Have you ever gone to an event and felt bad about yourself? Did you feel fat? Maybe your clothes weren’t as stylish as someone else? Did you feel “frumpy”, you know, just out of place? I have felt that way more times than I care to admit.
How about your parenting? Have you noticed that some people have perfect kids and your kids misbehave when you take them out in public? Or maybe their kids are reading at 4 years of age and your child doesn’t know which way to hold a book?
I can say, we have all been in these situations. There is always someone who is thinner, more stylish, and who seems to be more put together than us. There will always be kids who are better behaved or who are academically advanced than ours.
Those ladies who appear more put together than you may wish they had your gentle spirit, grace, or sense of humor. Their marriage may be in trouble and they may try to make everyone else feel inferior to hide their own feelings of inferiority.
The parents whose kids are more advanced or well behaved in public may wish their kids had more friends like your child or were more athletic or kind.
The thing about comparison is that if we look long and hard enough, we will always come out with the short end of the stick. And Theodore Roosevelt said it so well,
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And most importantly, comparison steals our gratitude. When we feel bad about ourselves, we can not grateful for what we have. It doesn’t work both ways. We choose to feel inadequate or grateful, not both!
I know it’s hard. Sometimes you can’t help it, especially if someone makes those little snide remarks or looks down on you. If those feeling of inadequacy do come up, try to get them out of your mind and replace them with the good things in your life.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
We can’t seek approval of people and God at the same time. If we spend our time trying to get people to like us and approve of us, we lose sight of the things of God! Ouch!
Finally Galatians 6:4 says,
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
It’s pretty clear that we should concentrate on ourselves and our talents and not on our neighbors.
As an exercise in gratitude, make a list of 5 good things that are happening in your life right now. After you make your list, take a moment and thank God for those 5 things. Put the list on your bathroom mirror and thank God for those things every morning when you get up. In a week, you will begin to see a transformation in your life. You will think about your inadequacies less and less and will begin to see that you are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made.”