Vanity is a trap. Being vain leads to doing tragic things, things that leave you trapped, things that might not seem so bad at first. Don’t let the tragedy of being alone with the wife of a close friend trap you, or a friends or “frenemy’s” husband or significant other, a co-worker that’s off limits, or anyone not committed to you for that matter. Vanity has a constant hunger, one that wants more and more. It will have you chasing things that aren’t going to boost your ego like you were hoping, or not for as long as you were thinking. Nor prove that you’re just as good as or better than so-and-so. Nor will it quench that empty feeling. Don’t think you can stoop so low to starve yourself, work yourself to exhaustion, cheat…..? What about all this Ashley Madison mess? There are certainly people on there that once thought they’d never.
If you’re striving to be as picture perfect as a Cosmo model or the manliest Maxim reader, if you spend over $100 every six weeks on your hair,or skin care, more on clothing, judging yourself by FB likes, running on coffee and lettuce, looking for a promotion or title to feel more prominent, competing to the point of brokenness……The list could go on, you get the gist. I was nearly there, and I’m sick of it. I’m done. Just to be shamefully honest. Just like the song goes, I was in Saratoga, watching my horse run– not owned by yours truly, but I was his first rider– and that makes them forever mine- even if its only in my heart. Well I definitely wasn’t with anyone besides my husband, but I had a horrible feeling my husband wanted someone maybe a bit blonder and longer legged.
That’s where vanity will turn on you and stab you in the back- just when you think you’re something, BAM! Someone with a bit more of that appealing attribute comes along and you’re left feeling like you should just try a bit harder. Vanity turns to jealousy, feelings of failure, constant comparison, or a life of feeling inadequate. When you desire anything that makes you better than others, that is a wretched spirit of vanity. Yet there’s a way out. There is freedom in being content with who you are.
Its painfully embarrassing to publicly admit my insecurities, but after who knows how many defeats, and senseless arguments with my husband, this vain spirit is KO’d in the name of Jesus. By the grace of God I’m going to quit relying on my husband to satisfy my never ending appetite for reassurance that I’m what he wants. The longing to be ‘the prettiest’, ‘the funnest’, ‘the cutest’, ‘the most interesting’, blah blah blah is GONE! I am who I am, and at times (like when we’re alone) I’m all those things lol.
It is such a waste of life to compare yourself to anyone. Yet it’s absolutely impossible not to at all. So what’s the secret? It’s found in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Who is the One who has all of these attributes and more? Who are we to think on? Christ Himself, God on earth showing us how to live. We take EVERY thought captive and submit it to Jesus. Then we see who we are IN HIM. It’s not always an overnight thing, it’s taken me quite awhile to even recognize those thoughts, and its important to stop that train of thought and just start thinking instead about who Jesus really was, in character and deed. It helps me to picture Him in conversation with the woman at the well.
When you aren’t feeling like you measure up, just start praising the God who made you, who makes everything precious and wonderful- from the smallest pebble to the awe-inspiring sunsets, to the tiny baby to the silver haired grandfather. Admit that you are unique and precious. Accept that love. Bask in that truth. If you haven’t yet, than you can. The maker of heaven and earth is longing for you to know Him as your Creator, to cherish you. Just start talking to Him. So many wanted to do the miracles He did, “we want to do Gods work,” they said. Do you know how Jesus replied? “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29. Start there. It will set you free.