I read a quote the other day that said “Comparison is a violent act against oneself.”
Dang. Truth. Ouch.
Here’s the deal. If you are a woman, with air in your lungs, you have suffered from this debilitating disease called comparison. It’s gross. It’s heavy and ill fitting. It lurks around nearly ever corner for every woman alive. It gives reason for why Jesus would tell us to armor up, for it is one of the enemies greatest schemes.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.- Ephesians 6:11
Comparison recently shot a new hook into my heart. So here I am, ready to confess it and keep my freedom. And maybe, just maybe, someone else will get free too.
As a young girl I can remember looking at tall, blonde hair, blue eyed all American kind of girls and thinking to myself “I’m screwed.” My 5 ft 1 inch (on a good day) athletic bodied and ethnic featured self didn’t stand a chance. I wasted some of my younger years trying to become someone I could never be. Eventually my rebellious nature kicked in and I chose to fight back against the status quo. I began a radical embrace of who I was on the outside, not even realizing there was an inside to deal with. Right about this time I leaned into making my body into the shrine I knew it could be. It got so crazy that I even elected myself to go up against 10-12 other women, who have spent countless hours in the gym, shellacked themselves with brown paint, haven’t eaten real food for days, all wearing bathing suits, posing half naked before a panel of mostly men, just so I could have a chance at “winning” the comparison game.
Fast forward a few years and Jesus came crashing into the door of my heart and set me free. He is really good at getting in the way of people making plans that revolve around themselves.
I was onto the comparison game…when it came to the outside.
As some of you know, I have been blessed with some really close, amazing, in it till we die, for life (por vida!), kind of friends. They came with the gift of giving my life, wholeheartedly, to Jesus. Kind of like a set of steak knives they throw in after you bought the expensive juicer. You were really in it for the juicer, but hey..those knives could really come in handy. And boy have they ever!
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
My closest and best of friends Brooke, is the knife that sharpens me like no other. We don’t have a friendship of this world, it’s a friendship that long ago in eternity past, the Lord put into motion, knowing He would call us individually into the mission of spreading the Good News of the Gospel in body and Spirit. He knew we could really be in it for one another, without making the other person our savior. He knew how both our ministries and unique designs and passions would perfectly compliment the others. Alone but together, we are on a mission to see Jesus people loving, in the land of the living, and living free.
Brooke and I could not be more opposite and it is so cool that way. She pushes into my heart in a way that makes me get better, not just feel better. Where I am tough, she is soft. Where I am soft, she is tough. And go figure, she even looks like the all American girl.
So of course..it was coming for us.
After all these years it wasn’t gone, it was just dormant. Taking a nap. Waiting for the right time to strike. This time it was going for the jugular; for the places where you can’t enhance, die your hair, eat less or change your clothes to temporarily soothe the ache. Comparison was coming for the secret places of two girls who love Jesus and will stop at nothing to love Him. Compare and disqualify was the enemy’s goal.
This kind of comparison was new for me. It wasn’t about the outsides (like I said..she’s tall, blonde and beautiful..nuff said). This time comparison was about the gifts and talents we uniquely and individually possess. Those things we possess because God put them inside of us when he created us in the secret place. I knew it was there when for the first time, in a long time, I was hearing and feeling “Less than” while standing next to one of the people I love most. She was hearing and feeling it too. It was appalling to both of us and the lie needed to die immediately.
Thank God both Brooke and I are fixated on living according to what God says and not men. Thank God we are both grace seekers. Thank God we are both able to come out into the light and reveal the things that others might try to minimize or hide. Thank God we know that the Lord doesn’t reveal anything to us that he isn’t waiting to heal. Thank God we are able to renew our minds with His word; his personal message of love for us, uniquely and individually. Thank God that he always turns the enemies schemes on it’s rear end if we are willing to confess our sins to one another. Thank God for the other “steak knives” who are standing their post, ready to cut out any lie that threatens to cut in on us.
Thank God we got free. And now the work of staying free will be on-going.
Comparison is completely fear based. It’s based on the fear that God will not provide for you like he is doing for someone else. It’s suffocating and wicked. Comparison gets no room to stand when you are standing on holy ground.
If you suffer from the disease of comparison, with eyes that look outward, physical fitness, training, restricting calories and working out could easily become your escape route. If you struggle with comparison that wants what other people possess on the inside, you will never get on with becoming the amazing, one of a kind gift that is you, to a world in waiting and in need. Don’t fall into either trap.
At the top of this post is a picture taken by our very good friend Stephanie. At every teacher training retreat we ask our instructors to write down on an object (this time it was a rock) what they are leaving behind. Brooke made the suggestion we take a picture to commemorate what we are leaving behind.
Right before taking this picture Stephanie said something that sticks with me and still makes me laugh. She said this about the “comparison” thing between Brooke and I ..
“That thing needs to be shot…killed….and buried…. and then shot again.”
And to that I say ..
I hope this post has helped a sister out, out there. Please feel free to live in the light below by commenting. Nothing encourages the Saints more than when we confess, repent and get on with loving, and living free, in the land of the living.