For the past few days, I have been thinking about something we women do. A lot.
When does this start?
Does it start with comparing heights as we grow?
In my life, it started with comparing – toys. That is the earliest comparison that I can remember. I can remember being less than ten years of age & having Barbie’s compared & her clothes. Not until my adult life, did I ever come to know that my Barbie clothes were a source of comparison and/or jealousy to my playmate.
Where does it go from there?
We compare clothes.
We compare body shapes. Hair. Looks. Shoes.
We compare education. Jobs.
We compare status – whether or not we are married. The age we got married at.
Husbands & their education & jobs.
What about our kids? Are they well behaved? Doing well in school? Popular?
How about our homes? That’s another good source of comparisons. Do our rooms look like they come off the set of HGTV?
Why do we so try to measure ourselves against others? Seriously. I am not sure if men are as prone to this as women but us women, whoa, can we sure do this. We measure our homes, our kids, our marriages, our looks, our educations, our positions in life, our hair color, our wrinkles. I am sure that when we are 80, we will even be comparing walkers & canes. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves?
Where does it end?
Comparison – according to dictionary. com – “to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences”. The problem lies in that the motivation behind doing this often involves a rivaling or competitiveness.
In really thinking about this for a few days, a verse came to me that shed some light on this subject.
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you a hope & a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
Such a familiar verse. Yet I think we miss something…..
- The plan is for YOUR life. So each plan is individual to the one living it, reading this. No two plans will look alike. Not ever.
- Sometimes His plan will look like it is going to harm us; which is why He has to remind us that the purpose of His plan is to prosper us, to give us a hope, to give us a future. The enemy would have us believing otherwise. When we look at the plans going on in the lives of others, we so miss the plan that is going on in ours. In comparing, we become discontent, disbelieving because our plan looks different.
- We quote this verse so casually YET it was written to the exiles. These people were displaced & abused. The plan going on didn’t look too good from their earthly perspective. And sometimes, that is how it is with us. We can be displaced, rejected, abused but His plan is still ongoing in our lives.
In this verse, God was assuring His people that the plan was good & was actively going on in their lives. God continues to tell them that He would bring them back from their captivity. He would bring them back to the very place where they were carried into exile. In other words, He restores.
Perhaps the act of comparison would come to an end, if we were to place Jeremiah 29:11 alongside of Philippians 1:6 –
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Praise Him!!! He has NO, NONE, NADA, NO unfinished projects!!!! And we are not about to be the first unfinished project. NO!!! We will join the ranks of the completed!!!
So today may we cease with comparing ourselves to others. May we rest in who He has created us to be. May we find peace in His plan. May we be the best “Us” that we were called to be.