If you’ve ever been betrayed by, gossiped about, or bullied by another woman or friend, then I think you’ll easily relate with what I want to say. Sometimes there is nothing more hurtful than being snubbed or talked about by another female. It goes deep in to the core of our self-worth and says, “you’re not valuable enough to deserve any better.” My life has been altered by the words and actions of other women. In some ways it was for the better, but in too many it was for the worse. Being treated like this can make you feel set aside. It’s the worst isn’t it? I mean, let’s just be honest, no one likes to feel left out or overlooked. There’s a deep craving weaved in to the fiber of our being, put there by our creator, to be desired and wanted. But that craving is meant to be curbed through our relationship with Christ. As Lysa Terkeurst said recently, “God tells us we are not set aside, but set apart.” This resonated so deeply with me because there are a million things around me that could easily convince me that I’m a nobody, set aside, and unnecessary. But it’s nothing but a lie, made up by our enemy. Being created by God, in His image, means we have a heritage of royalty. How we live, treat ourselves and others, reflects our beliefs about that. If you’re like me, being mistreated by someone can also cause you to become very aware of your own words and actions. It helps me to look outward at how I’m treating the women in my life. Whether it’s someone in my circle of influence or the clerk in the department store, it’s become a goal of mine to greet everyone with a smile and to give them respect through eye contact, listening, and taking genuine interest in their lives. Being hurt by someone can cause one of two reactions. You become increasingly aware of how just a few words, a look, or body language can either make someones day, or send them spireling in to a cycle of self-pity. Or it can make you bitter, resentful, and vengeful. We can easily become very hard on ourselves and even start to believe we are some how unworthy, all because someone didn’t treat us as we’d expected. But this also has taught me to heed my mother’s wisdom. “always give people the benefit of the doubt.” Sometimes we are busy, over extended, exhausted, and pre-occupied, and we miss the opportunity to be kind. Unfortunately it can be misunderstood and taken as though we don’t care. But again, this is why I work so diligently at putting aside my own issues when I’m around others. And honestly, it typically will change my whole outlook on my own situation.
I think that the next generations are learning this more quickly than we did, simply because of the rampant spread of insecurity in our culture. Every decade it seems the competition increases, the availability of comparison grows, and bullying has become a consistent headline in our schools and communities. Insecurity is the breeding ground for many unattractive qualities; meanness, gossip, slander, covetouseness, competition, and a slow decline in our moral. But I think our generation is feeling the urgency that we must teach the younger girls what we’ve learned. Women like Beth Moore, Lisa Bevere, Chris Cain, Lysa Teurkerhurst, and sooo many more have taken the torch to light the way, in spite of incredible odds. They’ve overcome so many trials and endured the worst of storms; bulimia, sexual abuse, rape, low self-esteem, rejection, abortion, poor body image, perfectionism, demonic attack, and much more. But what they have in common is their love for Jesus and other women. There’s a generation of women growing in strength and valor that are more concerned about seeing others find freedom and reach their potential, than their own agendas. They are beacons of light, reflecting God’s grace and love, unifying us across generations and cultures. When we are focused outward, with a heavenly perspective we will see the needs. The next step is having the courage to meet them. If you will take personal responsibility to stay, flexible, teachable, and available for God to use you at a moment’s notice, change can continue to come.
The bible confirms and empowers us with this relevant truth.
“the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanders )malicious false statements), not given to much wine, teachers of good things – that they admonish (teach) the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste (sexual morality), homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5
He hates pride, lying tongues, hearts that devise wicked plans, false witnesses who speak lies, and sowing discord among the brethren (proverbs 6:16-19)
“as a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is s lovely woman who lacks discretion.” Proverbs 11:22
“whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid/” proverbs 12:1
“an excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4
“he who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” Proverbs 13:3
“a friend loves at all times…” prov. 17:17a
“a merry heart does good, like medicine….” Proverbs 17:22a
“she girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms…she extends her hand to the poor, yes she reaches out her hands to the needy…strength and honor are her clothing; sh shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with swisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindess.” Proverbs 31:17,20,25,26
“charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a women who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”
So you see, it really isn’t optional; there’s no negotiating on the subject. We are commanded by a loving, sovereign God to live a life that is upright and a witness to His true character. We are ambassadors of Christ therefore we cannot go on living like it’s an option. His promises are good for it. He will bring peace that passes understanding, fulfillment like nothing we’ve known before, and blessings that cannot be measured! We can always will look for opportunities to pour in to another life and find someone to pour in to our own!
I leave you with some quotes to inspire you to be the best you. I’m on the same journey with you so never feel alone.
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and help them become what they are capable of being.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” ~Diane Mariechild
Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt –
Remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good — on your mirror!” ~Susan Jeffers
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of god. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make and manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson