The other day I was out running some errands, when I noticed another woman who I thought was dressed really cute. She looked like she had somewhere special to go, and had taken the time to look extra nice. Usually I am not paying attention to my random thoughts, but in this certain moment I was. I noticed that when I had seen this very nicely dressed lady, immediately I had started comparing myself to her. It wasn’t like I was looking hideous or anything like that, but it seemed like my natural instinct was to start comparing what I looked like to this person. Why did I immediately feel the need to compare and size myself up to someone else?
I think this culture can be hard to live in as women. In particular for me, comparison has unfortunately become second nature. My worth in Christ has always been something that I have struggled with accepting. I have to remind myself a lot that my satisfaction and worth do not come from anywhere else but Him. Comparison is a battle I fight constantly, especially being a woman. When I am not purposeful in remembering who I am in Christ, I am looking all around for validation. Like in the previous situation, I find myself frequently looking at others, and then wondering how I can make myself better. Or wishing I had what they do, in order to make me feel worth something. This turns me into an anxious mess, because I start obsessing over what I don’t have, or believing the lie that I need to continue searching for the next thing that only is filling for a moment. A trap I fall into over and over again.
I don’t think that I am the only woman who struggles with this on a daily basis. I know a lot of us share this struggle. There have been numerous conversations I have taken part in where other women have shared their hearts about this. Whether it is not feeling as good as others being a mom, not as in shape as others, thinking someone else's life is better, or wishing for things we don’t have, it can be hard to stay content. And when we are not content with what we have, it makes it easier to cut others down, like that somehow makes us feel better. Comparison not only hurts our relationships with others, but we end up hurting ourselves in the process.
I think the first step in dealing with this is asking the Lord for an awareness of when this is happening. When we are able to identify the problem, it gives us the ability to deal with it before it starts. If I can set my focus back on Jesus, and believe the truth that comparison will not satisfy me. This is something I have to do frequently. Asking the Lord to remind me of my of my value in Him. I have been trying to do this by putting Bible verses on notecards, and going over them often to help me learn the truth. Also learning be thankful for my own life, and the things the Lord has blessed me with. Because no one will ever be exactly like the Lord created me.
As women I think we need to encourage one another along. If you admire something about another woman, tell her. Too often we don’t compliment each other because of insecurities. If something good happens to a friend, be happy for them. Celebrate the success of others. Don’t forget about the good things that have happened to you. As I often tell my children, you will never have things exactly the same as others. Jealousy and envy get us nowhere. And we need each other. We are all in this together.