Can’t we just say “Goodbye” to that girl?!
You know the one, right? The one who is always perfectly groomed. Perfectly trim. Perfectly poised.
Perfectly calm. Perfectly in-control. Perfectly cheerful. Perfectly kind. Perfectly friendly.
Oh, and let’s not forget that her children are also perfectly well-behaved. And perfectly neat. As well as perfectly polite.
Her home is perfectly cozy. Perfectly clean. And perfectly decorated. In a way that’s perfectly specific to each season and holiday.
Her cooking is perfectly delicious. Her photos are perfectly gorgeous. Her job is perfectly fulfilling. Her husband is perfectly romantic; she is perfectly submissive. And her ministry? Perfectly amazing.
I bet a face or two came to your mind as you read those descriptions.
Am I right?
It’s because we all know that girl. And we know how she makes us feel…
Inadequate. Incompetent. Inept. Inferior.
Like we should be doing this, ought to be doing that. Or perhaps we should be more like this, ought to be more like that. And let’s not forget that we could look like this, if only…
And so we berate ourselves. We agree with that voice in our heads that tells us we’re not enough. That we’re less than.
Or we might try to find fault with that girl to make ourselves feel better. We criticize her in our thoughts. And sometimes even in our words, indulging in gossip that tears her down…to make us feel bigger.
So why should we say “Goodbye” to that girl, once and for all? Though there are probably numerous reasons, here are four:
1.) Comparison sets us up for discontentment. When we’re comparing ourselves with others, discontentment is the inevitable result. Discontentment with our job, with our possessions, with our own talents and abilities, with the areas of ministry God has given us, and even with the people in our life. Anything we tend to compare is fertile ground for seeds of discontentment. Because when we’re wrapped up in “should,” “could,” and “ought to,” we all too often follow it with “if only.”
2.) Comparison harms our relationships. When I’m constantly trying to measure up, I put myself in bondage to pretense. I can’t let anyone see the “real me” — because the “real me” is flawed. And so I painstakingly keep up the pretense of being as-perfect-as-possible. I keep my mask firmly in place. And I don’t let anyone get close enough to see what’s behind the mask.
3.) Comparison breeds failure. Comparison is a habit. We often don’t just compare ourselves to a single person. Most of the time we are chronic comparers. We compare this weakness to this person, and that flaw to that person, this sin to the other person, and this blemish to that person over there. We compare ourselves to the best of so many people, there is no way on this side of heaven we could ever measure up. We are erecting an impossible standard for ourselves. And so we doom ourselves to feelings of failure.
4.) Comparison looks a lot like Satan. I know that’s not fun to read; it certainly wasn’t fun to write. But who is the one who wasn’t satisfied with his role? Who was discontent with who he was? Who looked at Someone and felt less than (though rightfully, in his case)? Who wanted to be more than he was? Who looked at Someone else and said, “I want to be like Him”?
It’s best for us all to just say “Goodbye” to that girl, and stop comparing ourselves with others. Now we just need to talk about how. Don’t miss the next post, where we’ll learn 4 Rules for Saying Goodbye to That Girl.
What other reasons to stop comparing ourselves come to your mind? I would love for you to expand on my thoughts by sharing your own below.
Written by Jennifer Clarke