Give Me Liberty

I’ve been reading Lindsay Ferrier’s blog, Suburban Turmoil, and this post captured my attention and affections. It resonated with me because I, too, have been there.

We women (especially Christian women) are a vicious bunch. We compare ourselves to each other, judge and condemn. Sometimes as much as we TRY to be real, we fall short. We are so caught up in our culture of “measuring up,” that we have become a facade of who we really are.

Just yesterday, I was talking with my friend Jennifer. She made the comment, “Just ‘be yourself.’ Gosh, that’s the hardest thing because it’s so hard to figure out myself!”

I posted to Lindsay’s comment section and also include it for you, below:

Lindsay and other posters,

I haven’t read every other post word for word, so forgive me if I’m repeating someone else.

Here’s the problem: We women are so caught up in comparing ourselves to each other. We feel hopelessly inadequate and when in the company of others, we can’t help but feel the pain of how we fall short (I’m speaking from personal experience here).

For Christian women, this comparison exercise takes another dimension, which is antithetical to the Gospel. But we hold to it, nonetheless. If you do x, then you are more holy. If you don’t do y, then you must have a stronger faith than I. We eventually wind up putting on all sorts of masks and facades so that we can “measure up,” either to real or imagined (human, not God’s) standards. Obviously, we feel empty and alone. And, especially, if we’re not “playing the game” and just want to be ourselves, well, then, we are quite out of place.

I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember (can’t remember a day I didn’t love Jesus) and have been an active church member all my life. I have felt the scorn of other women/other Christians for everything from working outside the home and having unruly kids in worship, to feeding my kids formula or drinking wine.

It’s all human-constructed legalisms! All of it. In the Gospel, there is liberty. I’m not meaning “any and everything goes,” as there are certainly PRINCIPLES mandated in Scripture. But, really, “There is therefore NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” It’s Jesus, plus or minus nothing.

I don’t think this will ever subside, unfortunately. We are all sinners and we are all more concerned about man’s opinion than God’s opinion. We are hopeless legalists and hunt for ways to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. Aside from the transformation that Christ empowers, we worship ourselves, not God.

The “best” we can do this side of Heaven is exposing such sin as this. You go, girl! With this post and others like it. Say what needs to be said. And celebrate who you are and what God has given you to say.

In our church, I have to say, we are a transparent group of women (and men, too). We try to be real and to embrace the body of Christ in the particular expression of it in our group.

I am certain there are several similar congregations in Gospel-teaching, Gospel-believing churches around our city. I know you said you weren’t looking for “invitations,” but I would love to commend our church to you. We are in Bellevue: Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (PCA). We are small, but friendly and welcoming.

Oh, and we’re a thoughtful bunch, too. We love those doctrinal debates and discussions! No fluff here. 🙂

I can say with all sincerity that I have at least a half dozen GOOD Christian women friends (all ages) in this season of life to whom I can turn with life’s hardest questions. I can be real and honest, knowing that my concerns are held in strictest confidence, and I do not feel a smidge of judgment or condemnation.

Blessings to you and your family as you navigate these difficult waters.