Comparing Apples and Oranges

Comparing Apples and Oranges

fruit-424184_1920 smart copy copyIf you were really honest with yourself how much of your time do you spend comparing apples and oranges? What on earth and I talking about? The time that you spend comparing yourself to someone else that you think is smarter, more successful a better mom or wife and on and on. I may or may not be guilty of doing this myself. Ok, I am actually guilty. It’s not something I set out to do, it just seems to kind of happen. One minute I will be admiring someone’s Like Page on Facebook or scrolling their Instagram feed and then the next thing I know an hour has past of me comparing what their life “appears” to be like with mine really is like and it leaves me feeling completely deflated. But truly all I am doing is comparing apples to oranges because God didn’t make me like them! So, how does one stop living a life of comparison?

First, you MUST learn your own value and be completely grounded in that. If you are a Christian your value comes from Jesus. And here is the key to that, you have the value whether or not you choose to believe it. I would say for someone to give up their life just so they could have a relationship with you that puts you pretty much at the top of the valuable list. BUT for you to believe your value is completely different than the fact that you already are valuable. Sounds cray huh? What do I mean by this? Have you ever heard of someone going to a garage sale and picking up some small tchotchke for like a buck and then find out later that little thing is worth millions? It was always worth millions before the person sold it at the garage sale, but seller was clueless it had any value more than a buck. They were probably actually happy to get a buck for it and get it out of their house. That is what I am talking about having value but not realizing it so we settle in a state of mind that others are worth more and deserve more than we do. Yet that is simply not true. You need to discover the price that has been paid for you and all the promises that are yours because that price has been paid. And then you have believe it’s for you. Sometimes it’s a long hard journey to get to that place, but the trip, as long and hard as it is will be so worth it.

When we get caught in the web of comparison it keeps us prisoner to a false belief that we are not good enough or worthy of enough the way God made us to be as successful (whatever success looks like to you) as the person we have chosen to compare ourselves to. Bottom line is this, you have a different gift and talent, a different fingerprint and iris and as a matter of fact everything about you God created specifically and uniquely to you. He doesn’t want you trying to be someone else. The more you chase after another person’s identity and success the more yours will elude you. God wants you to chase after Him (Matt 6:33) because He is your only true comparison. His word tells us that we were created in HIS likeness, not the air brushed super model on the cover of a magazine who is usually broken in on the inside, they just don’t show us that.

So ask yourself this question, why would you want to take what God created only one of, on purpose, and try to make it look like someone else? You would then no longer be uniquely you. He wants you to find your purpose, value and worth in comparing yourself to the only one worth comparing yourself to and that is Christ. And who you are in Christ has a value worth dying for.

By the way, in case you didn’t know, He calls YOU His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) because to Him you are fearfully and wonderfully made just by being you (Psalm 139:14).

Forgiveness is YOUR Ultimate Freedom

Forgiveness is YOUR Ultimate Freedom

I forgive you

 

I completely believe in forgiveness, in all circumstances. Why? Because I actually think it is necessary if you are going to have a healthy, flourishing life you must forgive. Here are a few observations I have about forgiveness that perhaps differ from your perspective.

  • Forgiveness is a choice, it doesn’t just happen, you must choose it.
  • Forgiveness is for the forgiver, not the offender.
  • Forgiveness does not make what the other person did ok, it makes you free.
  • Forgiveness does not always mean restoration. Sometimes what was can no longer be not because of unforgiveness but because of wisdom.
  • Forgiveness, once chosen, doesn’t necessarily mean your heart will change right away. That takes time and God.
  • Forgiveness is something you must do if you want to be forgiven, Matthew 6:14.
  • Forgiveness is something you might need to with yourself. We often forget we need to sometimes forgive ourselves!
  • Forgiveness is non negotiable if you ever want to be whole.
  • Forgiveness, on occasion, has meant ME needing to forgive God. HE NEVER needs my forgiveness because He is perfect, but that’s doesn’t  mean I haven’t needed to forgive Him. (This one may not sit well with you and that’s ok. If you ever experience this, you will definitely have an ahha moment!)

