Monday, February 24, 2014

Bone-Rotting Envy

Confession: I have a hard time paying attention at church because I'm so busy looking at everyone around me - namely the beautiful, well dressed, well-coiffed women who make me feel horribly inadequate.

It was especially bad yesterday. I actually blow-dried my hair, attempted to style it, and put on some make up. I wore a new shirt and my favorite jeans and headed to church feeling semi-confident only to have my confidence popped like a balloon when I first walked in the door. How does everyone have money for cute new clothes? How does everyone know what's stylish and how to attain it? I must have been out sick the day the instructions for hair and make-up were handed out in high school. The biggest question, though is, Why does it bother me so much?? Why am I so insecure and threatened by beautiful women? I can't worship at church because I'm so mad that they're wearing accessories and those cute tall boots everyone but me seems to have. I know, I know, God looks at the inward appearance. But I'm not searching for God's approval - I want the approval and admiration of others. There. I admitted it.

I go to a bi-weekly Bible study with the girls in my small group. This Tuesday, we read Proverbs 31 and discussed verse 30: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." I've always said that I lack in charm and beauty, so I should at least be striving to fear the Lord. But while I was standing in church begging God to take away my anger and frustration and envy, I had this thought: I'll probably never be the most beautiful. People probably won't whisper to each other, "Wow - look at her gorgeous outfit/hair/tall fashionable boots." But what if they start whispering to each other, "There goes Sadie - she's one of the kindest, most godly people I know." That's certainly higher praise than "she really knows how to arrange her hair on her head!" I also had this thought: If I continue on the path of discontent that I'm on now soon people will be as unimpressed by my inner beauty as my outer. I don't want to become so upset about my outward appearance that I become bitter and thus mar my inner appearance as well. 

I've learned that one way for me to avoid anger and jealousy is to avoid situations that cause them. This isn't always possible of course (as evidenced by my fit in church yesterday). But I'll be honest that I unfollow people's style pinterest boards. I don't pick up fashion magazines. I avoid the mall. Maybe it's just putting a band-aid on the root issue, but until I learn how to better cope with the root issue, it's what I have to do.

Also, a couple disclaimers: To those of you beautiful women who go to my church - this is not your problem. Continue to dress beautifully. Continue to coif your hair skillfully. This is solely my issue that I need to deal with. And writing it all out is one way I can do that. Please don't think this whole entry is my way of fishing for compliments. It's simply how I process things. And it's documentation to go back and look at someday. To be able to come back to this entry years from now and be reminded of where I've been and how God has changed me. It's also meant to serve as encouragement to others who may feel the same way I do. I know I can't be alone.

This is one more verse that has been helpful as I deal with my drama: "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." (Proverbs 14:30) I'm praying for that heart at peace.

2 comments:

  1. *standing ovation*
    Been there, done that... and your new perspective is totally in the right place. Work hard to strive toward those honorable goals. It's HARD to not compare ourselves with others.

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  2. Beautiful and well-said! Thank you for taking the time and courage to share your life with us!

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