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no one wins at this

I saw myself in a picture today…. yikes.   You know when you think you’re looking pretty good (at least compared to 9 months pregnant!) and then you see a picture that shows you REALITY?   Reality sucks, ignorance is bliss.   There should be a law against taking pictures of women who’ve just had a baby (this rule should last at least for 5 years… or anyone for 10 years?) haha

But how do I come to this kind of conclusion?   I’m comparing myself to the way I used to…. when I was 25.   Now that’s just not fair.   When I was 25 I had a metabolism.  Now I don’t know if my body remembers what a metabolism is!

Or how about when I’m in the line up at Superstore and I see all the hollywood moms who have miraculously lost all their baby weight in what seems like months!   I instantly compare my results with theirs.  Wait a minute!  What results?!  My scale hasn’t budged at all!   It doesn’t even have to be on a magazine.  It can be at the gym or with friends where I see gals who have just had babies and they’re back in their skinny jeans after only a few weeks.

We all do it don’t we? … Compare.  Compare ourselves with others in our looks, our abilities, our kids, our houses, our stuff…. the list goes on.

Many of us gals struggle with comparing our looks with others.  If we struggle with our teeth, we look at other people’s teeth.  We see how strait or white they are and it reminds us how ours just don’t measure up.   If we struggle with our butts (and lets just admit it – most of us do) we check other gals butts out to see where we measure (literally!).   If your a girl, you’ve checked out another girls rear… again, just admit it!  We all do!

And what about the things about us that we DO like?   We compare those too!  I  remember back in elementary I had the best hair.  Then a girl named Stephanie came to our school and she had even BETTER hair.  My “hair-adoring possy” started to admire her beautiful mane more than mine.  That bothered me for weeks!   Finally I confided in my mom who very wisely replied; “There will always be someone better than you, Connie”….

It’s also really tempting to compare ourselves with others when they share the same genre of gifting as us.  If we sing, we compare our voices with others who sing.  If we are artistic we compare our work with other artists.  If we cook, we compare our cooking.  If we’re in business compare how our bottom line was in comparison with competitors.   If we’re in ministry, we compare how many people attend our churches.  And how many times have I asked, “What was your time?” after doing a 10K race with friends?….. sick, shouldn’t have asked.  Now I didn’t do as well as I thought.

We become possessive of what we feel we’re “known” for.   And when someone threatens that by appearing better…. we worry, we try to gain control,  we get competitive, we shy away, we feel insecure, we quit……

Everyone responds differently.

To compare is a dangerous ground where no one wins.   It creates fear – fear to continue on doing what you’re doing.   After comparing, you tread carefully, performing the skill you’ve been given not to bless others but to keep your “status”.

Or worse, you stop blessing others with the gifts you’ve been given because if you can’t be the best, you’re not interested.   That’s really what it boils down to when we truly examine our hearts isn’t it?  Why else would we quit?  Why would we allow comparing to discourage us?…..

Because comparing is 100% about me……   If I compare myself with someone and I feel they are better it discourages me and drowns me in insecurity and doubt.   If I feel I am better it feeds my pride.  Both are equally destructive.

This is nothing new to our time.  Paul wrote to a group of people who lived in a place called Galatia a long time ago.   They must have been struggling with the same thing because look at what he wrote to them:

What happens when we live God’s way?

He brings gifts into our lives much the same way fruit appears in an orchard.  Things like: affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity, a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.  We find ourselves in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way.  Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindless responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good – crucified.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen – the life of the Spirit, let us make sure we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.  That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse.  We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.

Each one of us is an original.  (Galatians 5:16-26 The Message)

You do yourself no favor by comparing yourself with anyone.   AND you do everyone else a dis-service by not allowing us to be a recipient of your amazing gifts!   YOU ARE AN ORIGINAL. There is a place for you.  A place for you to express the things you’re good at AND the things you love doing.

The people who surround you need what you have to offer.  Even when we feel it’s small and insignificant – it can be huge for someone else!    We do have far more interesting things to do with our lives.

Lets be pure in the expression of what we’ve been given and remember what its about in the end: loving God and loving people.   THAT in its purity has no fear or pride.

To conclude by saying “Go, and compare no more” is unrealistic.  I will see some crazy mom who has a six pack 4 weeks after having a baby (probably today with my luck).  But what we can all choose to focus on is the beautiful things we HAVE been given and to decide to move forward in them despite how we feel.

How many will be glad we did…..


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Categories: womanly stuff
  1. Miranda Himmelspeck
    January 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Connie,

    God has your picture on his fridge front and center at eye level because you are His favorite! He doesn’t see what we look at, He sees what we can’t. From what we can see you are such a treasure and so special, you are so much more than that even to Him.

    So next time you start comparing yourself, your gifts and your talents (of which you have many) just say over and over to yourself “I’m his favorite”.

    Miranda

    PS – I’m His favorite too 😉

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