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Kia Stephens


March 21, 2015

True Confessions of a Recovering HATER: Part II

March 21, 2015 | By | 43 Comments

It began as another routine trip to the grocery store.  My family of four was heading towards the entrance when we ran into some old acquaintances. Upon approaching their car, I should have known a HATER exam was imminent.

“We just got a new house,” she said.  “Oh, congratulations,” I replied, clinging to the 10 Steps to Becoming a Reformed Hater.  I made it through the conversation, only to face the true test when I got home.

Linoleum on its last leg, carpet stained beyond steam cleaning, walls that look like my children’s canvas, and a kitchen with a missing back board greeted me when I arrived.  “Thank you for my house, thank you for my house, THANK YOU FOR MY HOUSE!” I tried to repeat – because that was the Christian thing to do.  I was a S-T-R-U-G-G-L-I-N-G.

The more I tried to be thankful for what I had, the more I was tempted to compare my old with her new.  I wanted to find something, anything to make me feel better about being in my home of 10 years plus – with all the battle scars to prove it.

The sweet satisfaction of a thought laced with hate was so tempting.  It would numb the pain – the truth- that I was not at peace with my own space. Thus forcing me to realize the discontentment I birthed in my youth had come of age in my adult life.

I could not genuinely celebrate her good thing because I wanted it for me. Ouch! Simply put, I was a HATER.  Attacked by what Andy Stanley calls the “Green-Eyed Monster,” in his book, It Came From Within.  Andy goes on to talk about the real root of jealousy.

“When we think about jealousy or envy, we immediately think of the things others have that we lack- looks, skills, opportunities, health, height, inheritance, etc.  We assume that our problem is with the person who possesses what we lack.  But let’s face it.  God could have fixed all of that for us.  Whatever he gave your neighbor, he could have given you too.  And besides, you don’t really want your neighbor’s car; you want one like it.  You don’t mind the fact that God provided him with one.  The problem is that, while passing out new cars, God skipped you!”

God brings blessing to whomever He chooses.  Job 1: 21 (NIV) says, “The Lord Gives. . .” And though I have the freedom to question God’s decisions, I’ve tried and that road leads to nowhere.  So rather than pitch a tent in my own yuck I am choosing to become a reformed hater.

10 Steps to Becoming a Reformed Hater

Step 1:  Own My Truth

It is so much easier to front like I have it all together rather than to put my imperfect parts on display.  And though I periodically masquerade as the more together chic, God’s accepting love compels me to reveal the woman behind the mask. When I do, my truth looks like this.

  • Nothing about my life is perfect – but Christ.
  • I am not a super mom.
  • I struggle to keep my house clean.
  • Most days I am an overwhelmed working mom.
  • I try to be consistent but at best I’m scatterbrained.
  • I’m closer to 40 than ever (Ahhhh!).
  • When I am a hater it is a reflection of discontentment and insecurity within my soul.

In the past, the barrier to owning my truth was an overwhelming fear of rejection.  I wrestled with the possibility that exposing my truth would depreciate who I was in the eyes of others.  But “perfect love drives out fear” 1 John 4:18 (NIV) and I can rest in knowing my worth comes from my Creator.

 In Him I find contentment with the undesirable parts of my life. He enables me to see the beauty in what is rather than what is not.

True Confessions Meme 5

Step 2: Celebrate the Success of Others

Did you hear that so-in-so just. . .

Bought a new car.

Went to Hawaii.

Got her doctorate.

Honestly, sometimes I find it difficult to “Rejoice with those who rejoice”. Romans 12:15 (NIV)  At times my version of the scripture has been, compete with those who succeed – fearing that if I don’t, I will be less than, average, and behind.  Cloaked in insecurity I struggle to celebrate another woman’s success.  But the truth is, her gain does not diminish who I am.

Whether it’s a new house, great career, or a dream vacation, I can choose to rejoice in her accomplishments.  It is a continual decision not based on my emotions but rooted in a security that can only be found in Christ.  In Him I can celebrate the success of my sisters and replace insecure thoughts with the truth of who I am as a daughter of God.

