The trap of comparison

balance

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How does she do it all?

I’m so glad that my children don’t act like that.

Wow, her house is amazing!

How can they allow that in their home?

I’m clearly not as patient/kind/loving/pretty/thin/stylish/name-that-admirable-trait as that mom is.

How do they afford those vehicles?

Hmm. She *fill in the blank with a super-mom skill*. Maybe I should do that, too.

It must be nice to be able to afford a mother’s helper at home!

And on and on and on it goes. Have you been there? I have. Are you there right now? Don’t worry, I just might be, too.

Comparison is such a tricky thing.

I can’t quite get into the mind of a man, but it certainly seems to me that as women, we are so prone to comparing ourselves to others.

I don’t think this is always necessarily harmful. There have been many times when I have looked to more mature and experienced Christian women as examples. I’ve seen their strengths and they have helped me in my weaknesses. I’ve asked myself what I think they would do or how they might act in a certain situation to help me make the right choice. As they’ve followed Christ in their lives, I’ve been able to follow their example and benefit from it.

However, I’ve found myself much more likely to compare myself to someone else in a less-than-beneficial manner more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes it’s just a fleeting thought. Sometimes it’s something that I think about for minutes or off and on for days. If I let it take root in my mind, I can start to build up a complex of ideas that either I’m inadequate, superior, or to be pitied, and all of those ideas are wrong.

My oldest daughter got caught up in some comparison the other day when we were going to visit a friend of mine. She’s become good buddies with one of my friend’s daughters, but on our recent get-together, another friend was joining us with her children. My little Miss L was so worried when she found out, and her insecurities echoed so strongly with what I still battle as a grown woman! What if she likes her more than me? Do you think that they will be best friends? What if I feel left out? What if she doesn’t like me anymore? It took a lot of reassurance for her to feel confident in going, and thankfully her insecurities were quickly to put to rest as the day went on. But oh, how I could relate!

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As a Christian woman, I want to walk humbly and fulfill the roles that God has planned for me. In our online world filled with beautiful Pinterest and Instagram pictures, innumerable and edifying blogs, constant Facebook updates and tweets, and limitless opportunities for hobbies, interests, and activities, it is so easy to feel like I could or should be doing more.

I have to constantly go back and remind myself to be faithful in what God has laid on my heart to do, and let other women be faithful in their callings. I don’t believe that God has called me to have a huge blog following and post faithfully every morning, though I’m so very thankful for the outlet of blogging and the readers that join me. I don’t believe that God wants our family to have a fully self-sustaining mini-farm operation at our home, though I do hope to eventually have some small animals to compliment our gardening. I don’t believe that God has asked me to have a perfectly decorated home, though I do want to grow in that area and get rid of our everywhere-beige walls.

He’s asked me to invest in my marriage, my children, my home, my church, and my community, both online and locally. He’s asked me to fulfill His plans for all Christian women as laid out in His Word and to work to bless the vision my husband and I have for our unique family.

My calling is not your calling; and your calling is not mine. If we can all be faithful in what God has asked us to do, we can rejoice in each other’s callings instead of building up unnecessary, and often false, feelings of insecurity or superiority. If I can remember to keep those thoughts of comparison in check, I am certain that it will only help me focus on working towards God’s callings for my life. Would you like to join me in that effort?

Do you find yourself often comparing yourself to others? How do you feel this influences you?

Linking up at: Mama Moments, Better Mom Monday, Modest Monday, Teach Me Tuesday, Tuesday Baby Link Up, Titus 2sday, Encourage One Another, Healthy 2day Wednesday, Homemaking Link Up, Wise Woman Link Up, Simple Lives Thursday, Natural  Living Link Up, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Fresh Bites Friday, and Weekend Whatever.

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2 comments on “The trap of comparison

  1. Rneee Barry says:

    Great post. I believe this is a women and man issue and it’s a good reminder that we should just follow what God is calling us to do and to be. Easier said then done sometimes but it’s the best way to live. We are on the same page girl, my Friday’s blog is similar. Must be a stirring in the wind. God bless you and your unique family!!!

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