FRIENDSHIP: THE THIEF WE INVITE IN { DAY 6 }

friendship-day-6

Read: Genesis 29:15-30:24 ESV

When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.” {Genesis 29:31, ESV}

Deceit.

Rejection.

Barrenness.

Not exactly the healthiest way to start out a marriage, especially between three people!!

But life is not always what we envision it to be at times. Neither are relationships, for that matter. Whether it is a relationship between husband and wife or between two sisters, expectations can go unmet with disappointment setting in, resulting in people living with “loss”.

Loss has a way of draining all that’s positive out of life, tempting us with an unbalanced viewpoint. When we are living with disappointment from unmet expectations, the “good” we have can be overshadowed by the loss we are living with.

What we have becomes invisible and undervalued, compared to what we want.

Each woman actually has something to be grateful for, yet they are miserable anyway! What is consuming them is what they DON’T have!

Our “loss” can become unbearable. Intolerable. Destructive.

What is interesting about this passage is that it describes how each woman has what the other woman wants. And there is the rub!

Don’t you know THAT feeling? Don’t you HATE that feeling?! That moment when you notice what another woman has or IS compared to you, in an instant you feel inferior, jealous, angry almost. Those feelings seem all too common in our lives, if we can be so bold to admit, and it begs further examination as to why we allow this to take root in our friendships.

Where does it begin? WHY does it begin?!

“When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I shall die!’ Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, ‘Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?’ Then she said, ‘Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her.’ So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, ‘God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.’ Therefore she called his name Dan. Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, ‘With mighty wrestlings. I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.’ So she called his name Naphtali.” {Genesis 30:1-8 ESV}

Isn’t that an interesting choice of words- wrestled, prevailed? Rachel reveals what most of us know intimately, that life can become a contest.

It begins in the same place it always does- when we compare ourselves. It happens because it is a scheme of our enemy that he uses very effectively, drowning out what is good and right about our lives and replacing it with what is wrong and missing.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” {John 10:10 ESV}

Comparison may be the thief of joy but we are the ones who unlock the door! Click To Tweet

We are not helpless in these situations. Just like Leah and Rachel, we are the ones entering the “competition” and wrestling our way to discontentment.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” {1 Corinthians 10:13-14 ESV}

So what are we to do to protect our friendships? How can we overcome this temptation we feel when we are around other women and feel inferior or envious?

First, refuse to compare! That one choice opens the door to all the destructive feelings that can weaken our friendships with others. It allows in the emotions like jealousy and inferiority that slowly damage our relationships while making us unsatisfied with the blessings God HAS given us.

Secondly, practice gratitude! The more we focus on the blessings given and less on what we still don’t have, we will feel freedom and contentment. Thanksgiving can help us break free from the powerful pull of envy.

Thirdly, prayerfully continue to present your requests to the Lord while yielding to His will.

Remember dear friend, we are more than equipped to slam the door shut on the thief robbing us blind in our friendships!

Believe it! Trust it! Live it!

REFLECT:
  • Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? How do you usually respond when that happens?
  • Is there a friendship that tempts you to feel inferior? Jealous?
  • What are some blessings in your life that might not be readily displayed in the other person’s life? List the strengths and advantages given by God on your behalf that you can be grateful for.

 

PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, We rejoice in who you are and all that you have done on our behalf. We thank you for the grace displayed abundantly in our life and we repent of not being more grateful. May the Holy Spirit make it obvious to us when we begin to compare ourselves with others so that we can begin meditating on our own blessings! In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

IMAGE: Found on Unsplash.com

 

 

 

 

Gretchen Fleming
Gretchen Fleming
Gretchen's passion is to follow hard after Jesus, knowing He is the treasure of a lifetime and worth every minute she commits to Him. God’s Word has been life-giving to her through the most trying times—a great source of strength, wisdom, and truth. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and writer, who loves to see Jesus change lives as He’s changed hers. Gretchen is a wife of 28 years and mother of 3 young adult children.

Comments are closed.

Pin It on Pinterest