Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The 3 C's

I alluded to "the 3 c's" in this post here and wanted to dig deeper into the three different (very general) sins that seem to plague most women.  I won't assume that all women struggle with all three of these but in most cases I think you can find a little bit of each of these in a conversation that isn't being guarded.

Take a minute to sit at Starbucks and listen to some women talking... or perhaps you don't even have to eavesdrop on someone else's conversation.  I know for me, I don't have to look any further than at myself to find "the 3 c's" being casually tossed about like they were a penny a piece and no harm to anyone.  My tongue gets me into so much trouble and before I know it I've complained, compared and competed myself with another person and most often times that person wasn't even present to "rise to the challenge".  In thinking and praying over these little c's... I've come to realize several things about them.

First, they are very intricately connected.  It's hard to have one and not the other.  When I complain about my hair and how awful it is and how I hate the cut and how it makes me look I realized that I am complaining because my hair doesn't look like "so and so's" hair which is always immaculate and never a strand out of place. And to go a step further, the reason I want my hair to look like "so and so's" is so that I could possibly "out-beautify" her and thereby enters in competition.  It's easy to see how one leads to another before I've even recognized that I have done one.

Second, "the 3 c's" are a "slippery slope".  What I mean by that is observe how easy it is for us as women to get caught up in each of these and often times we don't even know it's happened.  Have you ever walked away from a conversation feeling a bit uneasy?  I know I have.  I have walked away from well-meaning times with my own sisters in Christ and felt a bit... "um, Lord, was that honoring?" brewing in my stomach.  I don't even know it's happening as I sit and catch up with some of my girlfriends but later as I am reflecting on my time spent I realize I could have held my tongue more. 

Third, at the root of all three of these is a voice saying, "God, what you have given me, whether it be beauty, money, talents, etc. is not enough." Think about it.  When you complain, you are saying, "I don't like this circumstance."  When you compare, it's "why didn't you make me this way" and when you compete you say to God, "this person is better than me".... it's an insatiable monster that will not only eat you up but convince you to "eat up" those who are around you.  As I write this I wanna ask, "Why do I give others the permission to tell me how much I am worth?" and it's true.  We give others the permission to tell us if we are beautiful, successful or worth very much. 

Last, you are not the master of these three though you think you are... they are and will always be the master of you until you take them to Jesus.  For instance, I don't like the verse in James that says that "no man" can tame their tongue because I like to think I can tame my tongue.  I like to think I can stop gossiping, putting down other women and degrading my own self.  I like to think that I can but in reality, I can't.  We are no longer slaves to sin, the bible tells us, and yet, we allow ourselves to be slaves when we give in to these petty three c's.  There is no life in speaking and believing these three c's.  Whether we believe and speak them about others or ourselves.  No life.  There can only be death.  Death of friendships, death of us finding our true identity and death to a fruitful spiritual life.

I can easily relate to James' words about how "with (the tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God".  Whenever I read that I cry out, "Really God?!? Is there no hope for someone like me?" and of course there is hope.

Our hope comes from the Bible which teaches us that God shows His love for us that while we were still sinners Christ, God's son, died for us.  (Romans 5:8)  There is nothing we can do, now or ever, to earn this gift which God freely gives us.  Yet, while we are in this life we should not waste this gift of grace but use it to continue on towards righteousness and holiness.  So for example, even though I have trouble with these "3 c's" I should not shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, there's grace to cover that" and continue on my merry way. No, I should strive to live a godly life and strive to rid my habits of such sinful tendencies.  I love Philippians 1:6 which says, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion..." and Proverbs 24:16, "for the righteous falls seven times and rises again...".  It's nice to know that even the righteous fall but the key is to get up and "rise above" that which would bring us down.



Brian said...

This is a beautiful post and totally spoke to me. You have such a talent with writing. Thanks for sharing your heart and struggles. Oh, how I hate the three Cs.

Rachel Farley said...

The above comment is indeed not from a man, but from Rachel Farley who was signed in as her hubby. Oops! This is why I had to change his picture into mine, because I do this all the time :)

Abbie said...

Yes yes yes! Thanks for this, sister. Now, we need to resume our emails to talk about this very thing :)