Fighting The Little Green Monster: Envy

When was the last time you went a day without looking at someone else’s life and wanting some aspect of it? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and felt truly comfortable at the reflection staring back at you?

We all struggle with envy.

In today’s society we are encouraged to embrace our individuality and just be who we want to be. Yet we still find ourselves wanting to be somebody else. If you look around, our world is filled with people trying to suppress little green monsters whispering into their ears. But what if we can never get it to shut up? Only God can help us defeat our jealousy when it threatens to consume our every day lives. To better understand the beast that envy is, I’ve broken it down into three main parts.

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Girl Hating On Girl Envy :

As a college student, I have never found myself surrounded by so many naturally good looking girls, some of who don’t even need a stitch of makeup, in my entire life. I am a girl who can’t even imagine not wearing mascara to my 8am, let alone just rolling out of my bed to go to class. It’s hard not to find yourself thinking,

” I got up 30 minutes early to try to look good and she just waltzes in looking like that? How is that fair?”

We are forced to stare at airbrushed magazine spreads and see commercials with women who are head to toe covered in makeup, yet still strive to emulate their “natural” look. There are so many days I get up and my hair won’t fall the way I want it to, I have a huge eye booger that I have to dig out, and I can’t find anything in my spacious closet that I think will impress other people. We forget that we all have those days and that everyone is just as self-conscious as we sometimes are.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”- Psalm 139: 5.

We can recite that verse or verses like that until we are blue in the face, but we still have to believe it. God truly did make us look the way we do and to Him we can be nothing short of beautiful. Just because you feel like you are not as skinny as the girl sitting next to you in class, that does not make you any less the beautiful authentic creation God made you to be.

Competitive Friendships:

This the type of envy we are sometimes embarrassed to admit we have. For example, this isenvy being envious when your friend on the track team beats you in the race. You are happy for you friend on the surface, but inside you are jealous and annoyed to not be the one who came out on the top.

The same is true when your best friend gets a boyfriend, and suddenly leaves you alone to watch rom coms by yourself. You truly are happy for her and believe she deserves such a great guy, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking but don’t I? Why can’t it be my turn? It can be so hard to learn to be genuinely happy for our friends and realize that their good fortune is not supposed to make us feel bad. We are called to be the type of friends who love people enough to put our selfishness aside to be truly happy for each other. Don’t be the type of friend that can’t handle their friends success.

Who’s The Best Christian Envy:

When we’re being such good Christians don’t we just want everyone to know? We all want to be the one who is the best camp counselor, young life leader, and has the deepest prayer when a group circles up to pray. We strive to be the women in our church that little girls look up to. We even find ourselves spending more time being jealous of our friend’s spiritual gifts instead of focusing our time on decoding our own. Luckily God has blessed us all with our own individual distinct gifts.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone is the same God at work.”- 1 Corinthians 12:4.

It is important for us to remember that God has purposely given us our gifts for a reason. Sulking at VBS because you were sent to work in crafts instead of teaching the motions for the worship songs does nothing to further His kingdom. Every gift is just as important as the next. We can only be truly happy when our skills are used to glorify Him.

So the next time that the little green monster starts invading your thoughts, ask yourself a simple question:

Do you want to discover how God can use you in a unique awesome way? Or do you want to continue to wish you were someone else?

What To Do When You Eat Too Much: Gluttony

The first of the seven deadly sins I chose to tackle is one that many people think has been wiped from existence, gluttony.

In C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters he says,

“One of the great, achievements of the last hundred years has been to deaden the human conscience to gluttony, so that by now you will hardly find a sermon preached or a conscience troubled by it throughout the whole breadth of England.”

Gluttony by definition is the sin of over-consumption of either food, drink, or wealth. It was originally taught by the church as eating more than one should and not giving properly to the poor. However, in our culture today it can look a lot different than sneaking the extra slice of pie.

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I have broken down gluttony into what I like to think are 3 main parts:

1.Overindulgence:

Nowadays it is not seen as a sin to have a snack before dinner. However, here are some examples that might look a little more familiar. Have you ever ate the last bit of chips when you’re not hungry so your brother has none to pack in his lunch? Have you ever been super drunk instead of choosing to have just a glass of wine?

