Day Six – The 7-day Doubt Diet

Day 6: Measuring Up

 
 
Taken in part from Chapter 6 of A Confident Heart 

 

Food for thought: “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12 NIV)

Do you ever compare yourself to others and feel like you don’t quite measure up? Maybe you think you’re not as smart, capable, personable, or as godly as they are?

It is so easy to think that if we had more or knew more, we’d be secure. But the truth is, even people who “have it all” still struggle with feelings of insecurity. The Bible opens with the story of a woman who had everything, but it wasn’t enough (Gen. 2).

God had established Eve’s worth as His child and the crown of His creation. He also gave Eve every woman’s desire: intimacy, beauty, security, significance, and purpose. Yet Satan conjured up feelings of insecurity by getting Eve to take her eyes off what she had and focus on what she didn’t have.

Boy, can I relate. Like Eve, I’ve heard Satan’s whispers telling me I’m not all I could be—or should be. One day I was reading her story in Genesis 2 and I noticed that his questions and suggestions were intended to plant seeds of doubt in Eve’s heart. He wanted her to doubt God and herself.

The enemy’s whispers tempted Eve to try to “be” more and “have” more by seeking significance apart from God’s provision. He convinced her something was missing in her life and that the forbidden fruit would make her “like God.”

It was a foolish comparison, but all comparisons are. Yet don’t we do it all the time? If only I was like her. . . if only I had a house like hers, a husband like hers, a job like hers . . . if only my children behaved like hers . . . If only __, then I’d feel significant . . . satisfied . . . secure.

In today’s key verse, Paul warns us that those who “measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10:12 NIV). Comparison will always leave us feeling like we don’t measure up. We can try to do more and be more, yet it’s never enough.

If only Eve had focused on who she was and what she had as a child of God. If only we could too.

Yet Satan wants us to focus on our flaws and feelings of inadequacy, then exhaust our energy figuring out how to hide them. But we don’t have to go along with his schemes. Instead we can recognize his lies, refute his temptations with truth, and focus on God’s acceptance, security, and significance. Then we can thank God for His provision and His promises that remind us of who we are in Him.

I am accepted . . .
Ephesians 1:3–8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13–14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9–10 I am complete in Christ.

I am secure . . .
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31–39 I am free from condemnation. I cannot be separated from God’s love.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident God will complete the good work He started in me.

I am significant . . .
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Lord, thank You that I’m chosen, holy, and dearly loved. When I’m tempted to find my significance and security apart from Your provision and promises, help me recognize Satan’s lies, refuse his temptations and stand firm in my faith. Remind me that such confidence as this is mine through Christ—not that I am competent in myself to claim anything for myself, but my competence comes from Him. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. (See Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 5:9; 2 Corinthians 3:4–5)

© 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.
*Victory Over the Darkness, Dr. Neil T. Anderson (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990), 48.

_____________________________________

Doubt Diet Tip: When you’re tempted to use the measuring stick of comparison—remember to measure UP by focusing upward on Christ, remembering who you are in HIM! “The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior (and beliefs) will begin to reflect your true identity!” *

Let’s Talk: When are you most tempted to compare yourself to others and feel like you don’t measure up?

Scroll to the bottom of today’s post and click on “Share Your Thoughts.” (Return to my website if you’re reading this via email), then let ‘s  hearts, encourage and pray for one another. It was so powerful to read your comments last week when we shared prayer requests. How about we pray for the person who posts right before us? I’ll  go first. Click here to join me.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I’m most tempted to compare myself to others when I’m in a situation that I feel like I’m not as good at as someone else – over the years it’s been so many different situations. As a mom, as a ministry leader, as a speaker and writer, as a friend. My mom said it would get better when I got into my forties because i wouldn’t care as much about what people think. She was right in some ways but when God puts me in a situation that is new and really stretches me – then I have to really guard my heart and my thoughts.