Step 3: Refuse to Compare

As women, our thoughts come faster than a bullet train on greased rails.  In an instant, we can size up every female in a 10 foot radius. But in doing this, the challenge is to remember she is human.

She cries.

She has struggles.

She laughs.

She has insecurities.

And, she is more than her external appearance.   In choosing to become a recovering hater I must see her as God does – not a rival, but a person.


True Confessions Meme 3

I must remember, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 7 (NIV)




  1. Hi Kia! I saw you visited me at Faith Spilling Over, so I thought I’d come over here too. Thanks for sharing h onestly about your struggles, we can all relate, believe me! I like your 3 practical steps, especially the first one: being honest and accepting who we are and our lives!

  2. THIS: “But the truth is, her gain does not diminish who I am.”

    It has taken me so, so long to learn this. You’ve written a refreshingly honest piece…and your linoleum wears all the markings of your love and service through the years. Well done:) Also, your picture is AWESOME!! It drew me right in:)

  3. I’m stopping by from #RaRalinkup. These are some awesome truths. I appreciate your transparency, humor, and grace.

  4. Oh, how the “green eyed monster” lurks inside just waiting for a chance to pounce. I can relate to everything you said. “I must see every woman as God does-not as a rival, but as a person.” -very well said. One of the things God has put on my heart to do when I struggle with this is to pray specifically for God to bless that person. It’s not easy, but it softens my heart towards them. Glad I bumped into you on the “Titus Tuesday” link up.

    • Kelly, prayer is the healing balm for jealousy. In our intimate talks with God He has a way of washing away our struggle with another woman. Thank you for sharing. Be blessed! – Kia

  5. I used to hold on to my hate too so I understand how you’re feeling. It’s a long difficult process especially when you’re waiting for your vindication.

    But letting go is the key.

    Thanks for sharing this. Truly helpful.

    Have a blessed week ahead.

    • Letting go is the key to so much – freedom, peace, joy – to name a few. Thanks for visiting. Be blessed! – Kia

  6. You made my day! Your honesty is so refreshing to read. Your not perfect! YEAH, I am not alone in the world afterall. There is not a woman in all the world that doesn’t feel the way you do from time to time. And, if they say they don’t they are liars. This is something I struggle with too, depending on where my head/heart is. As a believer in Christ, He understands this about me, and He helps me work through it-that is my excuse! Anyways, loved, loved this!

    • Thanks Michelle, honesty is so freeing – especially when we find another woman who comes along side us and says ME TOO! Thank you for your honesty. I am grateful that I don’t have to have it all together to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Be blessed! – Kia

  7. Encouraging post! It’s a great reminder that fellow mothers (and all women) are not to be looked at as rivals. That won’t get us anywhere in being joyful and content!

    Great reminder…Rejoice with those who rejoice. Romans 12:15

    • Emily, this is so true. We can’t love another woman and compete with her at the same time. Thanks for your sincere comments. Be blessed! – Kia

  8. Good word Kia! I thank we can all understand those feelings. What a blessing to be set free! You are indeed wealthy in Him!

  9. I needed this today! I struggle with jealousy and envy and it’s been eating me up this week! It’s funny, my biggest thing lately has also been my house. I just have to keep reminding myself that ultimately we are given what we need!

    So glad I found you through the Ladies Collective linkup!

    • You can say that again Brandyn. He will supply all we need and may we learn the joy of contentment as our wants learn to submit 🙂 Be blessed! – Kia

  10. I love your honesty here. It can be so hard to be happy for others when we are so discontent with what we have been given. It does take so much for me to refocus and get back in the good place where I am not a hater sometimes. Thanks for the encouragement, visiting from RaRaLinkup

    • KC thanks for your honesty – that’s half the battle don’t you think? God can work with that. Be blessed! – Kia #RaRaLinkUp

  11. Kia – What a great post! I, too, struggle with all of the above…I believe comparison is a heart issue many women struggle with. “Godliness with contentment is of great gain” (I Tim 6:6) – to trust that God IS enough and provides ALL my needs every day! Thanks for the reminders!