Overindulgence can even show up in things we consider good and healthy. Like going to the gym every day. This is can be a great thing. However, it becomes a problem when we are so consumed with working out or with eating healthy that we never allow ourselves to have a break or eat some junk food. It can even be training so hard for your sport that you can barely focus on anything else. Don’t let the things we enjoy in this life overflow past moderation to become idols.

2. All-I-Want-Mindset:

This is the type of gluttony that is mentioned in The Screwtape Letters.

“ The woman is in what I call an “All-I-want” state of mind. She is an absolute terror to hostesses and servants. She is always turning away what has been offered to her with a demure little smile. She never recognizes as gluttony her determination to get what she wants, however troublesome it may be to others.”

We live in a generation that is being called the era of customization. Everything we now can make must be able to meet everyone’s specific taste and needs. This is raising a generation of people to not be able to handle not getting what they want.

An example of this could be getting upset at when your mom won’t let you get your dream formal dress because it doesn’t come with a dream price tag.You might pout for days and never think about how hard your mother had to work for that money, what else it could be going towards, or how it might break her heart that she can’t provide it for you.

It can be getting really upset that your sketchy college cafeteria suddenly got rid of your beloved flavored water for a week. Now they still had water, milk, a variety of teas, juices, and sodas, but I’m pretty sure I told half my friends how ticked I was to have to drink “regular” water. I didn’t stop to think how lucky I am to have acceptable drinking water at my disposal, or about how the college might be using the funding that came from my flavored water to give to scholarships or to build new buildings that would benefit the campus. We are so blessed that sometimes we take things for granted

3. Cultural gluttony:

This can be as normal and awesome as spending all day in a Netflix coma while you binge watch yourself to death on Grey’s Anatomy. While you keep hitting the “Yes!! I’m still watching” button, you curse your mother and ignore the checklist of things to do she left you, forget to pray for your friend who just texted you telling you she is struggling, and yell at your dog to stop her feeble attempts to try to get you to pet her. All because YOU wanted to spend time watching Netflix. Can’t you relate? I know I can.gluttony image

Another example could be spending too much of your time being a slave to certain social medias. Being consumed with how many likes your last picture on Instagram got or how funny your next tweet can be to get a ton of favorites. I’ve been there. I still offer my tweet suggestions to my mom or roommate before I post them just to make sure they’re as funny as I think.

It can even be our drive to have the most expensive this or that so we can brag to our friends. When we find ourselves thinking too much about how many likes to get on Facebook or how we can one-up our friends on social media and the world, we stop thinking about what God wants. We stop thinking about how our worth can only come from Him alone. We forget that our worldly possessions and all the likes and favorites we ever get won’t earn us any brownie points for furthering His kingdom.

These sins might disguise themselves as not seeming like very big deals, but just like a scab you can’t stop picking at, they have a funny way of becoming an infection right under our noses.

Ways to fight off gluttony can be praying to God to give you wisdom to weed out areas of your life where you are idolizing things over Him or other people. Pray to be less selfish. Pray that you can try your best to put other people above yourself.

It’s time to curb our diets from the worldly things we all like to overindulge in. Are you up for the task?

The Importance Of The Seven Deadly Sins Today

“ There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness that pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in a community”( Proverbs 6).

According to the Bible these are few of God’s not so favorite things. In the culture that we live in today we don’t have people who are making it their job to try to avoid sin, we have people who are trying their best to not commit the worst sin.

“I’m sick of reading and not doing well on these quizzes. I mean, it’s not that big a deal to change my answers. It’s just a pop quiz not a real test. “

Or,

“I might have just made up a rumor about one of my “friends”, but I’m not a drug addict or pregnant so my parents should just be happy about that.”

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Just because we are not out there committing serious against the law sins doesn’t mean God is throwing a party up in heaven. I myself have fallen many a time into the trap of believing that just because I do mostly the right thing that that makes me good.

In Biblical history, and nowadays on popular prime time TV shows/ movies, there has been the controversy of the “seven deadly sins”. They are anger, greed, sloth, lust, envy, pride, and gluttony. These sins have been glorified
by crime TV shows and strange DaVinci code books to have more weight than the original church meant for them to.

