I had only taken three steps past the front door when my jaw dropped. The house was not only beautiful, it was huge, and immaculately clean.
Nothing like the little duplex my husband and I were renting at the time. Suddenly I wasn’t interested in spending the next 2 hours at the office Christmas party. I felt way too inferior. My home wasn’t as big, well-decorated, or tidy. I didn’t measure up.
Unfortunately, the comparison trap is something women are caught in all the time. We wonder if we’re a good mom, wife, employee, Sunday School teacher. Are we thin enough, fit enough, strong enough? Trendy and fashionable? Wise and knowledgeable? Skilled with hobbies like decorating, photography, crafting, scrapbooking? Got the right amount of wealth and education?
And we measure ourselves against other women to see if we meet the right standard.
It’s not always directly related to us, but also our homes, families, and jobs. Are our children as smart or athletic enough? Is our husband high enough on the corporate ladder? Should we be pursuing a better job, like the business women who recently became a CEO of a large firm? Or should we be a stay-at-home mom like the other ladies at church? Should we purchase expensive furniture and décor for our run-down trailer or stay within our means and stick with Wal-Mart?
The best advice I received at my bridal shower many years ago came from one of the pastor’s wives. She told me “Never ever compare yourself to other women.” Unfortunately, I didn’t heed that advice for many years.
I wish I had just focused on being who God designed me to be. He loves variety; He made us all different for a reason. We all have our own talents and skills, our own families and personalities. Our job is to do the best we can with what we have. He shaped us each for a purpose, and when we get to heaven, He’s going to ask us what we did with the life He gave us. We are only responsible for that much.
Comparing ourselves to other women is really a matter of pride. Only two outcomes are possible.
First, we decide the other woman ranks higher than we do, which leads to discontentment and self-pity. But our worth is in Christ, not in whether we measure up to the world’s standards. We were fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) So if someone else has a better body, husband, house, job – whatever, be content with the things that you have. (Hebrews 13:5). We’re not supposed to covet, remember? (Exodus 20).
Secondly, we decide the other woman ranks lower than we do, which leads to arrogance. Yet the Bible warns that we’re not to think of ourselves too highly, but to use sober judgment according to our faith. (Romans 12:3) We’re also told several times in scripture to humble ourselves. Being happy that we outranked another woman at something won’t make our Savior happy.
Galations 6:4&5 says “Each own should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”
We’ve each got our own load, ladies. Don’t fall into the comparison trap any longer! Your path is totally different from all the other millions of women in this world. God has a plan and purpose for you, and your journey is unique. Embrace it!
Do you find yourself falling into the comparison trap?
Copyright © Jen Cudmore, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved
Sarah L says
I’m lucky that my mother made it clear to me that comparisons were odious (her word) and that for the most part I’ve been able to steer away from them.
Danielle Papsis says
I enjoyed the last section you discussed the outcomes of comparing ourselves to others. I think this is something we all struggle with at times no matter who we are or what we do, et cetera. Great post. I will be reading it again, I’m sure!