The Comparison Game
Written by: Haley Provost
To say I don’t care about how I look or about how people perceive me would be a big fat lie. Some people may doubt this based on my choice of workout attire and the messy bun atop my head that I choose to wear six out of seven days a week but…it really is true.
Whether we want to admit it or not, other people’s opinions of us do matter because people matter to us. God made us to relationally connect with others. That glare from another person at the grocery store when my toddler decides it’s the perfect place to throw a tantrum…it hurts. It cuts deep straight to this mama’s tender heart, even though I know we have all been there. How about that Facebook friend who seems to always have THE perfect family photo every. single. year. You know what happened this past fall at our family picture session? Let’s just say our saint of a photographer is too nice to tell the truth, but it involved an entire bag of veggie straws and a strong need for a second application of deodorant once it was all over due to the amount of sweating that transpired. Amazingly, she managed to snap some good ones of my crazy kiddos. Like I said, she’s a saint AND a miracle worker. Or what about swimsuit season… Need I say more? The enemy plays on these vulnerable moments of self-doubt and insecurity, and we fall right into that comparison trap time and time again, day in and day out.
But 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” And Galatians 1:10 furthermore says “Am I trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Isn’t this convicting? In a society where there is so much emphasis on our outward appearances and what we do, it is so tough to not get caught up in the comparison game. Unfortunately social media makes us constantly question if we are enough as a mother, as a wife, as a friend…the list goes on and on.
When I found out I was going to have a daughter after two boys, one would think I would have been ecstatic. And believe me, I was! But I was also terrified. How could I guard my daughter’s heart in this judgmental world? How do I ensure she knows she is a beautiful creation, made perfectly the way she is? Would I be a good enough “girl mom?” My past experiences with my own self-doubt and imperfections flooded my mind. And I am not naïve in thinking my boys will never have these issues, but there is something different about a girl, a whole new set of worries.
As I was out shopping one day at my second favorite happy place (No, not Target, I said SECOND favorite!), I found this perfect wall decor at Hobby Lobby that I have hanging in her room as a precious reminder of what truly matters, what God examines-her sweet heart. “It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from inside you—the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear. And it is worth very much to God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
On those days when you have feelings of inadequacy and fall into the comparison trap, please cling to these verses. Engrave them into your heart. Remember this is what matters to the Lord. And isn’t that all that truly matters anyways?
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