Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said,
“I have had an intense struggle with my sister,
and I am winning!”
Genesis 30:8 NLT
About a month ago, I went with a small group to hear blogger Glennon Doyle give a talk on her latest book release. I had never heard of her or her book, but everyone else did so I just figured it would be a good time. If I’m being honest, though, 10% of me wasn’t sure I wanted to go at all FOR THE MOST RIDICULOUS REASON. I felt super intimidated by another writer who is actually able to make money with their written abilities. (Versus my situation where my blogging is just a hobby that actually costs me money.)
Anyone with me on that? Do you feel intimidated by people around you who can do what “you do” better than you?
Well, I went anyway and just let myself have a little chip on my shoulder about it.
And then, within the first 5 minutes of her talk, she said something that made that chip literally evaporate. She told us about the concept of “sistering.” It was something she had learned from a friend who does construction. She said that when a floor sags or cracks, it’s because the boards supporting it (joists) are weak. One method of fixing this is called “sistering joists.” In lay-terms, it basically means that they mount one [sister] board tight to the left of the weak board and another one to the right, essentially sandwiching the weak board between two strong sister ones. And that, she said, is how we should treat each other.
Well, that definitely made me feel like an immature moron! Why am I sitting here feeling the pressure of comparison instead of just a desire to support and sister someone who has nothing to do with my income or success? At what point did it become more natural to feel jealousy, intimidation or pressure around each other rather than just sistering each other up when we sag?
Apparently, it’s a pretty old struggle because I read about it in Genesis this past week. Jacob’s two wives were [literally] sisters who just could not stop one-upping each other. At one point it got so bad that Rachel named a son after the struggle she felt against her sister.
Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have had an intense struggle with my sister, and I am winning!” (Genesis 30:8 NLT)
God gave us sisters (brothers, cousins, friends, partners, etc.) for support, not sabotage. Someone else’s success doesn’t deplete my potential. There is no pool of limited joy that I will miss out on if I’m not as pretty as Suzie, as smart as John, or as ninja-like as Guadalupe.
This week I’m going to work on sistering-up the people in my life. I want to be excited about what you’re excited about! Chime in below in the comments if there’s something going on in your life that I can celebrate with you or pray for you about.
Dear Lord, you made us for so much more than what we let define us. Not one of our circumstances changes that, in you, we are family. Please help me choose to sister-up rather than become insecure about the joy of those around me. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/67835627@N05/7301106896″>10080031</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>