
“Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4 TPT)
When they get what you wanted. When she gets the job instead of you. When they get what you feel like you’ve been waiting for your whole life. When it seems like the stars are aligning perfectly for them and all you want is for two stars to align for you. Love refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. On our own, we can not fully love in such a way as this. But with the strength of Christ, reading and reminding ourselves of this scripture, and making Him the center of our hearts, He begins to transform us.
“We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!” (Ephesians 2:10 TPT)
Friend, God has His perfect plan for you that is going to be different than His perfect plan for them. We live in a time where our minds are bombarded with what everyone else is up to and doing. Our selfish flesh begins to desire what the world defines as “making it.” But what our flesh desires usually doesn’t line up with what God desires for our life. In the moment, it is hard to see when someone gets something we are desiring. But know and trust that before you were even born, God planned in advance your destiny and the good works you would do to fulfill that. Ask Him to align His desires for your life to also be the desires of your heart.
“Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.” (Romans 12:10 TPT)
We are to celebrate one another! When we know fully that God is doing wondrous work in the life of a friend it deserves celebration. Satan is likely going to try and trick us into thinking that God must not love us or care about us as much as them. But actually, God withholds things from us for our good and because He knows our every need. So when God blesses another may we encourage, support, and celebrate knowing full and well that God is at work in that person’s life! May we be people who choose celebration over comparison.
“So I’m asking you, my friends, that you be joined together in perfect unity—with one heart, one passion, and united in one love. Walk together with one harmonious purpose and you will fill my heart with unbounded joy. Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:2-3 TPT)
The sin in which comparison stems from is pride. And when we become prideful, unity is harmed and in danger. Pride loves to hide. It is sneaky. It is like a killing weed and if it takes root and grows, it damages what is around it. So we must check in with ourselves and do a heart-check to make sure pride is not taking root. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are there any opinions or thoughts in my heart today in which I am in the center of?
- Am I putting the needs of myself first or the needs of others?
- In recent conversations have I been making myself the center?
These 4 passages from the bible above are what we can use in our battle against comparison. Write them down. Memorize them. Let them become your lifestyle.
I see you, the one who has been struggling with comparison, and I am with you. It truly is something that we will always have to fight against, and sometimes it may get the best of us. Know that it doesn’t make you any less of a person. It doesn’t mean you are weak. It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough.
Like I said above, it takes falling at the feet of Jesus Every. Single. Day. Rely solely on Him. Pray these verses over yourself. Be confident in where He is leading you, knowing and trusting that it is perfect for you. And as you are led, cheer on others as they too are being led.
As your Father in heaven cheers you on, go and cheer on His people.
Ally is a pediatric nurse in San Diego, and on her off days she is writing and creating encouraging content for her Instagram page @wordsaregolden. She is a big fan of Jesus, lover of all things pink, drinks iced coffee every day, and loves to cook for and host people in her home.
Follow her on Instagram: @wordsaregolden