“I bet everyone else brought homemade treats to the party,” I thought as heaviness sat on my heart. I looked at my package of cookies, still in the ugly, plastic grocery store container, and I felt inadequate.
“We don’t need to keep up with the neighbors, Kim,” he said as I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t want to be the only dark house on our street with no Christmas decorations up yet. I felt not good enough.
The Christmas season seems to bring out the best in us, doesn’t it? (read with sarcasm)
The comparisons we make between ourselves and others are endless. If we aren’t careful, these comparisons can lead us into dangerous territory . . . that place where Christ-followers look and act like everyone else ~ and the message of Jesus gets lost.
I began studying what God might think about these comparisons for a women’s retreat in Arizona (shout out to the amazing women at Faith Bible Church; still praying for you!), and as this Christmas season started, and my tendency to compare myself to others reared its ugly head, I remembered these three verses:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. ~ 1 Samuel 16:7
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus, He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” ~ Luke 16:13-15
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4
After reading these verses, how do you think God feels when we compare ourselves to the outward appearances of others?
I’ll leave you with this final verse to ponder today:
…we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:4
Join me again next week (you can put your email in the subscribe box to get it directly into your email) and I’ll share ideas to help you stop the comparisons and keep your heart (and mind) in a better place!