How to Overcome Comparison: You Were Born To Stand Out
Confession time! Ready for it?! Even as a Christian (gasp!), these are actual thoughts that went through my mind yesterday:
I look so tired, I’d look + feel so much better if I got a spray tan.
I really need to get my hair highlighted like that girl on Instagram.
I know it’s expensive, but I would look so much better with eyelash extensions, I should look into that.
She is so much prettier than I am, I wish I looked good in every picture like she does. Maybe if I lose 10 more pounds I’ll look better (PS losing 10 pounds would make me a stick).
She is so much funnier / further along / holier than I am, I might as well just give up. No one is going to want to hear what I have to say.
Yeah girl, I’m not kidding.
In the last couple of months, I’ve been a busy-bumble-bee preparing to launch this blog + ministry program. Before I began, I knew that I needed to expect the enemy to attack. Here’s the thing, when we step out in boldness for Christ, the enemy pulls out all of his slimy tricks. Our boldness, courage, and FAITH offends him deeply, so he wants to destroy our confidence and make us sit still, be quiet, and ultimately, forget our faith. That’s the enemy’s main goal, afterall, to distract us so much with the ways of the world that we forget our need for God and lose our faith completely.
As I curled up with my handsome hubby last night, he could tell I was being quiet, which isn’t like me :) I tried to tell him that everything was fine, but something about him makes it so easy for me to just pour out. I was so embarrassed to tell him how my day was overcome with insecurities and comparison, from my body to my work, to even - yes - my skills in the kitchen (when it rains it pours, y'all lol). As he wiped the tears from my eyes, he kissed my forehead and reminded me that none of these thoughts were true, that they were all lies that the enemy was using to distract me. I knew he was right, but it was still hard for me to really feel it. So in my heart, I told Jesus that I trusted Him with my heart. I knew that my husband was right, that these thoughts were all lies, and even though I didn’t feel great in the moment, I knew that He would come through and fill me with peace again. He always does.
This morning, I woke up, still feeling exhausted, tempted to tear apart every part of me in the mirror. Instead, I did a little workout, stretched out, drank a big glass of water, and settled into the Word. And there it was...the answer to my prayer :)
The Lord showed me Luke 11:36, “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
What I was missing yesterday was my glow, that light that comes from the joy of being His. Isn’t it incredible that He brought me to this exact passage that is all about your body being full of light (i.e. glowing!)?! From the passage, I gathered that if we choose to believe the lies of the enemy, our body will be filled with darkness, but when we choose to not believe the lies, and fill ourselves up with the Word of God, we will shine bright…
I mean, c’mon. That’s beautiful.
The world tells you that the deeper the tan, the longer the lashes, and the greater the thigh gap, the more beautiful and worthy you are. The more that a girl fits those parameters, the more followers she has (ok not scientifically proven, but it sure seems so!).
There’s not anything essentially wrong with beautifying yourself, getting spray tans or blowouts (I’ve done it all and they can be fun!) … but there is something wrong if you think that being more beautiful in the world will increase your worth, make you happy, or fill a void.
Instead of trying to beautify yourself for the world, focus on beautifying your heart for your King (the only one that truly matters!). At our wedding, our pastor spoke this verse over me that has served as such a perfect reminder...
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
Fill yourself up with God’s Word, keep His name on your lips, worship Him throughout the day, lift up your spirit in thanksgiving for what He has done, and keep your eyes on Him.
Next time you want to get a spray tan or beautify yourself, check your heart. If it’s feeling empty, pause and get into the Word, pray for Him to fill your heart with the truth of who you are. If you still want to get that mani-pedi or spray tan, go ahead! Just make sure it’s from a full heart, and that you know you are not a slave to the world’s definition of beauty. Know where your true beauty comes from.
Here’s the thing, Jesus didn’t come so that you could fit in, He came so that you would stand out. You can’t follow the crowd and find the fullness of you that God has designed. You can’t follow the celebrities and Insta-stars and expect to be satisfied. You can only follow the one that dreamed you up, that knit you together with His very own hands in order to live a life of joy and deep fulfillment.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)
I just recently found out that “wonderfully made” actually translates to “set-apart.” This means that we were created for a unique purpose that He has planned for us. We are set apart from the world, so comparing ourselves to the world around us is a waste of time, and a distraction from where He wants us.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
You can’t expect to find your purpose if you’re busy trying to make it look like someone else’s purpose. If you follow the crowd, you’ll never find yourself, the crowd will always lead you astray. Following Him is the only way home, the only way to everlasting joy, because He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Years ago, as I was struggling with feeling different, my little sister sent me this quote: “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” (thank you, Jenna, I’ll never forget that!). So, m’love, consider this your commissioning: be different, babe. There’s nothing better than shining bright in a world that’s desperately in need of a serious night light :)
You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.
So babe, don’t be afraid to...