“You’re just not as intelligent as they are.”
Maybe these aren’t the exact messages playing in the recesses of your mind, but I’m certain there’s some recording from long ago that the insecure part of you won’t let you forget.
No, these probably aren’t the messages you hear over and over again. They’re mine. But, you have your own, and you know exactly what they are. Most likely, your recordings have shaped your thinking over the years just like the above recordings have shaped mine.
Chances are also good that at least one of those recordings involves comparisons somehow. What’s more, those comparisons probably put some aspect of yourself up against that of other women.
Magazines. Television shows. Romance novels. There’s no shortage of ways for women to compare themselves to one another. Add in the comparisons we make to the women we see face-to-face every day, and the weight of comparison gets even heavier.
What exactly happens when we compare ourselves to others? Let’s not look to the answer a psychiatrist or counselor might give, one often laced with glorifying self, but to the answer God’s Word so plainly provides.
When we compare ourselves to others, we…
- Are without understanding. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
- Conform to the world. (Romans 12:2)
- Create a standard by which we will be judged. (Matthew 7:2)
Fortunately, scripture also offers motivation for the other end of the spectrum, for focusing on our individual growth based on who we are in Christ and nothing else.
When we focus on who Christ created us to be, we…
- Experience transformed and renewed minds. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
- Know that Christ exists within us. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
- Have no need for shame. (2 Timothy 2:15)
- Rightly handle the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
- Realize the content of our ability. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Comparing yourself to another is dangerous because you can always find someone who is doing better in some way, and you can always find someone who is worse off in some way. Comparisons to others simply don’t portray truth. They don’t make us more or less acceptable. They just weigh us down.
But when we base our worth and value on Christ, we find we are acceptable just as we are.
DISCUSSION: What does knowing you are wholly acceptable to the Lord do to those old recordings?
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