The Problem

Vainglory: Excessive elation or pride over one's own achievements, abilities; boastful vanity

I was having a conversation over coffee with a sweet friend earlier this week, and I asked her if she had any thing specific she wanted to hear more on. Her answer? Vainglory.

Vainglory is certainly a struggle. It's been one for me throughout my entire life. I can recall many times where I subjected myself to vainglory because I thought that I needed to live up to expectations of the world and be someone else rather than my true self to get attention.

Does this sound familiar to you?

I can remember when I believed that no one was interested in dating me because I wasn't beautiful. I honestly believed that because I didn't wear the right clothes, because I wasn't skinny enough, or because I didn't cake my face with makeup that guys were not and would never be attracted to me. What a lie. As a result of my insecurities, my vainglory took root and sprouted in ugly ways. I allowed myself to believe that lust was the was to receiving acceptance in a relationship and buying diet pills in secret while living off coffee would transform me into the image I wanted for myself.

My high school years were filled with some of the best and certainly some of the very darkest days of my life. I fed myself with Satan's lies constantly and allowed myself to be identified by my insecurities. I was proud of my terrible decisions because the changes I was focused on making in my life allowed me to see the result Satan wanted that I, too, desired. I was proud of the person I was becoming as I was allowing myself to be shaped by lies- completely destructive lies that would eventually shatter me. It was easy for me to naturally subject myself to vainglory.

What's so heartbreaking about this is that I never allowed anyone to know my insecurities and my fears of not living up to expectations of the world. I fought this battle alone. I didn't look to family. I didn't look to friends. And most importantly, I didn't look to God. I looked to what I believed would change me for the better: the enemy.

 Ladies, I'm sharing this with you today because I want you to be aware of who you're living for and Whose you really and truly are. We must acknowledge what we believe of ourselves to be true and how that is affecting the way in which we are living the lives that God has called us to live. Are we seeking to be fed by the Father, or are we allowing ourselves to be fed by the enemy?

The Symptoms

-Seeking praise +  attention from partaking in the things expected of you by the world (Human praise>God's praise)

-Receiving accomplishments out of pride for oneself rather than  recognizing the God Who is active + at work in your life

-Creating an image that we want the world to see rather than living in the image of God that we were created in

-Pride + vanity go hand in hand

-Places one's own  glory over God's glory

-Places oneself above others instead of looking people in the eye + meeting them where they're at

-Lives in the "I have all the answers" and the "My opinion is all I need" mindset

-Boastful

-Feeds ego with self and compliments received

-Self-deceptive

-One's audience = the world


The Cure(s)


Biblical Affirmations- Bathe yourself in the Word and taste the Truth. Jesus said  it himself: “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Here are some of my favorites:

"I know that God cares for me and will meet my needs because I am precious to Him." -Matthew 6:25-44

"I know that God is always with me." -Isaiah 41:10
"I know that today’s discouragement will be replaced by tomorrow’s joy." -Isaiah 51:11
"I know that God’s unfailing love surrounds me and that I can trust Him. " -Psalm 23:10
"I know that God will take care of me." -Psalm 27:10
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God.”- Psalm 139:14
“God strengthens me because my heart is fully committed to him.”-2 Chronicles 16:9
“The water Jesus gives takes away my thirst altogether.”-John 4:14

“I can never be separated from the love of God.” -Romans 8:38

What Is Your Confidence Based On?- Ladies, confidence can not be received from anything that's tangible (clothes, makeup, relationships, i.e.). Confidence is an attitude. We must learn how to build confidence through our relationship with the Lord. Do not listen to the words of the world. Listen to what your Creator has to say about you, your beauty, and your worth. He made you. Let Him build your confidence and become rooted in Truth as a result.
Who Are You Spending Time With?- We become like the people we surround ourselves with. With that in mind, we must make sure to spend time with people who accept us as we are, encourage us, love us, and are willing to walk with us. A friendship based off gossip, comparing, competition, and judgment will not flourish. Surround yourself with people who are willing to share their weaknesses with you, people who will help you grow, and people you empower you in becoming the woman that God desires for you to be. Community is what it's all about. Invest your time wisely.
Surrender & Root Yourself in God's Desires- God desires the very best for you. He's got it all laid it out, and what's required of you in return is placing your trust and your faith in the palm of His hands. The attention that we all seek to receive can only be received from our Father, ladies. And guess what? You don't have to live up to any expectations to receive it. Nothing in this world can satisfy our souls like He does. God knows your heart. You can hide from the world, but you can't hide from Him. Surrender, and give it all to Him. Believe that you are marked with the love of Christ over every ounce of who you are, because you are. Let God shower you with affection, hold you with His love, and show you true, abundant life in its fullest. He satisfies. Ladies, take delight in God, because He takes delight in Y-O-U!

The Reward(s)

When we seek God before and above all things, truly live with Him as the focal point of our very existence, and allow Him to renew, refresh, and refill us, beautiful, marvelous things happen.

-We learn how to faithfully pursue God
-We learn how to utilize our gifts for the greater good of the Kingdom
-We accept the image that we were created in and reflect it to the rest of the world
-Our glory is given to God
-Our audience = God
-We allow the opinions of others to challenge and further help shape us
-We take advantage of community
-We are honest about our weaknesses
-We seek wisdom & discernment from the Source of Truth
-We do not answer to the world because we live with the understanding that we answer to God and God alone.
-We receive freedom
There are, of course, many more things to add to this list- all the more reason to strive to live in the Kingdom with an understanding of our worth and Whose we are. And ladies, you are ALL He says you are.
It is my prayer for you that you take on this life-changing journey and experience freedom from bondage like you never have before. Experience the fullness of God's love and walk in Truth, dear sisters.

 " Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her" -Luke 1:45
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."  -Proverbs 31:25
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you." -Song of Solomon 4:7
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." -Ephesians 2:8-10