I woke up and felt jealousy and comparison start to sneak in to my heart. I started to have conversations in my head to back up a narrative created by a small lie. That's how it all starts. One small little lie. The voice in my head doesn't sound like the evil villain. It sounds just like me. Pretty soon I had woven a whole story casting myself as the victim and the target of my revenge and judgement was a friend of mine! This girl has never done anything wrong to me. She is very sweet and kind. I had given into this other worldly dialogue that pitted me against people that I love that had done nothing unjust towards me.
It had all started when I checked Instagram. It was business as usual, I woke up, made coffee and was scrolling through when I saw someone's name on a to-do list. This to-do list belonged to someone important that I admired. If you were on her list, you were doing great things. It was only a first name, it wasn't a full name and I instantly thought of what this could mean for this girl and what it meant for me. This girl is someone who is going after the same things that I am. This is someone who is in a very similar place and season as I am. I began to think of her getting something that I wanted. Something that wasn't enough to go around. Then I imagined conversations between other people comparing me to this girl. (These conversations never happened. But because these thoughts attached themselves to people I actually know it felt as if it had happened in real life!) I started to feel more and more like a victim, I thought things in absolutes like, "I will never be seen, or known." "I will always be forgotten or left behind." "Well I deserve it because I'm so petty and can't be happy for anyone else." (RED FLAG: when you start saying NEVER and ALWAYS in a negative sense you are probably agreeing with an ungodly belief that has shown up more than once in your life. Ungodly beliefs are core beliefs that are not in line with what God says about you.) And mid swirl it dawned on me. NOTHING I'M THINKING IS TRUE. It was then I realized, this is what it means to take thoughts captive. I love how The Message Bible says it in 2 Corinthians 10:5
"We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity."
I was starting to run down this emotional rabbit trail instead of fitting my emotions and thoughts into the structure of a life shaped by Christ. I immediately felt remorse for how I had judged this friend of mine.
This is a nasty cycle that can keep going and going until it bulldozes all the people in your life that you are actually called to be in relationship with.
I stood there stunned that I was able to rouse myself mid cycle to choose something new. If this was an attempt to get me into a cycle of judgement I would have to bless this person instead. There is only one judge, and it ain't me. The bible is pretty clear about the dangers of passing judgement. But when it feels so real and it feels like I'm the victim it makes judgement seem like it's justified. I decided to write out a prayer of blessing so when I find myself in this situation again I am able to speak out this prayer and command my emotions and thoughts to line up with Jesus. Here is a sample blessing that you can insert a name into the blank spaces and as you say it out loud a lot of times other things come to mind that you can say that are specific to your situation.