A special shoutout to our entire team for contributing to this blog! We’re excited to unpack some of the major red flags we’ve researched and discussed when it comes to God’s vision for our lives. Here. We. Go!
So here’s the thing about red flags, I feel like they get a bad rap. I mean don’t get me wrong, no one wants to see red flags pop up in their lives. But, consider this for just a minute; what if they really are gifts? Think about it this way. A red flag can be a gift by warning you when your vision becomes clouded and seeing God’s best for you is hidden by desires, trauma, or even relationships. So maybe instead of treating red flags like a pariah, you can learn to identify them and move in the direction of God’s plan for your life. Maybe they could help you stay on course. IJS. If you're finding yourself wondering how you can identify red flags in your life, keep reading, because we are going to go over a few. Let’s dive in..
Maybe Ariana Grande said it best, “I know it feels so good to be needed.” Isn’t that so true? We love to be needed by someone, whether that is family, friends, coworkers, even strangers on the street. But, this is a red flag you need to be aware of. If you find yourself doing something because of your desire to be needed by someone, you NEED to slow down and check in with yourself. And with God. This desire to be needed is usually other emotions brewing underneath the surface, so rip the bandaid off, and ask yourself, why do you want to be needed? And, who can really fulfill that need?
If you find yourself constantly looking for what's next instead of embracing where you’re at now, you need to check yourself, (before you wreck yourself lol). In all seriousness when you do this you miss out on a lot of happiness. Not only that, but you start to rush. You end up rushing out of good situations into ones that maybe aren’t the best. But, in your mind, you’re thinking; “at least I’m at my next step right?” This happens because the idea of what's next is better than what’s now. There is something to be said about being content with where you’re at now, because the truth is ladies; the next thing isn’t always the best thing.
Our good friend Sandra Stanley says, “The struggle with comparison is really a struggle with lies.” And, I believe that’s so true. I think comparison is a red flag we all know about, but we don’t call it out for what it is. Comparison is the elephant in the room and even on your phone these days. You know the feeling, nothing is good enough, not your body, your house, your car, your relationship, even your job. And in this day and age comparison is harsher than ever. We see the perfectly filtered happiest moments of each others’ lives. The highlight reel of your friend that you’re secretly envious of. Comparison isn’t playing fair anymore. Now you’re comparing your everyday moments to the best moments of others (or their edited one’s). This leads to feelings of inferiority, and eventually striving and compromising things you maybe never thought you would. The old saying is definitely true; the grass is greener where you water it, but these days your neighbors grass is usually fake. (or edited at the very least)
I’m not talking about like Eminem lost himself in the music and the moment. (Are we telling our age?) I’m talking about watching your very essence fade into the background of your life. It can happen when an unhealthy relationship takes over and your friends start to miss you. It happens when your job becomes your whole life and eventually you realize you’ve missed birthdays and holidays with family. Even worse, you forget the things that bring YOU joy. You start to realize you’re just going through the motions in your own life. All you know how to do is to please other people, but you don’t really feel like you know yourself. This red flag requires you to take a look in the mirror and get to know that girl, because she’s worth knowing.
This red flag is best noticed by the crew you keep around you. It’s not one that people easily admit to and it's definitely a hard one to confront. It’s avoiding everything and everyone, for different reasons. Maybe you don’t want your actions questioned, maybe you can’t come to terms with something you’ve done wrong. But ultimately you do this because you don’t want those close to you to know what's really going on. When you feel yourself fall into this pattern; reach out, I know it’s the opposite of what you want to do, but it's the best way to confront this red flag and stay on the path God has for you. God uses people to help each other. So don’t cut Him or them off.
I may not agree with Robin Thicke when it comes to a lot (ok pretty much everything, except for that Paula Patton thing), but man do I “hate these blurred lines”. And by blurred lines I’m talking about crossing boundaries. If you find yourself compromising a boundary you have set, RED FLAG. Like a big one. This is one you cannot ignore for long. When you reach the point of changing your boundaries you’re usually on the verge of making a decision that will change the course of your life. Boundaries are so important and they aren’t spoken on enough. These need to be set into place well before you get into a situation before you’re making them up as you go.. (no rushing, remember?) If you have your boundaries in place before you get into situations it's easier to hold them up. A good rule is to create boundaries that are strong enough to keep the bad stuff out, and permeable enough to let the good stuff in. Boundaries come from placing value on yourself, and trust us when we tell you, you’re priceless to God.
This covers a lot of ground, but at the core of it all I am speaking to is the perfectionist in you. A lot of us have these tendencies, but they might sound different than you expect. You may be someone who deals with perfectionism by avoiding a situation entirely. “I know I couldn’t do that, so why even try?” This type of perfectionism looks like a pool, no an ocean of negative self-talk. One where you’re constantly harping on yourself for things you think you’re less than good enough for. Or you may be the more traditional “I can fix this” kind of gal. The one who literally thinks that if you can get your hands on the situation you can fix it and make it perfect. Both of these tendencies often leave you making excuses for a situation instead of improving them. And, the most concerning part about that is that both of these things remove Jesus and His ability to trade our weakness for His power. At the end of the day no one is perfect but Him, so if you find yourself looking for excuses, or over-controlling a situation, instead of turning to Him for improvements, you guessed it girls; red flag.
Red flags, don’t choose to ignore them and don’t run towards them. Allow yourself to become familiar enough that you recognize them from a distance, so you can keep moving in the direction God has for your life.
LET'S DO THE HARD STUFF
Dive deeper with these questions we’ve put together to help you become more intentional in applying this content:
Maggie is a Psychology Enthusiast, Writer, and an Advocate for Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing. She has walked through brokenness and learned that she’s not alone there. She wants to bring radical, relatable, and raw content that allows people to see into her journey and find hope there that illuminates their darkness. Connect with Maggie to learn more.