The Comparison Game

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Why do we get caught up in the comparison game?

As women we are notorious for comparing ourselves to each other and determining in our minds that we are worse than, better than, or not as bad as others in many areas of our lives .

I am reminded of a situation several years ago when I was asked to speak at a women’s conference on the Beauty of Balance with two other women. The topics were inner beauty, a balanced life including eating healthy and outer beauty. As I was preparing to meet with these ladies I thought surely I will cover the inner beauty because that dealt with our spiritual life and time with the Lord since I am a Bible teacher. I definitely would not be asked to speak about outer beauty and healthy eating was covered by personal trainer and nutritionist. When we met to discuss our roles and topics the ladies said they wanted me to speak on outer beauty and tie it all together picturing a balanced life.

I wasn’t prepared for that and out of nowhere tears started rolling down my face which was embarrassing since I had just met them a few weeks ago and they didn‘t even know me yet.

Why the tears? I told myself “How can I follow these two beautiful and thin women to talk about outer beauty when I think am overweight, feel like I am not living very balanced, and not very pretty etc…
I even thought that when I would get up to speak everyone would think why is SHE talking about outer beauty.

Isn’t it amazing how we can go so quickly from 0-100 with negative thoughts in an instant?

Why did I immediately compare myself to other women instead of thanking God for an opportunity to share about Him?
That sure was eye opening. I was worried about what others thought about me instead of believing what God said.
I had to take a good hard look at my life…
Why did I react that way immediately?
Why God, have I struggled with these thoughts all of my life?
Why is being thin and pretty important to me?
Why did I respond that way when I love to teach the Bible and share about the Lord?

One reason I believe we compare ourselves with others, especially in the area of how we look is that we are not content with God, how He made us and even with His plan for us.
Contentment is internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances. True contentment can only be found in a relationship with our Creator.

Think about that meaning… women spend so much time and money trying to change their externals and then hoping to change their circumstances. We are reading more magazines than ever that paint an unrealistic picture of how women really look. They are nipped and tucked in surgery and smoothed over with computer editing. We see this every week on shows like The Biggest Loser” and years ago “Extreme Makeover”. In the follow ups shows sometimes we see that they are not really happier with the outer change or the changes never stayed and they went right back to how they were before. This is because there was no change on the inside.

No matter how much outward transformation we may seek or have we will never be content without the inner transformation only God can give. God says in 1 Sam. 16:7 that man looks on the outward but He looks at the heart. The heart is our emotions, will, intellect and desires. We need to be content with our own uniqueness, and the amazing transformation from God, and not believe the lies that keep us from being the beautiful woman He created us to be.

Even though we have been transformed in Christ and are made new, we still can struggle from time to time and get caught up in the comparison game. The good news is we can stop it before it takes hold! As a follower of Christ we have the ability to change because we are changed from the inside out. We have the bible to give us direction and answers and the Holy Spirit living inside to enable us to make those changes.

How?

We need an attitude adjustment with a renewed mind: Romans 12:2- don’t be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good , acceptable and perfect . We will act and look like what we think about God and ourselves. We have to stop comparing and when that comparison thought comes into your mind, get rid of it and think about the truth of God and your relationship with our Savior.

Change your thoughts- Phil. 4:8 “whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, if anything is excellent and worthy of praise think about these.

Some things to think on:
Ephesians 1:3-14- I am Blessed, Chosen, Predestined, Adopted, Accepted, Redeemed, Forgiven and Loved! Our worth and purpose are dependent on God and God alone, His will, His calling, His choosing, His love. Before God created the heavens and earth He knew you and me.

Ephesians 2:10- I am God’s workmanship, literally a masterpiece or poem. He has created us new in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

Genesis 1:27 I am created in the image of God.

Jeremiah 18:1-6 God is the potter we are the clay. He is the authority and knows what He wants from the clay and His touch transforms the clay (us) into a vessel of beauty and usefulness. The clay is a shapeless mass waiting for the touch of the potters’ hand. Does the clay cry out No don’t do that , ”wait a minute, do this….. ,I want bigger…?, or smaller…? , why have you shaped me this way, I feel you are making me all wrong. No, the clay submits itself to the skillful hands of the potter.

That day I learned a valuable lesson that has stayed with me. God knew exactly how He created me before He created time. He created me for a special purpose with every detail and no mistake. There is no one like me or you and no one can fulfill the purpose we were created for.

Join me and stop the comparison game knowing that when you compare yourself to others you are essentially saying that God was wrong for making you this way. Be content with who you are and say as the Psalmist in
Psalms 139:14…”I will praise you because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful and I know this very well”.

Spend time each day with God, our heavenly Father, asking Him to help you do this. Seek Him and pray Psalms 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

Give your comparison game, fears, wrong thoughts insecurities and frustrations to God. Make the choice to walk in confidence of who you are because of Christ. Begin to see yourself from God’s perspective and not the false view of the world. It is only through His eyes you will see the beautiful reflection of the woman He created you to be.

I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Email or Twitter. The links are on the sidebar!

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About kimlenon
Welcome to Inside Out! I desire to offer encouragement and resources to help women live their lives Inside Out because God changes us from the Inside Out! I have been married to Dave for 39 years. We have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. My passion is to teach women how to study and apply God's Word.

4 Responses to The Comparison Game

  1. Maranne123 says:

    Very good Kim!! How true is everything you have written. In my eyes, you have always been BEAUTIFUL inside & out….also, LOVING, CARING, GIVING of yourself to help others. No one could have asked for a SWEETER daughter then you! I know I have felt the way you did many years ago, but today I accept how God make me and loves me the way I am. Thank you for all the good Bible verses. Love you very much!!oxox

  2. My little one and I have been talking about jealousy a lot lately and about how comparing always makes someone sad…either the other person, or the one comparing. This post is right up that alley! Thanks! ~ Jen

  3. Dawn says:

    Philippians 4:8 has been a continual reminder that what I think is usually counterproductive to what God thinks about me and others. It helps me to stop those destructive thoughts that come in to steal, kill and destroy the good that Jesus has already done. I am so thankful that you were able to see clearly through the tears that fell that day and were able to share even more of the beauty of God with the women He sent you to.
    Thanks for the heartfelt reminder that comparison is only a destructive to the plan of God in our lives.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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