Morning everyone! If I'm happy about one thing from starting this blog it's meeting this sweet girl who is guest posting again-Cassie. I've invited her to come back to Bound by Love because I love what she has to say and I'm really excited for you all to read her beautiful words about comparison today. I was talking to my mom about this the other day and it's something I struggle with from time to time and it's something that touches women of all ages. So please welcome Cassie back!
On Instagram (@cass_mar) the other day, I shared the following image:
Comparison can STEAL your joy. We as women, and as humans, are guilty of constantly comparing ourselves to others. We desire some sort of benchmark to see how we measure up to everyone else. Some of us want to be the best, and others of us just want to be average. Regardless of where you want to be, you are still guilty of comparison. I often hear others saying, or catch myself thinking:
Why can’t I be as motivated as her?
Why can’t I just wake up with my makeup and hair looking so fabulous?
Why does her relationship with her husband seem so perfect?
Why can’t I be as likeable/funny/sweet as her?
What am I doing wrong?
Whatever these little comparisons are that you make – they result in the same outcomes: doubt, self-loathing, disappointment, sadness, resentment, and so on. There is no quicker way to make yourself feel bad then to compare yourself to someone in a completely different situation, circumstance, and life. Unfortunately social media, and even blogging, makes avoiding comparison difficult. As a society we have become so obsessed with what other people are doing, how their house looks, what their kids have for breakfast, whether or not they sleep with socks on... you get my drift.
So, what can we do about this? How can we stop constantly comparing ourselves to others so that we might live a more abundant and joyful life? First, we need to realize that we have an all loving Father that NEVER compares us to anyone else. If God, the highest of all, doesn’t insist on comparing us to His other children, why do we do it to ourselves? Now, I don’t have an answer for you. Despite knowing these facts, I still continue to compare too. The one thing I can say with confidence is that I believe God wants to change this part of us, and if we pray to Him unceasingly about it, He will begin to work in our hearts. Now, I have learned that this is a very painful process. There will be tears and pain. He will reveal the ugly parts of your heart to you. But you will grow, and He will love you throughout your growth.
We also need to consider the message comparison sends to God when we engage in it. When you think about it, comparing yourself to someone else violates one of the Ten Commandments. Say what? You heard right: “You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17 (NIV).” Here, it is very clearly laid out that we are not to covet, or desire, or crave what someone else has. In the Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life You Version devotional, there is a quote that really rocked me to my core. It goes a little something like this... “Comparison says to God, 'I want to limit Your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person.’” WOAH!
So let’s break that statement down a little more. Comparison tells God that we do not appreciate the blessings he has bestowed upon us. It sends Him the message that we feel unworthy. Although if we were truly unworthy, He would have never sent His son to die for us on the cross. Comparison also tells God that we are not interested in the plans He has for us, but that we are more interested in the plans He has for others. Comparison breaks His heart, and it makes yours dark. It tells God that what He has blessed you with is not sufficient.
Ladies, to compare yourself with someone else is not only unfair to them, but unfair to YOU. Comparison results in resentment instead of an appreciation and love of the individual. As I challenge myself to be more appreciative of the differences the Lord created between me and those I compare myself to, I also want to learn to love them for the person God created them to be. I want to embrace our differences as complementary. I would challenge you to do the same next time you feel comparison creeping in. As a cleanse, I would encourage you to go social media (including blog) free for a weekend. I promise this will work in your heart. I would also suggest making a list of the blessings God has given you and reflecting on this list whenever you feel it is necessary.
I pray that each and every one of you would stop comparing yourself to others. I pray that you would learn to appreciate who God made you to be and see the beauty in that creation. I pray that we as women would encourage one another to stop comparing ourselves. That we would become supportive instead of jealous. Most of all, I pray that you would always recognize your worth and individuality.
If you would like to read more about comparison, I would suggest checking out the following links:
Christine’s take on comparison.
The Jolly Moment on Comparison.
The Young Wife’s Guide on Comparison
Thank you Lauren for letting me share my heart with your readers today. Please do not hesitate to contact me via Instagram (@cass_mar) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to talk more.