Constantly Comparing? I say, DO IT!
I have this sister-in-law. She’s got it all going on: her fancy job lets her work from home, but she gets paid twice as much as the average family income. Her husband’s got a secure, high-paying job as well. She’s got two adorable kids (one boy and one girl, of course!). She has an enviable hobby farm, if you’re into that kind of thing (okay, she mainly raises goats, which I think look pretty creepy). And then, this past spring, she announced that she decided to start training to be in a triathlon.
Anyone else have one of those sisters??
Well, being a stay-at-home mom with four rascally preschoolers, a husband who is self-employed, a weed patch for a garden, and a tendency to wheeze when compelled to run a few hundred feet across the yard… I admit: comparing my life to hers leaves me feeling a little less than stellar. Thankfully, we’ve been taught our whole womanhood (and perhaps childhood as well) that we should not compare ourselves to others.
But is this truly Biblical? Read the second chapter of Titus. We are instructed to teach one another how to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. Here’s the question of the day for each of us: WHO is your mentor and WHO are you mentoring? Paul tells us here that we are to both teach and be taught what is good.
Personally, there is one woman in particular that I watch and from whom I glean wisdom. Cheryl is a godly woman with grown children that are God-serving adults. She has many talents and a beautiful home, but I don’t find myself comparing my things with hers. Instead, I am comparing my inner qualities to hers. Look what a thoughtful thing she did for her grandson, I’ll think. How do I make myself more like that? I’ve only recently become aware that I am also being watched, as it were. Now I need to ask myself if the fruits in my life are worth anyone watching!
The key here is to compare yourself with others, yes, but only in our spiritual walk. I wouldn’t have to look far to find a woman that is prettier than me or has more money or this or that or whatever hang-up is your vice. It does me no good to lust after those things. But when I find godly women that are older (and some younger!) from whom I can learn how to be more godly, I’ve found treasure. And when I am the godly woman from whom someone else is learning, it is an eternal blessing for us both.
[no goats required]