Growing up I was always told to remember that I wasn't better than anyone. This instruction was primarily along the lines of athletics or other competitive events. And it was headed, I was never one to be boastful on the court or for that matter really show much emotion at all.
As a coach and teacher I appreciated this attitude. It is never fun to watch anyone flaunt their talents and show disrespect to an opponent or fellow classmate. I'm thankful my parents taught me to compete with class - win or lose.
But the other day I was relating this concept to another area of my life - it seemed I was struggling with the idea of not measuring up to those around me. She was smarter, she dressed nicer, she had a cleaner house, she was a better Mom, she was prettier, that girl was more successful, she had a stronger faith...everywhere I looked the statement was true - I wasn't better than anyone!
Now I've walked this road many times as I've never been real secure in who I am, always doubting my ability and thinking someone else can do better. God is working on this with me though.
I know I've heard about the sin of comparison before, but the other day as I felt myself falling a bit again, I really thought about it. What was I accomplishing as I compared myself to these other women - nothing but bringing myself down and putting them in a role they didn't deserve.
Not a single one of them was doing what my parents wanted me to avoid growing up, they were not boasting in themselves or knocking me down - they were each being the Christian woman God designed them to be. And if I allow our differences to make me feel bad eventually that will lead to problems for me and my relationship with them.
God doesn't compare me to anyone else. In His eyes my worth is not determined by how I measure up to anyone else. He created me to be who I am - my strengths and my weaknesses together are who I am. It's still true He doesn't want me to think I'm better than anyone else, but He's also reminded me not to forget that I'm just as valuable as everyone else.
He accepts me for who I am - even when it seems my hair is always a mess and most of the time my house too, even when I'm not as confident as the person across from me, the list goes on. I'm working on accepting this acceptance and praying He will make me more secure in who I am.
If you have ever felt the same I encourage you to keep looking to God to find your identity, His word reminds us that "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Psalm 139:13,14) We know it, but do we believe it?
I wanted to share one final thing - there is a new song that has really spoke to me along these lines. Jonny Diaz's "A More Beautiful You" so here are the words, enjoy -
Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn’t straight her body isn’t fake
And she’s always felt overweight
Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care
your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are
There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops
they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose
that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
Little girl twenty-one
the things that you’ve already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you’ve got a man
but he’s got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead
Well little girl twenty-one
you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you
there’s a man whose love is true
And he’ll treat you like the jewel you are
So turn around you’re not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who’s strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl