October 7, 2009
Younger, Cuter, Skinnier
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
While I waited in the carpool line to pick up my 10-year-old son Tyler, I watched the other moms coming and going with their kids. When Tyler got in the car, we talked about his day. Abruptly changing subjects, I asked, "Tyler, do I look 46?"
He quickly answered, "No, mom, you look … 37." I smiled, wondering how he came up with that number, but liking that it was much lower than my actual age.
I said, "Good answer!"
"Except for those wrinkles," he added as he studied my face.
"Okay, we are finished with this conversation!"
As we drove back home, I wondered what prompted me to blurt out that question. Instantly, I knew the answer. While watching the other moms, I had started comparing myself. My comparison led me to think that the other moms were younger, cuter and skinnier.
Can you relate to these thoughts? We can fall into the comparison trap in an instant. For example, we flip through the pages of a magazine and compare our bodies to the images of skinny models. We go to a new Bible study and hesitate to speak up because we're sure the other women know more than we do.
Comparison usually leads us down a dangerous path of feeling insecure and "not enough," or else prideful and "better than." Neither path of thinking is one God wants us to take. God's Word tells us exactly what to do with faulty comparison thinking in 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (NIV).
What does this mean in practice? First, we have to become aware of our thoughts. Next, we clarify if our thoughts are God's truth or the enemy's lies. We can be sure that any condemning or prideful thoughts are not from God. Finally, when we recognize a thought which is a lie, we need to replace the lie with God's truth. The verse I memorized to combat the lies resulting from comparison is a personalized version of today's key verse in Ephesians 2:10: "For I am God's beautiful masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things He planned for me long ago."
Take time today to ask God to reveal to you any lies you believe about yourself. Confess pride or insecurity, and ask God to fill you with His truthful perspective.
And don't ask your child how old you look!
Dear Lord, keep my mind centered on the truth of who You say I am. Don't let my thoughts be tossed all over the place by the lies of the enemy. I know I am not defined by my circumstances, what I see in the mirror, or even what other people say about me. Let me rest in Your confidence as I acknowledge who You say I am, a masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Read similar encouragement at Everyday Life!
A Woman Who Fears the Lord (Proverbs 31:30) T-Shirt
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George
Memorize a verse, such as Ephesians 2:10, to fill your mind with God's truth.
Have an honest discussion with a close friend about any tendencies you have to compare yourself to others. How can you encourage one another and hold each other accountable to "whatever is true" (Philippians 4:8)?
In what areas of my life - appearance, weight, work, motherhood, marriage - do I feel inadequate?
In what areas of my life am I prideful?
Consider the answers to these questions, and ask for God's true perspective on these areas of your life.
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)
Isaiah 26:3, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You." (NASB)
© 2009 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105