“I am a woman of purpose. I am a unique individual, intricately crafted by the hands of The Master Craftsman. No one else possesses the beauty, talents, gifts, or greatness placed within me before the foundation of the world. I do not compare myself to other women, because no matter how amazing I believe they are, I know that I am equally amazing.” ~LaKeisha Rainey-Collins~
I haven’t always believed the preceding affirmation. For a long period of my life, I felt inadequate and inferior. I compared myself to every woman I believed had a better life than mine, and in my eyes, everything about me enormously paled in comparison to those around me. I thought everyone else was prettier, smarter, more accomplished, more talented, and possessed a greater purpose than me. Whenever I sized myself against others, the end result was always the same – I never measured up. I didn’t look at the lives of others as inspiration to better myself; instead, I used others’ strengths to magnify my own weaknesses and shortcomings. What is so wrong with me that I can’t just be like everybody else? I’d think. I hated those feelings, and my continuous self-criticizing thoughts eventually caused me to hate myself.
Not only did my constant comparing produce self-hate, but also jealousy and envy. I often felt jealous of other women because I didn’t know how to channel my admiration towards them so that it positively influenced me. That’s a whole ‘nother story.
I circled the mountain of incessantly comparing myself to others for many years, and my struggle with depression had a lot to do with the fact that I never felt I measured up to the greatness I saw in others.
But one day I had an epiphany – Who told me that I had to measure up to anyone? Where did I get the idea that the life belonging to the lady next to me set the standard for my life? If I was created in God’s image, then why was I trying to conform to that of someone else?
I had a real Aha! moment.
Here’s what I believe, though it took me quite some time to reach this realization: Comparing yourself to others is equivalent to telling God – who does all things perfectly well and makes no mistakes– that He didn’t do a good enough job when He created you. When you criticize yourself, you criticize what God has made – a perfect you.
Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s masterpiece. If God considers each of us His masterful work of art, we should never disrespect His work by treating it as inferior to another. In God's eyes, there is no one better than you. There is not one person on this earth to which you can be compared because everything about you is unique. Your beauty, intelligence, gifts, talents, economic and social status, purpose…your entire life’s plan is unique to God’s design for your life. Just as your DNA cannot be matched or compared to anyone else’s, neither can anything about your life.
You were not created to measure up to anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ, and His principles and standards of holy, righteous living. Absolutely nothing about you is supposed to be anything like anybody else.
You are a unique being.
You were created by a unique God.
You are walking a unique path.
You have a unique purpose.
None of us should fixate our thoughts on the life of others. By doing so, we lose focus on who we are and what God destined us to be. Yes, we should be inspired by others, but we should never feel inferior to anyone.
If you struggle with comparing yourself to others, I encourage you to seek the Lord for help to concentrate on becoming who He created you to be, and not who you think you ought to be, based on the lives of those around you. Ask Him to give you security and peace in who you are through Christ so that you will be able to resist giving excessive thought to what others are doing, and focus on the unique, unlike any other, plan of purpose He has for your life.
May you be encouraged to do as Galatians 6:4 (The Message) admonishes – “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that…Don't compare yourself with others.”
Linking Up with:
Feminine Adventures, Our Simple Country Life, Passionate and Creative Homemaking, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, NONE