So Long Insecurity

Comparison Shopping

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
{Philippians 2:3, NLT}

Listen up, ladies. Our constant propensity to compare ourselves to the women around us is wrecking our perceptions of both ourselves and them. Most of us aren’t in a public place for five minutes before we peruse the female players in the room and judge where we rank. Human nature rarely balances itself on the tightrope of equality, despite our noble claims. Far more often in our comparisons to other women, we fall headlong to one side with inferiority or swan-dive to the other side with superiority. A bloody tumble is inevitable either way.

The nature of our competition depends to a large extent on what we tend to value. If intelligence is high on the list, given the opportunity, we will try to assess whether or not the people around us seem smarter than we are. If appearance is a personal premium, we have the tendency to rate ourselves according to the looks of those in eyeshot. The same is true of talent, giftedness, spirituality, and success. We tend to make our toughest comparisons according to our top priorities.

But we can stop playing the game even if no one else in our environment signs the no-compete. If we don’t think we can, we’re not giving ourselves enough credit. When we work from an activated mentality of God-given security, we are fully capable of thinking another woman is beautiful without concluding we are ugly. We can esteem another woman’s achievements without feeling like an idiot. We can admire another woman’s terrific shape without feeling like a slob. Where on earth did we come up with the idea that we have to subtract value from ourselves in order to give credit to someone else? You see, it’s our insecurity that makes us so poor at math. It constantly leads us to draw the wrong conclusions.

So Long Insecurity - meme 2

If security says 2 + 2 = 4, insecurity says 2 + 2 = 9. In other words, she is this + I am that = I’m a loser. Or just as often we might come to the opposite conclusion: she is this + I am that = she’s a loser. The insecurity equation can play out any number of ways. Consider a few others:

I tried to talk to her + she seemed really distracted = she hates me

She’s really gorgeous + she gets a lot of attention that I don’t = she must be really conceited

She’s got this + she’s got that = I’ve got nothing

She doesn’t have this problem + I’ve got that problem = she doesn’t have a care in the world

Look what she’s got on + look what I’ve got on = I have the fashion taste of a tsetse fly

Do any of those equations sound vaguely familiar? That’s exactly why we need to start catching ourselves in the act of comparison and tell ourselves to stop. We need to roll our eyes at ourselves and think: There you go with the bad math again. Let’s learn to call ourselves out before we ever make it from plus to equals.

In Galatians 5:26, we can find some great words straight off the sacred page to whisper to ourselves when we’re tempted to enter the competition our culture has cast between women:

“We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” (The Message)

Excerpted from So Long, Insecurity

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pic_lg_moore_beth Beth Moore has written many best–selling books and Bible studies, including So Long, Insecurity and Breaking Free. She is a dynamic teacher whose public speaking engagements take her across the United States to challenge tens of thousands. A dedicated wife and mother of two adult daughters, Beth lives in Houston, Texas, where she leads Living Proof Ministries and teaches an adult Sunday school class.

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  • http://livingcenter.me/ Nancy Wolfe @ livingcenter.me

    I call it the “I’m not as…” game.

    You know, “…thank goodness I’m not as fluffy as she is.” “…at least I wasn’t as late as him.” “…I’m not as hard on my husband as she is.” Find the one person in the room to outdo at something and win the game. And the more we win the game, the less we love life.

    Thankfully I know – I am the treasured child of the most High God. And He loves me even if I’m not as…

    Blessings dear sisters…xoxox

  • http://www.bethcoulton.com Beth

    I have never thought of it this way – “Where on earth did we come up with the idea that we have to subtract value from ourselves in order to give credit to someone else?” Let me say Wow…..Just a holy WOW. I’m sitting here with my proverbial jaw hanging open at my desk, taking in that piece of revolutionizing wisdom. I think that totally hits the nail on the head. We need to be able to cheer each other on without feeling like we have to put down our own pompoms because we don’t measure up to others’ accomplishments. Comparison is a bear, and it’s really nothing more than bad math! As you said, this posture of non-comparison comes from being fully secure in Christ and having our identity in Him and Him only.

    Thank you for this- I’m going to be processing that one quote all day!!!

  • Trish Mull

    Thank you for these words…I have longed to be ENOUGH…just coming to BELIEVE I am. Praise & blessings on your work & ministry.

  • Anna

    You hit it right on. Looks like a good read. Thank you.

  • Debbie

    My middle name is “insecure”. When I start to feel like I am enough someone just knocks me down. It’s getting harder & harder to keep picking myself up & believeing I AM ENOUGH. But with God’s help I always seem to get back up. Amen

  • Ana B

    Beth Moore did a simulcast on insecurity a few years back. It was wonderful! I totally recommend it if it is out there for viewing.

  • Dawnski

    Sweet Surprise for my Happy Hearts Weekend. Thank you so much. I have a single mother neighbor whom I would like to bless this to. Praise the Lord I was set free and walk SECURE in who I am in CHIRST. Pray for Mary to find the same freedom liberty in JESUS NAME! And pray for her little 2 year old boy Mason <3