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Have you ever been afraid to pray out loud in front of others because you’re worried your prayers aren’t as good as her? Or maybe you are self-conscious to share your insights at Bible study because you’re certain the women you consider spiritual giants will find your comments silly?
We can get so trapped in comparison when it comes to our faith.
I’ve lead small groups and Bible studies off and on for years. And in every one of them, I’ve known one or two women who have felt terribly inferior. It’s understandable, though. Many of us would admit to being hurt by the church at one time or another.
… We’ve sat with women who think they’re better than the rest of us.
… We’ve heard the flowery prayers—the ones where they sound super holy but we’ve no idea what they’re even saying.
… We’ve been on the receiving end of judgmental or condescending comments and glances.
… We’ve been corrected for our words or theology in front of a group in a mean-spirited way.
And it’s left us feeling insecure about connecting with other women and sharing our thoughts or prayers out loud.
We are afraid to share our needs because we might feel embarrassed.
We don’t admit having a different interpretation or thought on that scripture for fear it might not be popular.
We won’t pray out loud, scared we’ll just sound silly and immature.
And these shame-based insecurities and fears are creating a confidence-crisis, making the desire and ability to thrive in community almost impossible. Sure, we can sit in shallow waters together but we’re missing the deep-water relationships we crave.
We’re just too worried about looking stupid… feeling judged… and being unacceptable. And so we decide it’s not worth the risk.
Because deep down, we desperately want to be liked for who we are.
We want to be seen as holy enough.
But you know what?
Faith isn’t a competition.
And if the Enemy can make us more concerned with looking holy rather than living holy, our faith becomes a measuring stick for our self-worth.
But sisters, here is truth: God created each of us differently. He gave us different gifts and talents and insights. We have different spiritual giftings. We hold different perspectives and life experiences.
And we’re designed to fit those pieces together to make a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.
So when you decide not to share your divine differences in community, we all lose out.
You see, your worth as a faith-filled woman isn’t dependent on being Miss Holier-Than-Thou. You aren’t better or worse for having questions about theology. Your significance isn’t based on how many verses you’ve memorized. And using big and flowery words don’t make your prayers more influential.
So be careful to not let faith become a competition.
Don’t judge. Don’t compare. Don’t pretend.
Because the Jesus that died for her, died for you too. And we all receive the privileges and freedom His death brought.
So let your faith be yours… and let her faith be hers.