No Lack in the Kingdom
I was born with a competitive drive. I liked to win at games, I liked the praise of being the best, I liked to know that I got the best grade, and so on. Competition in some ways can make us better. It keeps us from getting complacent with our talents and expecting more than what we deserve. But competition as believers in the world can make it hard to look like Jesus. Did you ever see Jesus competing with his disciples? They certainly competed with each other for Jesus’ affections, and Jesus scolded them. With the Pharisees? No, he wasn’t intimidated by them. Why was that? Certainly, they tried. I believe it’s because He knew who He was and WHO he belonged to. As the Son of God, His identity was secure.
Using Jesus as our example, how do we compare? As women, I’m afraid we often are competing. How do you measure up against her? Are you more beautiful? Are your clothes more stylish? Is your body thinner? What type of mom are you? Do you parent this way or that way? What do you do for work? How successful are you? How much money do you make? How nice is your house? What car do you drive? Whether we recognize it or not, we are often making mental comparisons and deciding who comes up with the short stick. Will it be me or you?
But what if we go back to our true identity – as a Daughter of God. As a daughter, I don’t have to compete or compare. If I’m secure in WHO calls me His own and who HE created me to be, I don’t have to be anyone else…but me. I don’t have to compare my business to yours, or my calling to yours, or how I’m using my time to you, because I am secure in what He has called me to, how He’s equipped me, and the purpose He’s given me. There is NO LACK in the Kingdom. And if I believe that God is TRULY GOOD and that He has good in store for me, then I believe He also has good in store for you. There is not a limited supply, so when GOOD happens to you, I can REJOICE with you, knowing that the goodness you’ve been given doesn’t take away from what He’s given or will give me as well.
It was out of this concept of no lack in the Kingdom that the Female Entrepreneur Retreat was created. As a new female business owner, I am well aware of my shortcomings and lack of knowledge when it comes to owning and running a business. It’s stinking hard and unlike anything that I have ever done. Also, I think it’s accurate to say that unless you’ve also run a business at least partially in the online world, it’s a hard thing to relate to and understand. So, though I will never claim to be a business expert, I wanted to bring female entrepreneurs together – to give them an opportunity to have community with like-minded women, to give them a chance to REST, work on whatever they wanted to for a few uninterrupted hours and provide space to collaborate.
Women may often compete, but we also love to share. I believe a foundation of any relationship is sharing – a back and forth of knowledge, stories, struggles, time, energy, and even possessions, gifts, etc. If the sharing only goes one way, a real friendship is hard to mature. But a mutual sharing can be life-giving to both recipients. I wanted to create space for women to share resources, what has worked well and what hasn’t, how they handle various situations in work and at home, how they balance parenting and marriage with their careers, and how they use their business as an opportunity to share God’s love with the world in various ways. It was truly a gift of collaboration.
Around the table, we had women of various ages and all different businesses, and yet the common thread was God, family, and desiring to do meaningful, often bold and hard work, for the glory of God! This type of collaboration cannot happen if we are not able to cheer each other on. If I continue to compete with other women, I’m an island. And I might experience great success even with a team, but I’ll miss out on the abundant blessing of celebrating the wins of the women around me. If we ALL see our work as part of our mission in sharing God’s love with the world, regardless of whether that’s as an interior designer, a writer, a physical therapist, a chiropractor, a fertility care practitioner, a managing director at Beauty Counter, or a financial planner, then we ALL are on the same TEAM! Even if our work looks different if our mission is ultimately for the good of others and the glory of God, YOUR win is MY WIN! And I then GET to cheer you on in the good that God is doing in your life, knowing that it doesn’t take away from what He is and will do in my own.
Sisters – life is too short to compete. If you struggle to celebrate with someone else, I ask you to search back to your identity. What are you finding it in? Is it in your body? Your appearance? Your success? Your position? Your children? Your husband? Your finances? Your wins? Or is it in being found in the ONE who called you His own? Every one of these other things WILL perish. None of it actually matters in the end. But we will be held accountable for our actions, our thoughts, and how we treated others. The ONE thing that will remain is being found in HIM and out of that love, we GET to make HIS Name known in every single other thing that we do.
May we be women who cheer each other on, and may we create change by raising a generation of daughters who cheer each other on. Life’s too short to compete.