Psalm 139:13,14 “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I linger in front of the mirror for a moment…what do I see? A grey hair popping out, that big sun spot on my cheek, those bags under my eyes – those are new since having children. And then there’s my beloved muffin top – possibly the thing that makes me most insecure. For me – all it takes is a mirror to get me discontent. The only thing worse than a mirror is the comparison trap.
We all do it – we compare ourselves to…
1. Ourselves - and our pre-baby days. I have a picture of myself with friends in college by my computer – sometimes I marvel at how thin I was!
2. Our siblings – Both of my sister’s are size 0! I blogged about this struggle here.
3. Our friends – I have some tall friends who make me feel so short! You know who you are!!! lol! Those who know me well know I ALWAYS have a heel on unless I am exercising.
4. Our foes – if comparison for you turns into jealousy then you are way off track from where God wants you and you have gone from being a friend to a foe. Jealousy is ugly and deadly – it’d be better to pluck your eye out than to covet your neighbors beauty.
5. Strangers - I’ll admit it – I’ve walked through the mall at times and have seen those skinny, tan, tiny bottomed teenage girls with perky chests – it’s a tough pill to swallow.
6. Celebrities – Comparing yourself to celebrities is a lose/lose situation – they have trainers, cooks, nannies, hair stylists, fashion designers, and airbrushing!! We can’t possibly keep up!
So what can we do? It’s really a matter of mindset. I dare you right there at your computer – praise God for how well he made you. Go ahead do it…..
Did something you don’t really like about yourself pop into your head? What is it? Now praise God for it… – does it feel strange?
Here’s my prayer: “What a blessed life I have led! Thank you Lord for my muffin top – it means I’ve had bountiful amounts of food. Thank you for my grey hairs it means I’ve been blessed with years, thank you for my bags under my eyes – it means I have been blessed with many people in my home to love and care for, thank you for my sun spot – it reminds me of all those fun days on the beach or at the pool.”
That’s a strange prayer isn’t it. The world says – suck the muffin top out with lipo suction, color the greys (I do that by the way!), conceal the bags, have the sun spot removed and on and on it goes.
Now try again to thank God for that thing in the mirror that drives you nuts! It’s hard I know – that’s because you’ve been focusing on it and thinking so negatively for so long that your mind can barely bare the idea of actually praising God for how wonderfully you are made. You have been beating yourself up with the comparison trap!!!
Now try again – focus on the wonderful things he has given you – eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to serve, feet that walk, a heart that beats, lungs that hold air, a brain that can read and understand this, and a heart to feel God’s love – wow – you are amazing! Aren’t you wonderful (and I don’t mean this in a prideful sense)? God made you and he says you were wonderfully made – trust him that he made you the way you are for his purposes!
John Piper says “The fight for joy is a fight to see.” It’s a fight to see things from God’s perspective rather than this world’s. We must fight for it if we are going to live well!
Walk with the King!