I remember in like 9th grade I was going through a really awful stage every preteen girl goes through. I was a really awkward kid and I had moved around a lot, going into the new school year I desperately wanted to make friends and fit in instead of being the outcast again. At that age I was feeling like I needed to look and act like every other girl my age to do so. I was so busy comparing my hair, my body, and my clothes to every girl I saw I couldn’t see things that made me unique and beautiful.
I just wanted to fit in badly.
So badly, in fact, that I went to my little sister and asked for fashion advice. Fashion was not really my department, more like band and books. I ended up going to school that day, and being sent home a few hours later, in a skirt that barely covered my butt and a shirt that my sister and I had sliced the front of with a low cut tank top . It was not a hit with my peers or teachers.
That’s how Satan gets us.
“I wish my legs were skinnier.
I wish my nose was straighter.
I wish my hair was curly like that.
I wish those girls liked me.”
As we get older so do our desires.
I wish I made more.
I wish I was a better mother.
I wish I had a career.
I wish I had kids.
Why am I not married yet?
Are they judging me because I am already divorced?
This is how Satan became our worst enemy and learned to rule us in one day.
In Genesis 3, when Eve stops appreciating all God has given her and starts comparing it all to the one thing she can’t have, she eats the forbidden fruit. This betrayal and listening ear she gave to comparison causes her to lose her husband’s trust, be separated from unencumbered fellowship with God, and caused her imaginable grief and regret.
In Genesis 4, you read about Cain and Abel which is a classic story of comparison and jealousy.Cain was cast away, he caused his parents the heart wrenching truth of having to lose two sons not one, and he had to deal with the grief and reality that he killed his brother over comparison, jealousy, and rage.
2 Samuel 11 which talks about David and Bathsheba. A man who compared a married woman to all other women and became obsessed with her and had her husband killed. A man who was called a man after God’s own heart fell subject to comparison and even killed and caused pain to many people, but particularly to one, Bathsheba, for it. I think it is so important that we take note of this. No matter who we are or where we are at in life comparison can be a very sneaky and very real thing.
This is not God’s heart for us, however, a prime example of what happens when we allow comparison to deceive us into feeling like we need or desire more than what we already have obtained. The point is the Bible is no stranger to comparison, to both men and women. In searching for scriptures on this subject I have found 3 that have jumped out at me.
- Romans 12:2 (NLT) “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
When it is so easy for us to fall into the customs of “I wish my hair looked like this, I wish I had this job, Am I skinny enough? Am I funny enough? Am I mom enough? Am I wife enough? Am I educated enough?” We need to do the opposite. We need to fight and clear our minds and stop trying to be of this world. This will make room for God’s voice in our life and then his will will be revealed.
- Galatians 1:10 (NLT) “Obviously, I’m not trying to the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
When we go to pleasing God sometimes it can be so easy to forget what we are doing when we have a goal in mind. We can so easily start comparing what others are doing in the kingdom of God instead of keeping our eyes steadfast on what God has for us. We have to keep our hearts and minds sharp with the word of God to keep it far from the comparing heart Satan would have you have.
- Galatians 6:4 “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”
This verse stands out to me most. When we begin comparing is when it is easiest to compromise our integrity, our character, and our conduct. We can make excuses for what we do and why we do it, instead of believing that God made a promise and has an honorable way of keeping it. When we remember that our God has won wars without so much as flinching at the enemy it is easy to remain steadfast in him and not compare yourself to all around you.
I wanted to leave with a little word of encouragement. God made every single one of us. So wonderfully, so beautifully, and so unique. Maybe you don’t know what that means for you yet, but whether you are a size 2 or a size 20, single or married, a hot mess or entirely put together every second of the day God has an incredible and wonderful plan for you. He didn’t make you to compare yourself to everyone and everything else you see. He loves what he sees just how it is.
Psalm 139:14 (NIV) “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well.”