Comparison is a nasty bug. Whether we intend to or not, we naturally have a tendency to compare ourselves and/or our belongings to others- and social media does not help. We compare our bodies, our homes, our cars, our jobs, our lives. And it’s so easy so portray your life in a particular way on social media which perpetuates the cycle of comparison.
We wear our hearts on our sleeves through subliminal messages, when in reality we bottle up how we truly feel to the point of implosion. We give our best smile, our sexiest duck lips, in our best outfit, only to be broken hearted and heavy laden after the flash fades.
Saturday evening my friend and I went to Wine and Canvas. It was my first time. She on the other hand was a pro. She got there early to set up our stations, get us a good seat and had a glass of wine waiting for me when I walked in. How great it that?
As we anxiously waited for the instructor to take the stage, the entire room sat in front of a blank canvas. We each had the same colors of paint and the same size paint brushes. When the class started, the instructor told all of us to draw a straight yellow line across our canvas. Some people were already confused and I thought to myself “oh boy, this is going to be a long night”.
Continuing through the night, we listened intently for the next instruction. But with every brush stroke I would look around the room and noticed everyone else was looking around as well. Even though we all were given the same instruction, people would glance at the person’s canvas next to them to see how they were coming along. All night we sat around comparing our paintings to others in the room.
By the end of it all, there was not one painting that looked the exact same. With the same tools, the same instructions, same canvas, and the same image, we each came out with a different result.
Such is life.
God has given us each a canvas. He’s given us the tools and a book with instructions. Yet every day I find myself looking over at someone else in comparison to who I am or where I'm at in life.
On. And. On.
Even though 70 other people in the room had the same image on their canvas, I couldn’t help but sit back and look at my own piece of art in amazement. I loved it. I kept smiling as I drove home, glancing over at it. I created that! I proudly displayed it in my room for me and Peaches to enjoy (Peaches is my cat). I love my painting even with all of its flaws.
As the creator of a silly painting, I wondered- if I love my creation this much, how much more does God love ME with all my flaws. I’m comforted in this. I don’t have to look at my friend sitting next to me, or the girl sitting behind me. I am exactly who and what God intended me to be.
Every freckle, every hair, the color of my eyes, the size of my hips, my one disproportionately long toe; a perfect God made me perfect in his image. My life may not be perfect, my actions may not be perfect, and my thinking may be off from time to time. But in all that, how offended do you think God is when we look to the person next to us and try to duplicate what he’s done for them, disregarding the thoughtfulness he put into each of us as an individual.
I pray that we will try every day to kill the bug of comparison. I have to go a step further and ask for forgiveness if I’ve offended God in this area. When you start to feel that itch to glance at someone else's life in envy, open the instruction book he's provided and seek out scripture that encourages you. Remind yourself daily how special you are to your Creator. Flaws and all.
Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG)
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Thank you for joining me in my journal to Finding Grace.
Enjoy the journey…