For far too long, instead of celebrating another woman’s success as if we’re on the same team, we women have felt threatened by it.
Whether it’s her trendy outfit, her beautiful home, her skinny physique (even after baby #4), or her seemingly perfect family, we women have a sad tendency to think ill of this woman instead of celebrate her.
Inwardly, we can respond wrongly in at least 2 ways. The first sounds like this:
Her success is my insecurity.
Her success is my weakness.
Her success is my failure.
We downplay her strengths because we can’t see our own.
The second incorrect way we might respond to her success goes something like this:
Her success really isn’t success… she just got lucky.
Her success isn’t as great as my success… Has she seen what I’ve accomplished?
Her success is no big deal… anybody could do that, even me.
We downplay her strengths to boost our own.
In both lines of thinking, we minimize the good work that is being accomplished in her life, mainly because our hearts are so centered on ourselves.
Friends, that’s called pride. Pride can manifest itself in both ways- either Hey! Look at me, I’m so great! or Poor me! I wish I was so great!
That’s why when I saw Jenny’s shirt, I knew there was something so right about it.
Shouldn’t we be each others’ cheerleaders, ladies? Why should our first gut response of her success be one of envy? Why should we feel threatened when she succeeds?
Friends, we don’t have to. Here are 7 ways I’m overcoming this deadly game of prideful comparison. I hope they’ll be helpful for you as well.
7 Ways to Overcome the Comparison Game:
1. Be confident of who you are in Christ.
This directly speaks to our identity, the core of who we are. We are all trying to figure out who we are, how we fit into this or that group and the role we’re supposed to play in it. But here’s the thing: You and I are not less of a person because of someone else’s greatness. We do not have to feel insecure just because she is better at something than we are.We can walk confidently because of who we are in Christ.
So, who does God say we are? [The statements below are written in 1st person because I want you to read it to yourself and believe it’s true of YOU!]
~I am valuable.
I am made in the image of God. He created me with inherent dignity and worth. I am valuable because I reflect an aspect of His personhood to the world.
~I am loved.
“For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in,” Psalm 27:10. I may feel like there isn’t a sole on this earth who cares for me. Maybe even my own father and mother have forsaken me, but just like the psalmist, the Lord delights to take me into His loving care.
~I am a redeemed sinner.
Yes, I have messed up. Yes, I have fallen ridiculously short of God’s perfect standard, but I have trusted in Christ. He has removed my sin and given me Jesus’ perfect righteousness. He has taken my ugly and made me beautiful.
~I am accepted.
I don’t have to worry about if I’m in the “in” crowd. I don’t have to fear if I’m going to be included or not. Christ sees all of me- the good, bad and the ugly- and He says, “Yes, I want her. You are mine.”
2. Recognize you’ve got a lot to learn, and other people can help you.
To combat the pride mentioned above, I recommend we adopt a spirit of humility. The truth is you and I don’t have it all figured out, and that is perfectly ok. We weren’t meant to. I can’t be great at everything, but I can learn. I love meeting women who excel in their field, and then I also love annoying them with questions about how they got there. Instead of comparing ourselves to them and seeing ourselves as falling short, learn from them!
3. Realize God has gifted us each uniquely. Celebrate her gifts, instead of criticizing them.
I’m finding so much joy and freedom lately in this one point. God has a good plan for this world He created, and you and I are a part of it. Our unique talents and gifts are contributing to His plan. What are your gifts? Hone them. What gifts do you see in her? Celebrate them. God is working that in both of you. Glorify Him for His creativity and wisdom when you see her excel. She is living out who God made her to be. Now you quit looking around and get busy living out who He made you to be! =)
4. Give her some grace. Things aren’t always as they appear.
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). It may look like she is perfectly put together when she walks in, but we really have no idea what situation she just came from. Maybe she is hiding her own insecurities or failures. Maybe she is fearful no one will accept her. Maybe she needs a friend. The fact is we just don’t know where she’s coming from. Instead of assuming the worst, why not think the best and befriend her? If she blows you off, oh well… you tried. How she receives you is not your responsibility.
5. Examine your own heart. Why do you feel the need to compare in the first place?
So, she’s beautiful? So, she’s accomplished? What is that to you? Why does it bother you so much? Is it because you’re covetous, wanting what she has for yourself? Is it because you’re discontent with your calling or season of life and hers seems more attractive?
Before Jesus’ ascension in John 21:15-23, He spoke with Peter about the calling He had for him. Feed my lambs… Tend my sheep… Feed my sheep. Immediately following this conversation, Peter turned his gaze to another disciple and said, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus answered him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
We have to take our eyes off of those around us, look to Jesus and follow Him. He is enough.
6. Don’t believe the lie. Having more does not equal a better life.
We fall for it so often. We see her with more money or material possessions than we have, and we believe she’s living the dream. But I want to remind you what Scripture says about accumulating wealth here on earth.
And he [Jesus] said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
Material possessions are nice, but we can’t set our hope on them. There’s no need to compare what we have because in the end, they’re just things and won’t matter anyway.
7. Pray for her.
If I notice myself becoming a little envious or bitter toward someone, the best way to soften my heart is to pray for that person. It pretty much forces me to desire their good. Try it sometime!
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to check out what Jenny is up to on her site.
If you’re new here, I’d be honored if you’d stick around and make yourself at home. And as always, you’re invited to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss a single post. As a thank you, you’ll receive 8 beautiful watercolor digital images with some of my favorite verses on them to cheer up your desktop. Thanks for being here.