Friday, August 23, 2013
I hate comparisons. Yes, I'm aware that hate is a strong word but I mean it. To give you even more insight as to just how deep my hatred is for comparisons, let's rank them with fever blisters. If you don't already know, I have a deep hatred for those jokers. Our society has done such a disservice to young men and women with placing such extreme expectations on them by comparing them to others. Too many children hear things like, "why can't you be more like your sister?" Or "your brother never did that." As adults we hear, "Gosh, I wish my wife looked like that." "My ex was more of a man than you'll ever be." Even if those words don't get spoken, they all too often get implied with actions or sadly, just assumed.
Everywhere we turn we have comparison thrown in our face. As women, there are Victoria's Secret models, celebrities, friends, co workers and even complete strangers that we ashamedly compare ourselves to. We fear that we aren't enough if we don't look, talk, laugh, sing or love like "her." You may think it is foolish but it happens. When the emotions that follow/comparisons hit, it eventually convicts me because it turns my completion and definition to something other than Christ.
I'm not a petite, soft spoken, gentle woman. I'm a tall, blunt, vigorous woman who loves to make people laugh. I'm competitive, and can usually be located in a room by my loud laugh or animated motions. Normally my sarcasm fits with fellas better but I consider myself blessed to have multiple girl friends who share my twisted sense of humor and occasional foul mouth. I have a promiscuous and lazy past that has been used to shape me but it no longer defines me. I love my God and am thankful (most days) that this is who he created me to be.
If I'm a believer, why did I just say most days? Because I'm being honest. There have been days when I wanted to have a different physical build, a more quiet spirit and a gentle tongue so guys could look at me and go, "wow, there is a sweet girl." But hey, too much sugar causes cavities. Don't get me wrong, I have a sweet side but it's not my only one and I'm good with that.
Most of the time, the downers we experience from comparisons are due to our own imaginations running wild on us. Thinking we will never be enough for various reasons....believing lies.
I have mentioned Disney before. I absolutely love Disney World and Disney movies. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm still age five at heart. Sad thing is, I set Disney like expectations for myself without realizing it and I know I'm not the only one guilty of this. Young girls get it in their mind that they need a prince to rescue them and make their life better. Young boys determine they need to rescue a fair maiden. I'll address both here. We don't need to be rescued or completed by a man. Jesus took care of that on the cross and we need to be praising him more often for it! That said, I do believe if we are called to be married that God uses couples in partnership to compliment one another and to glorify himself. But again I say, it's not what completes us.
I love hosting parties and get togethers with friends. I find opening up my home rather enjoyable and wish I could do it more. There was a time about a year and a half ago that it stressed me out. I wanted my apartment to be perfectly spotless, the food and drinks to be ready and for everyone to have a lovely time. I am ashamed to admit that I let the fear of an unsuccessful party make me sick with worry. I wanted people to know that while I wasn't a wife or mother yet, I was going to make a heck of one someday. Gosh, it comes across as so foolish and petty but I was comparing myself to others in this. Do I still host? Yes, when I have time. Do I try and pull off perfection? Hahahaha. That would be a no! I was comparing myself to some false idea I had of what I need to be and of what I thought others wanted me to be and do. To get to this place, I had to fast from hosting because it was providing a sense of validation and becoming an idol.
Comparisons are dangerous. We look for some sort of validation in them because we think that we are better or worse than the person or thing we're comparing ourselves to. We allow those things to rob us of our joy while preventing ourselves from moving forward to glorify God with our lives. John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
I'm a bit of a talker/writer so in case you don't remember anything that you've read so far, remember this. Christ died for you and every wretched thing you've ever done and will do. His love is incredible and His forgiveness brings freedom like you've never imagined. So instead of comparing yourselves to others and what they expect, look to the gospel to see what we're to reflect. He is enough.