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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Comparison Trap


Do you ever find yourself staring at another woman,
wishing you had what SHE has??
Just recently I saw a woman who was 20 wks pregnant with her 3rd child and you couldn't even tell she was pregnant. She was tiny EVERYWHERE but in her perfectly round belly - that was hidden under the cutest NON pregnancy blouse, I might add. Immediately I found myself saying "Lord, that is just NOT fair! "  Feeling a bit down, I was comparing myself to her in my ill -fitted post-pregnancy clothes, struggling to lose the last 20 lbs of my 50 lb pregnancy gain - 7 months later.   

I heard God ping right back to my heart - "yes it is" and quickly reminded me that we all have areas of struggle. She may not have my struggle in weight, but NO life is perfect. And HELLO?? How about the AMAZING gift He JUST gave me - my baby boy?!!! How quickly our eyes can turn < from the blessing-to the longing > of the next thing. (a thought saved for another blog :)

Comparison. It's a tricky thing. We can use it to challenge and better ourselves, or it can be used to cripple us into a place of striving to be something we were never meant to be.  We, especially women, can find ANY area to compare ourselves to ie: weight, hair, style, house, cooking, craftiness, organization - you name it, we compare. We escape into the world of Pinterest hoping to attain to a level of excellence in any area we are feeling particularly low in.We rate ourselves as women, mothers and wives against the lives we "see" on facebook and blogs.

Comparison in and of itself is not bad. The verb actually means: ~To examine in order to note the similarities or differences of~  
It can be a good thing if we use it to better ourselves, examining differences of areas that need growth. I love to be around other women who are healthy eaters and work out because it inspires me to reach for a greater level of excellence in those areas of my life.
 However, comparison can quickly turn into jealousy/coveting if we are not careful. 
The Bible actually says we are not to covet "anything that belongs to our neighbor"

Think of Rachel and Leah in the Bible (Genesis 30). Rachel was jealous of her sister Leah because Leah was able to bare Jacob many sons. What Rachel needed to see was that though Leah was blessed with children, she was not blessed with love. Rachel had the love of her husband that Leah did not have. Can you imagine what Leah's Facebook page would have looked like? Many sons all around her, big smiles, making memories; but what you wouldn't see was her broken heart that could never gain the love of her husband. 

Do you ever find yourself feeling down because you feel you don't measure up? When we find others that seem to have it "all together", ask them how they got there! You may find out their house is perfectly clean because they hire someone to clean it; or that they get up at 5am to get their work out in; or the perfect picture they captured of their children is actually photo shopped - not showing the sink full of dishes and the chaos of the day.


"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies." Philipians 4:8










2 comments:

  1. Wow! How true, thanks for sharing with us. We all have our own struggles, and who knows, if that person we envy isn't have struggles in areas that we wouldn't even want to deal with. I loved the vs. you used, God is perfect in everything He does and allows in our lives. God Bless you! Wish I lived closer, I would be at the Women's conference. Love and prayers for a Blessed time. Claire deJongh (an old friend of your family from VFCC.

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  2. This is such a great topic, Elisa. I love how you shared your experiences with the "comparison trap" and explained it in your post. I admit there are times when I will catch myself feeling depressed because it seems someone else's life appears to be better. Then I try to remember to ask the Lord to help me focus on the things He blessed me with. Something we can always be thankful for is that no matter what situation we are in God's love never fails! Thank you for this wonderful reminder, Elisa!!
    Love,
    Danielle

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