As a new year comes, we tend to think of our wrongdoings from the previous year and our goals and ambitions for the next. While praying about how I could improve this year, the idea of comparison would not leave my mind and heart. Looking back at 2015, the idea of comparison was always so heavy on my heart and it became the source of a lot of sorrow in my life.
I realized I constantly compared myself to other people in my major and then felt lesser-than when I convinced myself I wasn’t as talented or as knowledgeable as them. I compared my looks to every other girl; I compared my personality to other people’s personality; I wished I were different. I even compared my faith to others, tearing myself down when my faith wasn’t as strong as someone else’s faith seemed to be.
In the toxicity of comparison, I lost my self-worth. I lost sense of my strengths, beauty, gifts, and core identity because I was too busy comparing myself to everyone else. I was too fixated on trying to make my life mirror others’ lives that I forgot to appreciate my own. I saw all these beautiful things in everything around me except in my own life and in my own heart.
Comparison is so present in society - especially in our generation. With social media, we hold other people’s lives right at our fingertips. We have this misconstrued perception of everyone’s “perfect” life. Through the looking glass of social media, we are only able to see the good while the suffering and sorrows don’t seem present, leading us to believe, “I must be the only one who experiences suffering.”
While this false environment surrounds us, we have to remember two things: “where does all BEAUTY and GOODNESS come from?” and, “who made us?”
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”-Psalm 139:13-16
God is the infinite source of beauty, wisdom, and pure goodness. Everything on this earth that is purely good and beautiful comes from the Lord. We need to remind ourselves that God, our Father, created each of us in a way that is so unique and different from one another. We are not mass produced beings. We were carefully thought out and loved into existence by the source of goodness.
Why do we believe the creator of the entire universe did not craft us uniquely beautiful? Why do we find it so difficult to see our own strengths and accept our weaknesses as actual gifts from our Creator? Why do we think we are not enough? Why do we constantly long for more and crave the life of someone else? Why are we unable to love ourselves when God is so in love with us He would sacrifice His perfect Son to be with us?
So while you’re checking your Instagram feed wishing you looked like that girl, God is thinking of you.
While you’re comparing test grades and asking yourself why you’re not as smart as her, God is thinking of you.
When you’re stressed, crying in your room because everyone else “has their life together” and you don’t, God is STILL thinking of you.
He is thinking about everything that makes you, YOU! He is thinking of your strengths, your weaknesses, the unique way you love people, what makes you different from everyone, and your talents that glorify Him.
The Earthly world and the Heavenly world need you. They need everything that makes you different. They desperately need who God created YOU to be.
So, 2016 is here. The comparing will not stop easily. However, let us strive to stop comparing outfits, grades, bodies, hair, personalities, relationships, friendships, everything. Let us wake up each day and compare our hearts to Jesus’ heart. How does that compare? In the end, that is the only comparison that matters.
-Hallie Ruth // @ruthhallie