Companion or Competition?

Friendship. One of life’s precious gifts. Those who love us despite our shortcomings and failures. They encourage us, strengthen us, and lift us up when we are down. Some are good listeners, others like to talk. Some will stand rock solid by your side, others may wonder to and fro from our life like the waves of the ocean. Each serving a purpose. I cherish those friends who are honest and who make me laugh, but one type of friend that I have come to value above all is a praying friend. There is unique bond and a great strength between friends who sincerely pray for one another.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

I think it is important that we find our people, our tribe, our crew. I am blessed with a mixture of friendships. I have some that only lasted a season, others that have lasted for years. I have friends who I talk to daily and others that I talk to every few months. I don’t take that lightly. I have learned that friendships take effort, they take time and require grace to be shown on both sides. After all, we are in this life together and we are imperfect human beings. We are going to mess up, but we still need one another. We were created for relationships.

A group of 8 of us recently attended a Christian women’s conference. It was our first time going and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. There was close to 9,000 ladies at this event. We didn’t realize just how big it was going to be. It was a sight to see that many ladies in one massive room. All there for the same purpose: to worship God and hopefully grow closer to him throughout the convention.

As I looked around one evening during the praise and worship session, I was in awe at all the different ladies that were there. Appearances ranged from young to not so young, dressed to impress to more casual and comfy, young moms to grandmothers, those with arms decked out in fancy bracelets to those lined with colorful tattoos. Each lady representing their own unique background and story. Each had struggles and obstacles they had overcome. Some with hands raised high, while others held their palms facing up out in front of them, to those just standing still but still belting out the words of praise. There was unity in that place as we worshiped God. We had a common goal. That is how it should be, focusing on God and not each other and our differences.

We have an enemy who wants to destroy each of us. He hates us. He hates who we worship. If he can’t get in between you and your maker, you better believe he will come after your relationships. He starts to whisper lies and gets our focus off God and onto each other. We start to see our companions as competitors in this thing called life. We start to let our minds wander on the “what if” possibilities. Maybe one has a bigger home than you, or a better paying job. Or there is one with a natural glow upon her youthful skin and a gorgeous head of hair. Or maybe they have kids who seem to have it more together than your own and a husband that goes out of his way to shower her with love each day. Let’s not forget those who don’t have to watch every little thing they eat so their waist doesn’t expand, while your over here, hangry, cramming the carrot sticks in trying to convince yourself they are cheese puffs. Tell me the struggle ain’t real y’all.

What I have learned is this, when those thoughts start to creep in, put a stop to them immediately. Do not entertain them. If you do, they will start to grow and take root. Remind yourself of the truth. God loves you and he made you for a specific purpose. You cannot fill your God given role if your focus is on what everyone else is doing. Also, if you feel discontented about your current status, check your time spent on social media. I have found a huge connection with my attitude when I spend countless minutes scrolling through my news feed. Thankfully I have learned when my contentment starts to fade, it’s time to take a break from the screen. After all people only show what they want you to see. They can chose how to portray their life. The good parts. The happy parts. The filtered parts. It’s rare to get a window into the ugly and messy parts of one’s life. But the truth is, we all have them. Stepping away from any type of media has always helped me regain my thoughts were they should be.

Satan wants us to compare. It’s a distraction tool, and when we start down that path, our joy will be compromised. Comparison produces discontentment into your life. It will make you lose your joy and become miserable. You start chasing after false happiness. Seek out God’s word and let it shape your perspective. Be intentional about finding the blessings in your own life. There will be too many to count if you try to start adding them up. God is so good and he wants you to be engaged in the life he has set in front of you. Not your neighbor’s, not your friend’s, but your life. Embrace it. Love it and life it to the best of your ability.

Keep moving forward,

Hayley W

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