    What’s helped me most is to focus on His strength in me and to let go of my desire for others to think highly of me. I really had to lay that down when I wrote my book b/c God called me to share all my “stuff” and I’d never written a book before so I knew I could be highly criticized. But I had to write it for an audience of “One” and trust that He was leading me to be so vulnerable and that He would use it – and He has. I am so glad I didn’t let those voices of comparison and fear of criticism stop me. 🙂

  2. I am tempted to compare myself to others that are so talented and smart in some many things, yet I wonder how can I apply myself to just have one talent or one thing that I can do well. There is a lady at church that can sing, teach, use the computer, name it and she can just about do it all and I was thinking of ways we could work together, but I have also thought maybe I should give up the whole work and ask her if she would like to take over all these little projects God has had me start, yet she is so busy too.
    It is really hard for me to know exactly what to do in a situation where someone else might could be doing a better job than me. God may want to use them too.

    • Joyce,
      The lady at church is confident. No, don’t give up your work. The Lord led you to it. One idea that comes to mind is to ask her for some ideas that would help you. Pray and Listen for the Lord to speak to you. We are called to serve our Lord. Joyce do you know what your gifts are? Have a blessed day.

  3. Wow! I never realized this was a problem until I started to do this with my mentor, my pastor’s wife. I often look at her and try to be her! I try to be as understanding and loving as her. When I think of how I like to handle things, I thnink what I am doing wrong and what she is doing is right and I need to be that. But God tells me “Michelle, be you, not her, you are as beautiful as her.

    Thank you Renee for this!

  4. I compare myself with others and feel like I don’t measure up pretty much all of the time. It is to the point that I’m almost a prisoner in my own home. But this is an area that God has been addressing with me through several different avenues in my life and I’m not giving in or giving up. He is the Master Healer and has a plan for me and I think that confidence through Him is a part of that plan.

    Thank you for these verses, Renee. I have copied them onto index cards to keep with me for review and thank you also for the tip to measure UP by focusing upward on Christ, remembering who I am in HIM.

    I am looking forward to studying through this book beginning in January!

  5. Kyndle Joyce says:

    I hope that I could be confident enough to be me. I do compare myself to others, and feel as if I don’t measure up. It’s funny. As a mother, I tell my children not to compare themselves to others – they are who they are. Yet, I don’t follow my own beliefs. I feel as if I will always come up short when being compared to others. No one should practice such destructive behavior, but we do. We all need to remember that no matter how imperfect we all are, God loves us. He loved us before we were made. He knows everything about us, yet He loves us. I have to say these things to myself all the time. I catch my thoughts shifting to “you are good enough” “you can’t do this/that” “no one loves you” – but I do know that He loves me. I hope everyone here will remember to do the same thing. It is a daily battle for me.

    • I hadn’t thought of it but you are so right, Kyndle! I don’t know how many times I’ve told my son to not worry about what others think and to just be himself. Yet here I am mired in self-doubt and comparing myself with others. Thank you for this reminder!

  6. Thank God that we are wonderfully made by Him, and He created us for His Glory; therefore, as long as we live our lives according to His will, we can rest in knowing that He is pleased with us. So many times, I allowed my insecurities to stir up a lack of confidence in my self and my ability to do. God has given each of us a gift that is unlike anyone else to be used for His Glory only! If we can keep that in the forefront and beleive that He created us for His Glory, we will demolish every insecurities that raises it’s head. To all Women – You are Fearfully and Wonderfully made by Almighty God!!!!! We should be encouraged.

  7. I can’t seem to find anything i do well enough to offer. I have no husband (i wasn’t an good enough wife so he divorced me) and i have not met anyone who wants to spend any time with me My family doesn’t really like me. I have no real friends I have many acquaintances but they aren’t people I could talk to .I have been fired from my job and cannot get another one even though there are many jobs I am qualified to do. No matter what I attempt I fail.
    I know there are so many people who are having much worse times than me and I’m sure they don’t deserve it Why does God chose to bless some people and not others why are there poor homeless Christians who cant feed their children and prosperous Christians with mansion here on earth if god loves us all why is it so lopsided.

    I often wonder about the Martha /Mary story if Mary chose the right path and Martha should have done that too. Who would do the work?. We can’t sit around all day and read the bible. Someone has to do something sometime or no one would eat Who would take care of the children? Who would pay the bills??

