I have a problem and I don’t believe I’m the only one who has struggled with it. The problem is comparing myself to others and feeling like I don’t measure up. It’s easy to do, but I don’t believe it is an emotionally healthy thing to do.
Each of us has been made by a God who loves to be creative. He doesn’t punch us out of a plastic mold. We are uniquely and wonderfully made. We have different abilities. Different strengths. Different weaknesses. Different purposes for being.
It’s taken me a very long time to understand this truth. I’ve suffered through many years of comparing myself to others and coming up short in my mind more times than not.
For example, there was my friend, Cindy. A married banking professional who had no children.
How insignificant I felt when I compared myself to her. I did not rule the board room like she did. I was just a stay-at-home-mom who spent her days baking cupcakes for my son’s classroom, and corralling his Cub Scout den at our house every Wednesday afternoon.
I didn’t attend exclusive weekend getaways like Cindy did. My Saturdays were spent finding containers to accommodate the various critters Ryan inevitably found which needed a home. Or nursing one more sick hamster back to health. Or trying to convince my son the snake he had backed into the corner of the fence was a water moccasin, not one he should keep as a pet.
I didn’t dress in the latest fashions like Cindy did. More times than not, I was in shorts and a tee shirt shooting hoops or tossing a football in the back yard with Ryan, cheering on his sports efforts from the stands, or riding bikes with him through the park.
When conversations with Cindy turned to the world of finance, I felt totally undereducated. Now, if we’d only had a conversation centered around the plastic G.I. Joe figures Duke, Snake Eyes or Scarlet…
I’m a slow learner. That’s a true fact. I take my time cogitating. One thing I’m discovering is we all need to embrace where God has put us at each particular moment in time. We need to stop yearning to be someone or something we aren’t. Stop comparing ourselves to others.
God put the things in us he wants in, and he left the things out he wants out. We should follow where he leads us, however that manifests itself. Boardroom or backyard.
When we feel we don’t measure up, Jesus says we matter to him. A lot. Enough to die for us. When deceiving voices condemn, criticize, say we aren’t enough — whatever enough means — we need to shut them out, and listen to Jesus’ voice of truth. His truth says there is no condemnation to those who love and trust in him. We are precious to him. He calls us his beloved.
Perhaps it’s time we understand we were created by God for a purpose. We are called to do our best to accomplish that purpose. Our purpose. Not someone else’s purpose.
God’s plans and purposes do not call us to compare ourselves with others. His plans and purposes call us to compare our lives with his standard as our measuring rod.