My grandson, Avery, loves arts and crafts time. He comes by it naturally, not from me, but from his mother. Jordan does a marvelous job of providing opportunities to help nurture his growing mind, and she can create anything from nothing and make it look professional and appealing. If she had a Pinterest, other people would try to make their items look like hers.
Jessica, my other daughter, prefers a screwdriver and duct tape to glitter and a hot glue gun. As a child, she took many appliances apart, trying to figure out how they worked. Coupled with her love of reading, several items looked like a remake of Frankenstein when returned. Her model rockets were impressive, though, and she could calculate the trajectory with paper and pen.
My girls are both precious to me. Alone, they have unique qualities of great value, but if I compare them to each other, it becomes undeniable that God has made them completely different. One isn’t better than the other, and to compare them would be wrong. Their giftedness makes them distinctive. As their mom, I love them equally, not for what they can do, but simply for who they are.
The other day I had my hands deep in soapy water and contemplated how God saw me. Looking into the kitchen window, I noticed my distorted reflection. Ridiculous questions filled my mind. Is that me? When did I get so old? Does my writing have value? Will I ever be a best-selling author like___? Am I a treasure on my own, or does He compare me to others and find me wanting?
Looking back into the water, I realized something important. Let me explain by giving you a tangible example.
The next time you do dishes, try this experiment.
Step 1: Find three bowls. Fill the first bowl with cold water, the second bowl with hot-to-the-touch water, and the third bowl with room-temperature water.
Step 2: Stick one hand in the cold water and the other in the not-too-hot water. Keep your hands there for 30 seconds.
Step 3: Transfer both of your hands into the lukewarm, room-temperature bowl.
Can you guess what will happen? One hand will believe the water is warm; the other will think it is cold.
It’s about the contrast.
I once watched the Miss America Pageant with a friend. We sat there with our chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting, a bowl of chocolate ice cream on the side, and some chocolate chips on top to give it the perfect crunch. No judgment, please.
I looked at one contestant and had the audacity to say, “She has thick legs.” I’d appreciate a little grace right now. I’m not proud of myself. Because had she been standing next to me, I probably would have said, “Her legs are so slim!” The reference point changed.
Comparison steals our joy.
We deal with comparisons every day. We “see” perfectly plated meals on Facebook while our family eats frozen lasagna on paper plates. We look at the matching outfits of the family of twelve where all ten perfectly groomed children are smiling, and we’re just happy if our kids wear something other than pajamas to school. We believe a lie—one that tells us we are not measuring up.
Facelessbook and Instagorgeous use filters for reality.
Time spent on social media sites may likely be one of the biggest reasons we doubt what God believes about us.
The mental process we go through when we compare ourselves to others is damaging. We either lift ourselves and put others down or end up wallowing in self-pity because we don’t fit what we now consider the standard someone else has set…
…. someone other than God.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man or God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 ESV.
Rather than compare yourself to someone who differs from you, look at how God has made you uniquely you. I’m not talking about your pant size, your ability to make a meal fit for a queen using dried beans and fresh greens you sprouted from seed in your windowsill, or if you are the one who can Jury-rig anything with a bobby pin and piece of chewing gum.
I’m talking about when you hold up the mirror of God and see your reflection, recognizing that what is shining back is a perfect version of you. A person made in the image of God. There is no need to seek the approval of others or compare yourself to the images portrayed on social media.
You, my friend, are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Embrace your gifts and God-given abilities, including the Pinterest, fails.
About Author Heidi Gray McGill
Whether Historical or Contemporary, you will find Heidi’s works to be true Christian Fiction, full of God’s redeeming love.
Everything Heidi writes is purposeful. She believes in bringing a reader into the awareness of who God is to them and how He interacts with them on a personal level.
She does this by crafting relatable characters to feel part of who they are. Heidi reaches deep into the reader’s heart through masterfully written words and offers ways toward healing by seamlessly applying God’s Word throughout her stories.
See Heidi’s statement of faith and read her works by visiting her website.
Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. She lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.