    I so wish God would one time really speak to me Show me he doesn’t think I am invisible

    • Dear precious d,
      Please know that God has not abandon you. Psalms 138:8 says this. In fact, it goes on to say that. “The Lord will work out his palns for your life — for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.” I am so glad Renee suggested that we pray for each other. In turn, I want to encourage you personally, in 2008 both my husband and I lost our jobs two weeks within each other. And yes, I agree that there are many jobs out there you and I are qualified for. However, I believe that God doesn’t just want you or I to have any job, He wants us to have a job that we will enjoy regardless of the income. A job that will bring about purpose and passion for HIS glory. It all in His timing. So, fret not, my sister, when you feel forgotten, God remembers says, “See, I have has engraved you in the palms of his hands” (Isaiah 49:16). And yes, God does and is speaking…He speaks to us through HIS precious word.

      • Jessica I. Hernandez says:

        Yes he does speak to us through his wonderful word D, don’t worry, pray, pray, pray and pray some more and DON’T give up, look upward when you are feeling down. God will perfect that which concerns you!! WE all go through our trials and tribulations and we wonder WHY???!! BUT you need to presevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will recieve what he has promised!

  8. I am most tempted to compare myself to others who I feel are great at expressing their thoughts and ideas on paper and in person. I struggle with trusting myself and therefore I tend to over analyze anything. When I was in college I had a friend who could write a 20 page research paper within 2 hours, it just seemed easy for her. And it took days for me to find a topic then write the paper. While I loved working with her, I always felt less than, not smart enough, and not good enough. I felt as though I was stupid. Today, I am further along in my journey, but there are still times I fall short of having confident. Recently I, along with other contestants was asked to speak at Toastmasters International Founder’s Day which I accepted. However, as the day draws closer, I find myself wandering if I did the right thing. questioning… what if I am not as good as the other contestants. What if I forget my speech…etc.

  9. Good morning, Renee! Thank you for your words of encouragement. It is so easy for me to slip into the “what’s wrong with me” mode. I am trully blessed to be a child of God and to know His love. My daughter is out of work and has been applying for a position in counseling since July. She has been living on her savings and is trusting the Lord to provide. Her attitude most of the time is good. Her husband left her 3 years ago and her heart is still broken from that experience. Your words today reminded me that the evil one is always waiting to pull me away from the Lord. Please pray for my daughter and her need of a job. Help me to pray for God’s guidance as I encourage my daughter. Some days, I ask God why is it taking so long. Then I remember that God’s timing is perfect. Some days it is hard to just wait and others, I feel like the Lord is working it out. It is painful to watch a child struggle in this way. But, God loves her more than I do and I can trust Him. Thank you, again, Renee, for your words of encouragement and for the scripture verses to remind me of who’s I am.

  10. I am constantly tempted to measure myself up to others around me at work, as I shop, in my family that I loose sight of who I am.

    Thank you for reminding me that I am a child of the God Most High. He created me and chose me as His own. He has equipped me and He alone is my source. I pray that the eyes of our hearts receive this amazing revelation, that we be aware constantly of who we are in Christ. A new creation!

  11. I am currently struggling with a personal issue. My longterm boyfriend left me and one of the reasons was that he felt I was not as good as other girls he met at work. He would comment on how successful they were, how driven they were etc. He told me ‘beauty isn’t everything’ and said many hurtful comments to me. I guess he was comparing me to other girls and felt I didn’t measure up. When he ended things, he was very cruel and made things really ugly, he didnt show me any mercy at all. I am still trying to pick up the pieces and move on with my life. This was a huge blow to my self-esteem and I felt really unlovable. I am working on getting past this and I pray to God everyday to continue to guide me.

    • I, too, am still healing from the break up with an alcoholic boyfriend. When we say we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not lovable, we are giving away our power and also telling God that he didn’t make us wonderfully and perfectly, which we know is NOT true…..

      Focus on God, let go of the rest, give it to the sea of forgetfulness!

