Today’s post is from my friend and fellow writer, Kelly Balarie. Kelly is a champion for women, and with her words of encouragement she will take your hand and walk with you into battle – against fear, against anxiety, against the enemy. If you struggle to be as brave as you want to be, as free as you were made to be, her book, Fear Fighting, might be the tool you need. Please welcome Kelly to the blog today!
We hoard lifestyle magazines in towers – or, at least, this is what I’ve been known to do. Each stack, in my room, is a monument reminding me I’m good, talented, and worthy. The higher the stack, the better I’m doing. I wouldn’t tell you this, of course. I’d never admit this to your face – of course not! I can nearly imagine your response…You shallow, self-centered, comparing woman!
To you, I’d reply, “Don’t lie, you know you’re just as guilty as I am. Don’t tell me you’ve never looked…”
I know you have. Because, these high-gloss pages lift our inner discouragement. They show we’re winning in this thing called life. With just a glimpse at a cover story, it’s as if we’ve gotten a double helping of mascara, a reapplication of lipstick and a spirit lift all in 30-seconds. We instantly feel better. We aren’t doing so bad after all.
That is – until 30 minutes later, when we get all shoulder-slumped again. The buzz wears off. It always does. We start compare again. We hate ourselves.
And, we all know, it continues until we stand, yet again, in line at the grocery store checkout counter. There, we look at those headlines and get our vanity fix. Ahh! Yes!!! We’re so much better than them.
She’s got cellulite – like that!
He cheated on her, the supermodel???
She wore – what?!
She’s an alcoholic who rammed her Land Rover into a tree?
Then, she bashed his car?
She’s going to prison – and she’s broke!
If they are doing that bad, I must: 1. Be doing okay. 2. Be aging okay. 3. Not need to be rich.
Our kids grab candy and we grab ours; we eat it up bite-for-bite. Mmm…
The more scandalous, the better. The more life-ruining, the more intriguing. The more horribly dressed, the more flattering I look in my fading, linty, ever-tightening yoga pants and coffee-stained white go-to shirt.
Their pain is our gain. We think: I am not so bad after all. I may be old, but at least my face doesn’t look balloon-botoxed and lop-sided. It feels good to be me. I don’t want those ultra-rich, super-happy and high-profile people problems, anyway.
We hit those complexions of perfection with an iron axe. We criticize. We evaluate. We judge. We laugh at misfortune. Like gossip, unspoken, we don’t feel too guilty, for as they crumble, we rise like – super woman!!! We win!
Are we horrible Christians for doing this? Should we feel guilty? The jury’s still out…
Here’s how things played out in the court of my mind:
Plaintiff says: By reading these magazines, you are taking your eyes off God and placing them on woman. With this, you’re either filled with envy or you are boasting in pride. This kind of swinging, from one mindset to another, is nauseating and not worth it.
Why? Because you are not a reflection of another’s best – or worst, but a reflection of God’s glory. Instead, keep your eyes on Him, rather than feeling you are less than them.
Defense says: These magazines remind us of God’s truth. They show us money doesn’t buy happiness, beauty doesn’t bring joy, and status will never deliver peace. They help us to see: Material items, power and wealth – are fleeting.
Both are valid points. And what I come to realize is the issue is far less about magazines and far more about my unquenchable appetite to feel okay, valuable and beautiful.
It’s – a heart issue. It almost always is.
New friends, my heart is not right… Is yours?
I certainly don’t want another girl to have to fall, so I can rise. I don’t want to fixate on people’s problems, but on their potential. I don’t want to live like a leech attached to the world, but as a woman unfazed by it.
We women, we, are made for more than a worth that is pushed up or down based on the impact of the world. We are worthy of a worth that is deemed, named and known as – priceless daughter. This is who we are. Let us not allow the world to tell us otherwise.
Interested in fighting fear? Join the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge!
Author and speaker Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel, and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day.