July 27, 2011
"When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise." 2 Corinthians 10:12b (NIV)
Do you ever compare yourself to others and feel like you don't quite measure up? Maybe you think you're not as smart, capable, personable, or as godly as they are.
It is so easy to think that if we had more or knew more, we'd be secure. But the truth is, even people who "have it all" still struggle with feelings of insecurity. The Bible opens with the story of a woman who had everything, but it wasn't enough (Genesis 2).
God had established Eve's worth as His child and the crown of His creation. He also gave Eve every woman's desire: intimacy, beauty, security, significance, and purpose. Yet Satan conjured up feelings of insecurity by getting Eve to take her eyes off what she had and focus on what she didn't have.
Boy, can I relate. Like Eve, I've heard Satan's whispers telling me I'm not all I could be — or should be. One day I was reading her story in Genesis 2 and I noticed that his questions and suggestions were intended to plant seeds of doubt in Eve's heart. He wanted her to doubt God and herself.
The enemy's whispers tempted Eve to try to "be" more and "have" more by seeking significance apart from God's provision. He convinced her something was missing in her life and that the forbidden fruit would make her be "like God."
It was a foolish comparison, but all comparisons are. Yet don't we do it all the time? If only I was like her...if only I had a house like hers, a husband like hers, a job like hers...if only my children behaved like hers...If only _______, then I'd feel significant, satisfied and secure.
In today's key verse, Paul warns us that those who "measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, are not wise" (2 Cor. 10:12 NIV). Comparison will always leave us feeling like we don't measure up. We can try to do more and be more, yet it's never enough.
If only Eve had focused on who she was and what she had as a child of God. If only we could too.
Yet Satan wants us to focus on our flaws and feelings of inadequacy, then exhaust our energy figuring out how to hide them. But we don't have to go along with his schemes. Instead we can recognize his lies, refute his temptations with truth, and focus on God's acceptance, security, and significance. Then we can thank God for His provision and His promises that remind us of who we are in Him:
I am accepted...
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
I am secure...
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from condemnation. I can't be separated from God's love.
Philippians1:6 I am confident God will complete the good work He started in me.
I am significant...
Ephesians 2:10 I am God's workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
Lord, thank You that in Christ I'm accepted, secure and significant. When I'm tempted to find my significance and security apart from Your provision and promises, help me recognize Satan's lies, refuse his temptations and stand firm in my faith. Remind me that such confidence as this is mine through Christ — not that I am competent in myself to claim anything for myself, but competence comes from Him. In Jesus' Name, Amen. (see 1 Peter 5:9; 2 Corinthians 3:4-5)
This devotion is taken in part from chapter 6 of Renee Swope's book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises. To find out more or order your copy, click here.
When you're tempted to use the measuring stick of comparison — be sure to measure UP by focusing upward on Christ — whose you are and who you are in HIM!
"The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior (and beliefs) will begin to reflect your true identity!" Dr. Neil T. Anderson
1 Peter 5:9, "Stand firm against him [the devil], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 3:4-5, "Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." (NIV)
© 2011 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 27 July 2011.