However, it is worth noting that all these sins are still very prevalent in our society today. You can notice them lurking behind the deeds we consider “not that bad.”  Over my next couple of blog posts I will be unpacking these seven deadly sins and the way satan has them show up “harmlessly” in our culture today.

Now these sins do not directly coincide with the sins listed in the Bible verse above, but they do remain at the root of the sins addressed in that verse. These sins can be seen as minor things, but if they are left untreated, can result in corrupting our hearts and becoming much bigger problems than we ever intended.

The first step in any process is admitting you’re wrong. Are you willing to admit that you have sins in your life that may be minor, but also may be obscuring your relationship with God?

Because I know I am.

Are You A “Sunday Christian?”

Isn’t it funny to think about how easy it was to be a Christian when we were younger? How we were always the first ones to blurt out the answers in Sunday school, to scream Jesus in a VBS song, and inviting friends to church camp was second nature. Then around 7th and 8th grade we became embarrassed. We thought it was fine  to declare our faith by writing it under the layers of our Facebook pages. We thought it was fine to be a Christian as long as we kept it separate from our school lives.

Then we started high school and we were presented with all new challenges that come with being a Christian. Our friends suddenly began to drink until they threw up and have sex with anything that was available, and we found ourselves struggling to find that balance between being cool and not rejecting everything we’ve ever believed in.

I think that in today’s society there are far too many Christians that are becoming what a friend of mine once called, “Sunday Christians.” We all have those friends or have ourselves been that person who is there without fail Sunday morning singing the hymns with mom and dad, but Saturday night are singing a much different tune with a much looser crowd.

How can we stick to our morals when no one else is following them? Haven’t you ever felt like there was too much pressure to simply be the good girl?

Matthew 5:14 states, “ You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”  Matthew 5:14

How much truth there is in that one verse. We are called by God to be lights in our schools, jobs, colleges, and society. We are set apart and called to be different. Our culture does not need any more people who don’t stick to their morals or stray from the path. It needs a culture filled with people who are ready to love the broken, not be the broken.

So how can we do that?

  1. We need to stick to what God’s word tells us to be true. By honoring His commandments before we honor a broken culture.
  2. We need to not be judgmental. I struggle daily with how hard it is to not compare myself to others or just judge someone for the choices they’ve made in the past. But that is not our place. After all, none of us want to be that Christian that discourages our non-Christians from coming to faith.
  3. Make friends with people different from you. There are too many Christians who are all too content to sit back and not associate with people who have ever done anything they deem as unforgivable. But that is not how Jesus lived. He ate with the lowest of the lows, the tax collectors, the whores, the sick. Why would we lead the seeing and not the blind?
  4. We need to encourage our friends who are Christians. If we see one of our friends straying or feel like we ourselves are straying, it is our duty to be there for them and expect them to hold us accountable in a nonjudgmental way.

At the end of the day it comes down to one simple question: Do you want to be a leader for God or do you want to follow the crowd?

To Be Truly Known By God

One of the greatest feelings is when someone just understand you.  Your sense of humor, the reason you ate a whole pizza at 2 in the morning, the way you act when you’re nervous, the way you want to be treated without asking, etc. There is something internally within us all that wants to be known and understood with no questions asked. As girls we crave the thought of finally finding a friend, in most cases a boy, or a mentor, who just totally understands us.

With our society today, many girls are turning to other things to understand them. Other things to make them feel like they’re worth knowing.  There is a craving inside all of us to be the girl that the attractive boy has an instant connection with, or the girl that just clicks with the cool group at school. That craving inside of us will never go away, not unless we look to God to fill that void for us. God is the only one in this whole universe who knows absolutely every last detail about us. From the lies we have never fessed up to, to the boy we’re embarrassed to be attracted to, to the very desires of our hearts.  tumblr_nn1qyxH3Xq1shcqiqo1_1280

“ You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know where I sit and where I rise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.”- Psalm 139

The God of the universe knows every thought we’ve ever had,  every place we’ll ever visit, and he laughs at every awkward joke we’ve ever told to impress someone. God gets us completely. We never have to try to impress him or be someone we aren’t when we talk to him, He just cares that we did. So next time you’re discouraged because your parents don’t understand your dreams, or the boy you spend all of your class time daydreaming about doesn’t get your humor, remember that God gets it.