    • Great gain it is Sandra. Thanks for your words. Be blessed! – Kia

  12. WOW, just wow! This is so honest. I really appreciate you putting this into words. I’m going to share this on my personal FB page because I think it is beneficial. Thank you for sharing with Little Things Thursday!

    • Thanks Kim – I know no other way to be. May many be encouraged by my honesty and yours too. Be blessed! – Kia

  13. This is such an amazingly honest post! Thank you for your transparency! It can be difficult to see beyond our own insecurities and consider those of others, but it is so necessary. My favorite quote: “It is so much easier to front like I have it all together rather than to put my imperfect parts on display. And though I periodically masquerade as the more together chic, God’s accepting love compels me to reveal the woman behind the mask.” yes, yes, yes! God bless! – Letetia

    • Letetia,so glad this post was meaningful to you. God truly embraces us and our raw. It is amazing and freeing to know we can truly be ourselves in Him. Be blessed! – Kia

  14. I absolutely love this. Visiting from #FellowshipFridays and Equipping Godly Women.

  15. Stopping by from Coffee For Your Heart and so glad that I did. Love this post! How well we can all relate. I will be back again…

    • Thanks Jackie, so glad you visited. Be blessed! – Kia

  16. Amen Kia. Oh, I know how this trap is. I know how it lures and how it speaks and how it stifles. I know the pain there and the remorse at bad actions. Thanks for speaking these much needed words. I get you and your message and I cheer it! Cheering your heart from Purposeful Faith’s #RaRalinkup.

    • Kelly you said it so well “lures, speaks, and stifles”. But in Christ we will overcome. Thank you so much for your consistent encouragement. #RaRalinkup

  17. I needed to hear this today. I compare myself so much to others. But their success and accomplishments do not diminish who I am as a person. Thank you so much for sharing this simple truth. Visiting from Still Saturday Linkup.

    • Thanks for your honesty Trena. I am standing with you but so is Christ. Isn’t it encouraging to know that we will overcome every hang -up (Philippians 1:6). Be blessed! – Kia

  18. I loved this post! So many of these things I struggle with, but am often lackadaisical about correcting. Then when you apply God’s word to it, it’s all of a sudden so much more convicting. Thank you!

    • Thanks Lulia. The word of God is sharper dividing the things we often think are not so bad. I definitely get it. Be blessed! – Kia

  19. This is so awesome! Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate posts like this 🙂 blessings to you!

    • Thanks for visiting and I’m so glad you liked the post. Be blessed! – Kia

  20. Rebekah

    Great article.

    • Thanks Rebekah, so glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  21. I think what changes things for me is intentional praise. To thank him for things that I might not when I’m struggling with comparison or jealousy or whatever other junk that tries to root in my heart. It’s crazy how uttering these words, “Thank you for . . . ” and then filling them with real things all around me that I might not treasure otherwise.

    I love the honesty of this, Kia. I think many will relate. We’ve all been there, and that junk tries to come up with all of us. Thanks for exposing it and sharing where to go with it. <3
    Suzie Eller recently posted…#livefreeThursday: that junk we carry round way too longMy Profile

    • Suzie, thanks for your words of wisdom. The three simple words are so easy to say yet I often opt out of saying them. Thanks for the reminder that tackling discontentment requires a grateful heart. So glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  22. Shew! I have a hard time celebrating others, and it feels awful! Working on that one, and glad I’m not alone! #LiveFreeThursday
    Amanda Snodgrass recently posted…Light the WayMy Profile

    • Amanda, be encouraged – this is my most popular post ever. You and I are in good company Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  23. Kia! It’s not an accident that I hopped over today. My post over at #livefree seems to come from the same thing that pulses in your ministry! Go God! Thanks for your words of encouragement! What a treat to “meet” you!

    • Cindy, I just got through reading your post – I loved it! Our hearts mirror one another as it relates to the issue of fatherlessness. It is my hope that who ever needs to know the love of a father will come to find that love in Christ. Thanks for linking up and be blessed! – Kia

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