Hel-o-o-o Mini-Women! You're on a roll with our "Being Transformed" Lenten series and I want to keep that going, so let's dig right in . . . just as soon as we get some prayer requests up here for you. Today your fellow GIA Agents have asked you to pray for:
AMELIA's friend at church -- a a very sweet lady -- who has cancer.
MARY's grandma who is hurting.
BAYLEE's neighbors who are making a big move.
CHANTEY's friend's sister who was in a serious car accident.
ESTHER, who isn't feeling well.
JOSIE and her dad who have colds.
JESUS FREAK/BETH -- whose mom is cancer-free! Big Thanksgiving!
KATIE and her mom and the girls' group they've started.
ABIGAIL, who is also starting a FaithGirlz Club. (Funny you should be mentioning that because Miss Leah and I are cooking up a summer program that involves forming FaithGirlz clubs!)
Merciful God, please hear the prayers of your mini-women.
I love, love, love that you really thought about Jacob and Leah and Rachel -- and You! It really helps you understand yourself doesn't it? That is HUGE, and I'm proud of you.
So let's go a little further inside and talk about . . .
"When Competition ISN'T Healthy"
READ: Genesis 29:29-30:24 That's a lot to read so if you have THAT IS SO ME, you can read p. 248 instead. If you don't have the book, you can sort of skip through all the parts describing who had what baby and just get the idea that these two sisters were constantly in competition with each other -- by seeing who could have the most babies! Yikes!
PONDER THIS: Some of that seems kind of ridiculous to us because in our time (a) guys don't get to have more than one wife at a time and (b) if a woman can't have children, she doesn't usually tell her husband to go make babies with her maid and then keep the kids for herself. Aren't you glad you live in the twenty-first century? But the thing is, we still compete with each other for things like who gets the most attention, who is loved the most, who is the most popular. And when we're in the middle of it, it doesn't seem any worse to us than the Baby Wars did to Rachel and Leah. That's because they were so desperate to be loved and wanted. Can you imagine how they felt?
TURN IT INWARD: OBVIOUSLY you aren't going to compete with your sister or your friends or the kids you want to be better-than by getting into a baby-producing competition! I mean, really? But IS there some OTHER kind of competition going on in your life? It could even be something you don't do out in the open, but you do it kind of secretly. There are some examples of competition that aren't healthy:
* A younger sister does every activity and sport her sister does JUST because she knows she'll be better at them, not because she really enjoys them.
* When a boy seems to like one friend, the other friend goes out of her way to get him to like HER instead, not because she really likes him but just because she can't let her friend have something she doesn't
*Two girls are popular but they aren't friends with each other. One pounces on every new girl to get her to be in her group of friends; the other convinces the new girl to be in HER gorup of friends. Neither one of them does it because they really like the new girl . . .
* There's only one person in the class who is as smart as Student A and who makes grades as high, and that is Student B. Student A will stay up all night studying and creating major projects so she can show up Student B. Student B does the same and sometimes even cheats. They have both lost the point of doing well in school because they're so busy trying to one-up each other.
Get the idea? Does anything even faintly like that happen to you? Or do you even just FEEL competition with people you actually really like? Or have you jsut given up because you know you can never be as good as/popular as/pretty as them?
The biggest question is: What does that do to your relationship with that person? Is it hard to love somebody when you're always trying to be better than they are? Or they're trying to be better than you? Or both?
TALK TO JESUS ABOUT IT: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that competition like that is NOT a good thing. No matter how large or small your involvement in it may be, spend some time pouring that out to our Lord, just the way we've done in previous posts. Be totally honest. Ask for forgiveness (and you'll be given it even faster than we told Maranda it was okay that she made a tiny mistake without meaning to). Forgiveness is, like, the whole reason Jesus came in the first place! Then ask what you can do about it, God's way.
NOW: If while you're pondering and praying about this you get an idea of what you should do to change that situation that's as unhealthy as riding a bike without a helmet (or eating an entire bag of sour cream and onion potato chips and calling it lunch, or -- well, you get the idea) -- if you do get an idea, then by all means do it. It could be an aoplogy. It could mean just stopping the competition on your end. But if an idea doesn't come to you or it does but you can't imagine doing it yet, that's okay. Transformation happens gradually, and we're working on it.
SHARE: We would like to hear what you're going through when it comes to not-so-good competition, so please share whatever you feel comfortable with. You can think of it this way:
I compete with _________________ on ___________________ and it's not healthy because _________________________.
One more thing. I'm doing a lot of reading about bullying right now as I prepare to write some more books for you, and one of the things I keep hearing is that kids who are taught to be concerned for other people almost never turn into bullies and they are less likely to stand by and watch other people be bullied without speaking up. The kind of caring you show for each other here on the blog and the prayer requests you make show that you really do have compassion for other people. I'm honored to know you, Mini-Women. Truly honored.