      Psalm 56:11~”In God I trust: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

  12. This was so timely. I have been struggling with significant fear and self-doubts for a few years, and am limited in what I can do outside of my home because of them. I’m also having some health issues which make it difficult to have the energy to fight some days.
    The thoughts that I can’t do things, it’s not worth trying and that am going to make terrible mistakes are a pretty constant battle. Thank you for reminding me that these are lies from satan and I need to keep my mind and heart focused on God and His Word.

  13. I never thought of Satan disguising his voice as my own. I hear these thoughts and don’t recognize a lot of times that’s it’s Satan talking. Not myself, not God. It never occurred to me that Satan would do that, even though it makes perfect sense. Thank you for opening my eyes to that fact! It’s a constant struggle and process believing that I am good enough, but how thankful I am to recognize and work through it.

  14. Okay, I can’t believe how all this happened. It’s small and seems insignificant
    But it’s so huge to me. I just got done texting my husband how tired
    I am of being like this, always thinking something is wrong with me or finding
    Something to complain about when I have such a blessed life.
    So, I go to Bible Gateway and read the devotional, What’s wrong with me?
    I had to open it, Right there God was speaking to me, reminding me that
    He loves me and this pit of despair or sadness or whatever er is not from Him.
    Really it was just exciting that I open up to a devotional about exactly what I’m
    Going through and have been. Then I’m thinking I have to have this book, this is perfect
    In so many ways.:-) I keep reading and find out I can actually win this book! Wow! An opportunity
    So here I am trying, so excited at just the thot to see what God is going to do.
    Have a great day!

  15. Hi Renee, first of all I want to say Thank you for allowing God use you to impact women all over the world.
    Your devotions and articles have really helped me on my journey of DAILY living in and by God’s promises. Assessing my thoughts on a daily basis, I can say that I now have more “For Me” (FM) thoughts than “Against Me” (AM) ones. 😀
    God bless you and your family. And all will be well. God will continue to use you and yours for His glory.
    Remain blessed!

  16. Ree Orsatti says:

    Dear Renee, I feel like I know you. Your ability to write is such a true God-given gift. I purchased your book, “A Confident Heart” about 2 month ago, and I still have not finished it. I think I have about 2 more chapters to read. The reason it is taking me so long to finish it is because I keep going back and rereading so many of the chapters. I haven’t finished asnwering all the questions from each chapter, but I intend to.
    I also write down each prayer you wrote at the end of each chapter. I want to continually pray all the words you write. I am 66 years old and have known Jesus for along time. However, I haven’t always walked closely with Him. My x-husband and I divorced almost 10 years ago (He had put me down fo 33 years, and the worst of it is I had so much fear that I allowed it.) I am in another disfunctional relationship, and I am trying to get out of that right now. There is a lot of negative in my life, and I am trying very hard to read my Bible or do the Proverbs31 Study at least once a day. When I do the Proverbs31 study, I feel so much better about myself afterwards. I always read the Bible a lot when I am doing the study. I also belong to a wonderful small church, and the fellowship there is helping my walk with Jesus also. I have two grown sons, both married with children, and I just need so much prayer. I am dealing with so much negative input from so many people that sometimes I find it hard to focus on who I am in Christ. I appreciate your reminder of that fact to me in every chapter I have read in your book. It is, by far, the best book I have ever read, and I will always use it as a reference in my life. I would love to win another copy because I want to give a copy to each of my daughter-in-laws for Christmas. If I am not able to buy them a copy for Christmas, I will definitely try to buy them a copy once I get all my Christmas bills paid. Thank you again for all of your wisdom, love and caring. God Bless you and your family (I saw the photos of your boys and your precious little girl you adopted—-great family)

    Love,

    Ree

  17. Moranda Miller says:

    Dear Renee, Thank you so much for sharing this with us at such a time of struggle in your own life. It is very encouraging to see someone acting on faith versus talking about it. I continue to pray for your family.I feel uncomfortable about asking for prayer in my own life…but i am doing so.(That’s probably when we need it the most,eh?) Thank you!

  18. Jessica I. Hernandez says:

    Thank you so much for you daily devotions, I read them every morning and they are just so inspiring, wonderful, amazing and so true! God is just an amazing God and through him, because of him we can do it all 😉

Share Your Thoughts

*