Monday, January 9, 2012

Thoughts on Comparing

There's a lot going around the blogosphere about being "enough" and not comparing oneself to others. I always read these posts with interest. I think that every woman has the tendency to compare herself to another woman at some point and on some level. If you've never had that problem, please let us know your secrets!

These thoughts are rather random, but they have been rolling around in my brain for awhile as I've considered this topic. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments in addition to these!

Real Men Love Real Women
Even in Christian media, we get mixed messages when it comes to how we "should" look. Even the most "perfect" models worry that they don't measure up in this area, so I'm thinking that most of my readers have struggled at some point with not looking ___________ enough. Christian authors and writers tell us that our husbands love us the way we are, then they tell us that we need to keep ourselves looking our best so they won't stray. I'm not going to go into it anymore here, but two great messages from GUYS have come into my radar recently that were so encouraging in this area.

Here they are if you want to be encouraged:

Christ-Centered or Self-Centered
 O.K. that was the encouragement before the "ouch"! Just thought I'd warn you! At least it has the potential to be an "ouch" for me.  I first heard a preacher say this, but I've heard it several times since. It's simple, yet it was profound for me.

"A humble person (the opposite of self-centered) doesn't think highly of himself nor does he have a bad opinion of himself. He simply doesn't think of himself at all."
What does this have to do with comparing ourselves with other women? Much! When I am thinking of that other mom and how she never gets impatient with her kids like I do or that woman that has the perfect wardrobe in size 2 that I don't have, I am not thinking of  Christ. I am not thinking of that woman and her welfare. No, I am thinking only of myself. I am acting as if the world centers around me rather than my Savior, and I'm disappointed because I am not the best at ______________. Centering my life around Christ should make my extra pounds and sometimes-cluttered house seem pretty insignificant.

Two Comparisons We Should Make
Although we should not compare ourselves to other women either in a self-deprecatory way or a self-exalting way, there are two comparisons that are important. One is to compare yourself to the person you used to be. Have you grown in any area? Have you conquered some bad habits? Consider how far you've come, and thank the Lord for the strength He's given you to improve.

The other comparison we should make is to compare ourselves with Jesus Christ. Are we ever going to measure up? Nope. However, if we see how perfectly He lived out His life, we can be inspired to be as much like Him as possible. If we endeavor to do that, we will grow!

An Audience of One
On my reading list last month was Angie Smith's What Women Fear. In it, she was talking about how we perform for others or worry about what others think of us. She gave the illustration of a stage with only herself performing. She talked about all the people that she would want there if she performed well. Then, she said that she endeavors to perform this act we call life for an audience of One.

I remember a similar feeling on my wedding day. My parents had spent more than they ever had in my life on my dress for that day and the flowers I carried. If I ever were to look my best, this was it. All of my closest family and friends were there. I was headed down the aisle as the focal point of the ceremony. "Here Comes the Bride!" However, when those doors opened, all the people might as well have not even showed up for all I noticed them. My eyes were on my favorite person in the room, my soon-to-be husband. I didn't care if everyone else in the building thought my dress was of horrible taste. I searched his eyes; and when I saw his approval, I was satisfied. His opinion was the only one that mattered.

If you want to look your best, care for your home the best you can, be the best mother you can be, or be the best ____________: go ahead! But block out all other faces, and look way up into His face. If you see His smile of approval, you can forget about everyone else. The way He loves, accepts and cherishes you----to that there is no comparison!


  1. Thank you for this post! I, too, have given this a lot of thought recently, and have come to the same conclusion--All I really need to please is the "audience of one." There needs to be a balance of taking care of ourselves, our appearance and our surroundings, but not being a slave to such. You have given me some good thoughts to chew on as I go through my day!

  2. Thank you for your comment, Connie! I'm thankful that He loves us however we are but too much to leave us that way!

  3. Loved this post. My friend and I were just talking the other day about this comparison syndrome. I often fall into the trap of discontentment just by looking at others instead of HIM! The fact is, I'm gloriously happy in my messy small house and with my extra baby pounds. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

  4. He is always enough, isn't He? Thanks for commenting, Hannah!