In the long run is it more important for the world to get you, or for our eternal Savior to get you?

Do Good Things Really Come To Those Who Wait??

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Patience is not a virtue that is easy for anyone to posses. I just feel like patience is always lacking from my genetic makeup and overall DNA.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I can barely wait for my friends to run back and grab their ID’s when a bunch of us are ready to go to dinner at my college, let alone wait for God’s timing in my life.

No one likes to wait. Especially in our internet driven world where many answers are easily at our fingertips, it seems like no one really has to. As a self-proclaiming control freak, I can honestly say that there are many things about my life I wish that God would just let me have or give me the answers to. Like for instance, when my future husband is going to come into the picture? Or what he wants me to do with my degree after I have finished college?  Yet, I am still no closer to having these questions answered than the Cleveland Browns are to winning the Superbowl.

One thing that can be of great consolation throughout our frustrating period of waiting for God’s timing, would be what The Bible says about the subject. In chapter 8  of Ecclesiastes verses 5-6 it says,

“Whoever obeys his commands will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for everything, though a person may be weighed down with misery.”

While that verse is rather bleak, it does capture a lot of the emotions I have while I am waiting for God to provide me with answers. I may not be miserable, but I sure am frustrated. Sometimes I just want to yell at God “Is it my turn yet?”

Romans 5:6 reads “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you”, declares The Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope in a future.”

After hearing these verses it dawns on me that although I may not know what God is doing in my life right now, I can have faith that God does have a plan to benefit me. So why should I waste my time worrying about boys liking me or if I am taking the right classes? He is the God of the universe and He is in more control of my future in a moment than I would like to think I am in a lifetime.

I once heard it illustrated that our lives are like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. We get to watch the parade from a window on Fifth Avenue.  The room has only one window and it does not allow us to lean out, so we can only see the parade as it is right in front of our eyes. We cannot see what is in front or behind us. God is like the parade manager. He sets all the floats up in the order they are supposed to go and takes great care to ensure that everything is in its proper place before the parade begins. Because God does truly have everything in our life lined up in it’s proper place. Our time of waiting might be preparing us for lessons we will need for the future or upcoming joy.

I think that Joyce Meyer put it best, “Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”

Talk about an inspiring quote. I think sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in our own self-pity that we overlook all the little blessings that God has placed right in front of our eyes. We need to remind ourselves of God’s past provision and His promise to do it again.

So, the next time you are ready to pull your hair out or scream loudly into a pillow because you have had it up to here with all this waiting, remember that God has already planned every aspect of your life out. We don’t have anything to worry about.

All this seemingly tedious waiting is nothing more than an ingredient that is necessary to complete the perfect dessert that will one day become our futures.

A New Type of Girl Code

I’m pretty sure unless someone has been forcing your head under a rock for the past couple of months, or you don’t watch TV, you’ve heard of the new MTV series Girl Code. But just in case you haven’t, on Girl Code, they have a bunch of super hilarious female comedians giving advice on everything from dealing with cheaters to how to put on makeup. The truth is, though, the more I watched Girl Code the more I realized that some of their advice isn’t something I would want to tell my teenage daughter.

It can be upsetting toChristian Girl Code live in a world with magazines like Seventeen that have sections dedicated to slutty things to wear and how to not get an STD while on vacation. The saddest part is that some girls are brainwashed into believing that this is ok and have no idea there are better ways to live. As Christians, we need to try our best to live with our identities rooted in something much deeper than the media. We need to show Non-Christians that there are better ways to live.

Hence, why I decided to start this blog! I just felt that there should be a place where I, as a Christian girl, can talk about a more religious twist on the topics discussed on Girl Code. The motto on the show is that we can’t learn a lesson without living it. False. God already gave us a handbook to survive life as a girl–it’s called the Bible and with its information we don’t have to “live” any lessons to learn them.