Friday, April 05, 2013
As women, comparison comes naturally to us. We all do it and most of the time we don't even realize it.
Ooh! I love her purse.
Wow, she is really beautiful.
I'm glad my teeth don't look like that.
Guess she never lost that baby weight.
She's a really bad cook.
I wish I was as creative as she is.
And on and on it goes. We use comparison to either tear ourselves down or to build ourselves up... all at the expense of other women.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about people who compare themselves with each other; he calls it foolish. Theodore Roosevelt called it a joy stealer. I agree with those things, but I also call it other, more dangerous things all together. I call comparison ugly. I call it lies. I call it pride. I call it deadly.
That voice you hear tell you those things about other women? It's not your own. I'll give you another clue - it's not God's voice, either.
Here's the deal ladies - you were not meant to be like anyone other than you. Let me say that a different way - you are not meant to be like anyone else... and that is intentional on God's part. In all all of history, there has never been another you. There never will be another you, either. Ever. God made you with your physical attributes and unique combination of abilities. Just one you. When you compare yourself to others and try to be anyone other than yourself, you are robbing the world of the unique things that only you can bring. It's true!
When I think of the years wasted hating myself, it truly makes me sad. Think of all the ways God could have used me to bless others, to glorify Him, or to build His kingdom. This habit of comparison comes from a deeply rooted insecurity that longs to be loved as we are. It's there within us all. Isn't it odd that we go about trying to find love for who we are by pretending to be someone else? But we do it all the time. That longing for love and acceptance can only be filled by Jesus. You can try to fill it with other things, but it will be a temporary fix and will likely leave you with a bigger void.
Besides hurting ourselves, do you know who else suffers when we spend our lives in comparison? The other women in our lives do. Comparison keeps you from forming meaningful relationships with other women. Instead of appreciating the unique gifts other women have, we covet the gift/ability/attribute and despise the woman. There are a small handful of things I feel I can do well. Many times, I am made to feel guilty about them by other women. I don't get affirmed, I get hurt. And I don't want to be friends with those who hurt me just as they don't want to be friends with someone they feel makes them feel insecure and worthless. Right? Do you see the nasty cycle here?
Can you imagine what it would be like if we all truly accepted and affirmed one another? Don't you want that? I know I do! And wouldn't you be more likely to accept and affirm other women if you felt loved and proud of who God made you to be? Wouldn't you feel less of a need to compare yourself to others? How many of you, right now, are destroying yourself by comparison?
So, ladies, I am calling you out! What are we going to do about it? I suggest we all start with two things:
1. When you catch yourself comparing yourself to another woman (stranger or friend) STOP IT and say something TRUE about yourself instead.
2. When you catch yourself comparing yourself to another woman, go tell her (stranger or friend) what it is that you appreciate about her instead of letting that envy strangle you. Affirm her. Make her day. Build her up.
You just never know... it might catch on.