Comparison demolishes. Why can’t we encourage each other where we are instead of trying to validate ourselves by proving ourselves as more as another’s expense?
Single women versus married women.
Women who have children, struggle to have children, or choose not to have children.
Women who earn six figures versus women on government aid.
Women who regularly work out versus those who don’t.
Women who cook their own meals versus those who eat out most of the time.
Women who eat organically or are vegetarians or cut carbs or drink caffeinated drinks or…any other food choice.
Women who cut coupons versus those who focus on things other than getting the best deal.
Women who organize well versus those who live in an “organized” mess.”
Women who live in a city, small town, abroad, or in the country.
Women who go to a community college, university, trade school, or other option.
Women who have work through baggage and are moving on versus those who seem stuck.
Women who make friends easily versus those are more comfortable keeping to themselves.
Women who serve in the limelight throughout the community versus those who serve in the quiet, unnoticed places.
The list could go on and on.
I’m not saying there are no standards toward which we need to encourage each other. There are. They are God’s. But we so often misrepresent God’s standards by emphasizing what we most want to emphasize. We get culturally-stunted, filtering everything through our own communities and personal experiences, so if someone chooses to do something outside what we think is the norm, we get defensive or offended. I’m not talking about right and wrong. I’m talking about the personal freedoms God gives us. Personal freedoms that really aren’t ours; because they come from God, they are God’s gifts, which means we need to use them within His will. And God’s will always, always includes other people. We don’t get to do what we want to do because of our own preference. We choose differences because God made us different. We’re unique, yet we’re connected…to God as well as to others.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
We have a responsibility to honor God in our own lives as well as in our relationships. Comparison isn’t part of that responsibility. God is just, and He will take care of all the comparing that needs to get done, and it will be comparisons to who He intends us to be, not who we expect ourselves or others to be.
Stop the one-up game. No one wins.