Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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Comparison is Killing the Daughters of God

This post is part of a series titled Redefining Biblical Womanhood. Read the heart behind this series here.

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comparison

Fill in the blank:
I wish I wasn’t so ___________________.

We all have something that nags at the back of our minds. Close your eyes. Write it down. Whatever it is, right now give it a name.

Great. Let’s go.

I tried to think about the first time I started comparing myself to other girls, and my mind went straight back to the first day of 6th grade. No matter how many super cool Arizona Jean Co. shirts I owned, the fact remained that you could practically French-braid the hair on my legs.

I remember looking across the classroom at all my friends in shorts, and I realized that I was behind the social maturation curve. I had my back-to-school apparel ready, but I had somehow missed the memo that hairless legs were the fashionable thing for 11-year-olds.

After school that day, I snuck into my mom’s shower for her razor, and spent an hour eliminating any form of follicle growth between my ankles and knees. I couldn’t bear to face the other girls at school again without looking just like them. I needed to be matchy-matchy {especially in my hygiene habits}.

I had no idea this desire to fit in would snowball so ferociously into adulthood.

As grown women, our comparison becomes more than fashion brands and hairstyles. It turns to career choices, family demographics, and diet practices.

We measure ourselves by each other’s extracurricular involvement, party-throwing abilities, and—sadly sometimes—ministry opportunities.

Hear this: There’s nothing wrong with trying to be healthier, wiser, or more responsible. An appropriate level of inspiration is a positive thing.

But when our comparison stems from a lack of confidence, our response to said comparison is rarely Christ-like.

We turn up our noses at one another. We make times for community awkwardly unbearable. We articulate a lot of assumptions about the hearts of our fellow God-fearing ladies.

And comparison is killing the daughters of God.

It’s not like the modern-day woman is the first to struggle with comparison. Leah and Rachel had quite a catfight going back in the OT.

Leah was always jealous of Rachel because she was more beautiful. Rachel always despised Leah because she was popping out babies left and right.

{If you’re new to the story of these ladies, check out Genesis 29-30. It’s a fantastic Biblical soap opera with lots of sex, drug use, and emotional hysteria.}

My point is that women have always looked on one another with a judging eye—and we do it most often when we aren’t happy with our individual selves.

There are few things more destructive than allowing another woman’s definition of worth determine your personal value.

That’s why we have to STAY in Scripture, my friends.

Live in it. Breathe it. Soak it up into ever piece of our souls.

If we aren’t dwelling in the Word, then we can’t break apart unfair measuring sticks. We can’t call out false messages. We can’t face diversity with confidence and gratitude.

Sisters, we’ll never be able to see the good in each other until we can see the beauty in ourselves. 

Take some time to dwell on passages like these:

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…
You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.
Isaiah 43:1, 4

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16

The problem with negative comparison is that it handcuffs us. It tells us that we’re not good enough the way we were made, and that we’re no use to the Kingdom in our natural design.

And that’s just not a truth found in Scripture.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but the same God
who empowers them all in everyone….
as it is, God arranged the members in the body,
each one of them as he chose.

If all were a single member, where would the body be?
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 18-19

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Comparison seeks to destroy. It’s a thorny weed that chokes out the life of a perfectly created, well-designed woman who is of great value to her family, the church, and the world at large.

My dear sisters, if you’re reading this and pointing a finger at someone who has made you feel inferior, take a look inward one more time.

Recognize the power you are placing into the hands of other women, and the inner peace you are keeping Christ from providing.

There’s no amount of makeup or personality shift or giftedness that is going to turn you into the woman you want to be.

The only way we will ever fulfill God’s design for us as women will be to draw every fragment of our confidence from Him.

That comes through opening our hearts to His word and through His miraculous ability to empower us.

And when we are confident in who we are and why we were made, THEN we can truly take on a posture of humility and servanthood.

We won’t worry about what the next woman is baking, sewing, birthing, or managing.
We will see our place at the table as an important one—and we will sit up straight to add our gifts to the conversation.

Our goal will not be status. Our goal will not be importance.
Our goal will be to see people come to know Jesus.

I have a vision of confident women, knowing who they are and Whose they are. Going into the world using their unique talents, loving and serving and bringing glory to God.

What a beautiful thing the Father wants to do in and through each of us.

I wish I wasn’t so _________________.

Look at that word, and let God take control of it. It’s not your cross to carry, friend. It’s not your burden to bear. God is bigger than our comparison, and He never seeks to kill.

The Spirit gives life.

Go and be encouraged.

 

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us,
but our sufficiency is from God,
who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant,
not of the letter but of the Spirit.
For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6

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