Forgiveness is not always easy, especially when you have been deeply wounded by someone. But there is nothing that will heal that wound like forgiveness. I actually think the wound will never heal without it. You don’t have to forgive but don’t ever expect to feel whole until you do. Remember forgiveness is something that you do for yourself. God knows what the other person has done so you don’t have to make it your mission in life to make the other person pay, that will only cost you. They will never be able to pay enough to make that wound inside of you healed. But God can heal it and that’s exactly what He wants to do but it starts with your forgiveness. Don’t be afraid to forgive because you worry it will let someone else off the hook. That is a trap of darkness. Pssst, you also don’t have to go that person and say directly to them, “I forgive you”. That might be part of the process, and it might not. Make the choice and then trust God to guide you from there! Forgiveness is where your ultimate freedom begins!

The Power of 2 Letters

The Power of 2 Letters

God has recently shown me a very toxic thought I have believed about myself my whole life. I have had a deep seeded belief that I was unwanted. I’ve always had this gnawing sense that I was unplanned, unwanted and really nothing more than a mistake of my parents. You see, I grew up as a lot of us did with an alcoholic father and a mother who was just too weak to stand up to him (please know I believe she did her very best.) So the story that I have told myself my whole life is that my mom and dad already had four other children (she had me at 41 and back then that was not a popular age to be childbearing) and there was no way that she wanted to have another child with man who was an alcoholic. Can you blame her? I mean, who would really deep down want that? I get it and don’t blame her one bit.

When I look back it is so evident that my mom was not at all an affectionate person. To be honest, I actually never remember being invited to crawl up in her lap just so she could make me feel special and just love on me. In fact, I never even remember sitting in my mom’s lap at all. Maybe I did, but I just have no memory of it. When I was young and had those moments of being disappointed or when I felt that I had been purposefully excluded from something special like a birthday party or sleepover, I never remember my mom trying to comfort me or build me up and tell me that I was an amazing kiddo even though someone had intentionally left me out it didn’t change how valuable I was. Every kiddo needs someone to tell them how valuable they are.  I don’t remember that coming from my parents at all. Unfortunately, most of my memories are actually filled with thoughts that most people wouldn’t ever want to have to rethink.

So, why on earth would I be telling you such a sad and negative story?

I tell you all that so I can share the pure joy and excitement I have had from finding out what God’s Word says about me and you. I really love the book of Ephesians. I especially love reading the amplified version of this book because it gives me such an amazing visual of God’s love. For example, in the Amplified Ephesians 1:4 says: Even as [in His love] He CHOSE us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ BEFORE the foundation of the world… I have to ask myself after reading that, how can I continue to allow myself to feel unwanted when the Creator of the universe has told me that HE picked me out ON PURPOSE! The reason it gives me such joy to read this is because of that toxic stronghold in my mind of being unwanted. That stronghold has affected every part of my life because I have believed that I was never meant to be born and that there was really no purpose for me. I thought I was nothing more than a big mistake. BUT GOD! tells me different. He tells me that I, Renee, was set apart, CHOSEN before He even made the world. Do you now what that means to me? I wasn’t a mistake, I WAS ON PURPOSE. His purpose. Perhaps my parents didn’t plan for me and maybe they really didn’t want me, BUT GOD DID. And if God planned me that means He has a purpose for me.

So, if you are struggling with a feeling of being a mistake, unwanted or that your life has no value, I want you to know that is a lie straight from the enemy to keep you from being the incredible creation God has made you to be! God chose YOU to be HIS. You are so important that He made sure He chose you before He even made a place to put you. He wanted to be sure that you were His before He did anything else. Why? Because He loves you wants to be sure He gets to spend eternity with YOU! You can’t be more unwanted than to be chosen by the Creator of the universe. You are His hand picked delight that He actually hand picked for Himself. The Creator of ALL things PICKED YOU!! WOW!!! I would say that makes YOU incredibly valuable and undoubtedly wanted!

Psalm 139:14
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

John 8:36
I am FREE

Eph 1:4

Even before He made the world, God LOVED me and chose me.

Jer 1:5
I chose you BEFORE I formed you in the womb; I set you apart BEFORE you were born!

Jer 29:11
I know what I have planned for you. I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with HOPE!