The Directive is thrilled to feature creative, entertaining, and innovative Biblical blog posts written by exceptional women of Faith. Today’s In the Spotlight showcases an article written by the rabbit lair’s founder, Michelle Warren. Have you ever found yourself in a toxic friendship? Read on to learn about Michelle’s experience with pernicious relationships and discover what the Bible proposes will remedy the residual effects of jealousy and self-doubt.
The other day, I was catching up with a friend who I had not seen in about a month. When I asked her how everything was going, she told me that work was going great and her relationship was going great, however, her relationships with her girlfriends were not. She proceeded to give me examples of what she had been experiencing with these “friends” and it got me to thinking…why can’t we just be happy when things are going great for one of our sisters?
Why can’t we just get along?
I think one reason for our behavior is that we like the underdog, meaning that we feel better about ourselves when someone’s life is not going as well as ours. The minute things turn around for them, we find a reason to not like them anymore usually finding a new underdog and using that underdog to “ghost” the first underdog.
When other women find their Mister Right, lose weight, or get a promotion, we find something wrong with them….there must be something wrong right?
That conversation made me think back to a time that I lost forty pounds. I had been working toward that goal for over a year, so when I finally fit into that size 8 pair of jeans, I could not contain my joy. I immediately went to proclaim my happy news on social media expecting everyone to be as excited for me as I was. When I arrived at work, my male coworker asked, in a very annoyed tone might I add, “Did you really post on facebook that you were wearing a pair of size 8 jeans?” I replied, “Yes, why?”. He then went on a rant about how he had to listen to his wife (someone I considered a dear Christian friend) complain all morning about my post. After that, this “friend” proceeded to avoid me at all costs, as well as talk unkindly about me behind my back. Lo and behold, when a lot of the weight came back on, there she was wanting to be my friend again. Just so you know…although I forgave her….I had long ago put a period on that friendship.
What makes women act this way? Is it insecurities, not being happy in our own life situation, jealousy?
Think back to the story of Sarah and Hegar in Genesis 16.
Sarah was unable to bear children so she came up with this brilliant idea to “give” her servant, Hegar to her husband, Abraham.
When Hegar became pregnant with Abraham’s child, her behaviour changed and she became haughty, prideful and just plain mean.
At the same time, the green-eyed monster bit Sarah and she became consumed by jealousy, insecurity, and hatred for Hegar.
And the competition began, which led to Sarah attempting to kill Hegar and her child on not one, but two occasions by sending them out into the wilderness.
What was a good relationship (remember Sarah chose Hegar to be her surrogate) ended in these two women becoming bitter enemies.
We see this in our world today. It seems as though women are taught from a young age, to view their female friends as a threat or as competition. We constantly compare ourselves and our lives to those of other females. But the thing is, there will always be someone prettier, smarter, more successful, etc.
Do you really want to spend your life in a web of jealousy and self-doubt?
After all, self-doubt is one of Satan’s biggest weapons that he uses against us in our walk with God.
If you think about it, our self-doubt, insecurity, unhappiness, and jealousy is a slap in the face of God. These feelings show that we are not satisfied with what God has given us or is going to give us.
InThe Art of Being a Lady: Getting Along with Other Women, the author states:
The dynamics of female relationships are extremely complicated, and that’s a fact. If the women in your social circle think you to be prettier, or thinner, or more successful, or better dressed, or smarter, or kinder, or more confident, or have better-behaved children or a cleaner home or a more-devoted husband or whatever else the case may be – it’s safe to say your fate is sealed.”HTTPS://FOXYOXIE.COM/THE-ART-OF-BEING-A-LADY-GETTING-ALONG-WITH-OTHER-WOMEN/
Unfortunately, she hit the nail on the head, didn’t she?
Instead of celebrating when others succeed, we find fault with them. Not only that, it is a common practice of most to take a certain amount of joy from the disappointments and trials of others.
But, ask yourself? How much better would our world be if we, as women, worked together instead of tearing each other down? How much happier would our lives be if we stopped comparing ourselves and began celebrating one another?
So, what does the Bible say about this dynamic between women?
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:26
If we just followed that one verse, our relationships with other women would be so much better.
I would like to take this opportunity to challenge you to build one another up, taking joy in each others successes and to give a hand up during trials. After all, we need our sisters for prayer, encouragement, emotional support, and friendship. Our lives would be so much richer.
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