by Debbie Altman
When we think of “Women at War,” the topic of this month’s blog focus; we think of all the different relationships that we have with women-mothers, daughters, friends, co-workers…and the potential for “war!” But there is another woman with whom we do battle, and that is ourselves.
Over the years, I have grown passionate about the subject of comparison amongst women, because I see the destructive power it can have in my own life, and in the lives of almost all women. Let’s see…what do we compare? Let me count the ways…
We compare our hair, our clothes, our weight, our husbands, our children, our spirituality, our houses, our personalities, our jobs, our parenting, our vacations, our fitness, our skin, our shoes!…the list is endless, and it is exhausting! So, we walk into any situation, even environments that are supposed to build us up, like church or small groups…and because we are incessantly comparing ourselves, we can walk away feeling “less than” and diminished in our own eyes! How truly tragic! Yet I do it to myself all the time. How about you? And lets amp this up just a little with “Facebook Envy” (More opportunity to compare…) You know…”My husband just surprised me for our anniversary with twelve dozen roses and little chocolates and candles all around our bed, a trip to Malibu, AND my children just made Student of the Year, and, and, and….“ Wow! While I’m picking up my husband’s dirty clothes from all around the bed, and my son just got suspended from pre-school for biting! We don’t even need the media’s constant bombardment telling us what the perfect woman is, we manage to do enough damage to ourselves just comparing ourselves to all the women in our own little worlds!
Over the years, I have learned (and am still learning!) a few things:
1: I have to renew my mind with who Jesus says that I am by reading His Word…and believe it!
God’s Word tells us that we are uniquely and wonderfully made! He tells us how loved we are!
Psalm 16:9 “No wonder my heart is glad and I rejoice. In You I rest secure!”
2: I have to recognize the gifts that He has given me.
1 Corinthians 12 tells us how He has created us all differently and that we are each important for exactly who we are. We are not supposed to all be the same! Phillipians 4:8 tells us to dwell on the good things. Dwell on who you ARE and not what you ARE NOT! Go ahead, actually count the ways in which you are an amazing person and what you offer to the world!
Do you realize that while you are looking at someone else and wishing that you were more like her in this way or that, she is looking at you and seeing your gifts and thinking the same thing! It’s really true!
3: I have to recognize and fight the negative thoughts of comparison that the enemy Satan wants to defeat me with.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. James 4:7 says to “resist the enemy and he will flee!” This has been a life survival skill that I have had to practice!
When we work from a mentality of God-given security, we are fully capable of thinking another woman is beautiful without concluding that we are ugly! We can admire another woman’s achievements without feeling like we are a failure. Where on earth did we come up with the idea that we have to subtract value from ourselves in order to give credit to someone else?
Life is short, and my heart’s cry is that we would not waste any more time comparing ourselves until we’ve stripped ourselves of all the God-given beauty and dignity that we have been given! We are all at different stages of our life, and we each have different struggles and different attributes. But we are all on the same path, wanting to look more like Jesus. We are here to bless one another with who we are, and help each other along. Each of us in our own beautiful way, portrays a different facet of God’s amazingness! It is not a competition. Stop the war with yourself and celebrate who you are! I am so privileged to know so many incredible women. You inspire me in a million different ways, and I have learned in Christ, that I am not so bad myself! God bless you all.
You are beautiful! What scriptures have helped you through times of comparison? Share your thoughts and comments below!
Debbie is the wife of Pastor Craig Altman, and together, they founded Grace Family Church 18 years ago. She is a former RN and mother of a 27 year old married daughter and 26 year old son. She is also known as “Nona” to her precious granddaughter. Debbie enjoys family, reading, the beach, and is inappropriately competitive at board games.