Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Comparison Culture

What is it about being a women that makes us compare ourselves to others?

There are two ways to compare- one way makes me look better then you,
"At least I'm not as fat as she is, I look better in that dress, my kids act better, are cuter, are smarter then hers...."

The other makes me look worse then you,
"I wish I had her body, hair, husband, car....."

Both are dangerous. The first leads to pride (and inevitably the hard fall) and the other leads to feelings of low self worth.

One sweet mom confided in me recently that she is worried because her 3 year old doesn't talk about Jesus. She had heard another mom talking about all the cute things her 3 year old says about Him. This sweet mom is doing an amazing job with her kid. She prays for him, reads bible stories to him and brings him to church faithfully. Then that little voice entered her head, "You aren't doing enough, you kid doesn't talk about Jesus. You fail."Lies!

Another friend posted on facebook that she found it hard to tell her 3 year old that she thought of herself as beautiful. My assumption is that it was hard for her because she has had years of comparing her self to others and years of always measuring up short. She (as well as all of us) probably spends a lot of time saying things like this, "She just had a baby and is already back in her normal cloths?! I have nothing that fits!"  "Why can't my butt be smaller? Why didn't I get a cute nose like hers? She always looks so put together and I look so frumpy!"

Ladies, we can really pick our selves and each other apart. It is not good, and it is dangerous!

So, what can we do instead of compare?
We can chose to love and encourage!

Love says, 'Congradulations on becoming engaged!'
Love does not think, 'Did you see the size of that ring? It's so big, it must be fake!'

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is kind. Love is kind. Love means being kind to others and being kind to ourselves. To compare ourselves, our lives, our spouses, our children to others is not kind. We are either looking down on her or we are tearing ourselves down.  Love means being kind, thinking kind and acting kind!

Encouragement says, "Way to go, you lost another 10lbs!"
It does not think, "OK skinny girl, here, eat some cake!"

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” 
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:13 

We are called to encourage each other. True encouragement, so that non of us (you or I) will be caught in satins lies. When we believe the lies, that we aren't enough, that we need to be more- like she is- we can not truly encourage one another.

So, I encourage you sweet ladies to stop the lies! As you move about your week pay attention to what you are thinking and stop the lies. When you start to think you aren't enough, stop and recognize all that you are! When you start to judge another women, stop and find the good in her. 

Love and encourage.

Love and encourage her. 

Love and encourage yourself!

You are beautiful, unique and God made- how could you not be wonderful?! Find the wonderful that is unique to you and celebrate it! 

UPDATE
I have to admit that I have been sitting on this post for a while. After posting it, I feel like there is more I want to say. I feel like I have left some important things out.

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. 
When they measure themselves by themselves 
and compare themselves with themselves, 
they are not wise.

2 Corinthians 10:12


The major problem with comparing ourselves to each other is that we are all human. The person you are comparing yourself to (and most likely coming up short against- in your own eyes) is just as sin riddled as you are. We do ourselves a disservice when we compare ourselves to others because we all 'have fallen short of the glory of God.' (Romans 3:23) When you measure yourself against another women, you are using the wrong measuring stick! The One we should be measuring our selves against is the One who bled and died an excruciating death. The Measuring stick we should be using is the One who loved us enough to hang on a cross for us.

The bible says when we compare ourselves to ourselves we are not wise. I want to be a wise woman, will you join me? Maybe we can change the way we think together. We can change the way we think and that will change the way we act and maybe that little act can help the next generation, so we don't raise girls who have so much trouble with using the wrong measuring stick!

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