Albert Einstein once (maybe twice) said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” And I think I have heard that a hundred times, but this past week I saw it on Pinterest in a cute little picture, and this is the first time I have thought of it as more than a cliché saying. It caught me in my tracks and quickly realized how more often than not, I believe that I am the fish, judging myself on my ability to climb a tree. And time and time again I live in the lie that I am inadequate.
Often times I think we begin simply with physical comparison. And with each comparison comes a deeper desire to be more like someone else. Soon enough you find yourself in a mindset that makes appraisal a prerequisite. It’s in these times of insecurity, vulnerability, incompetency, unworthiness, or invisibility, that we are most prone to compare. Comparison can send you into a spiraling track of unworthiness as you become increasingly aware of all your faults and shortcomings.
Comparison is thinking things like…
“If I was more like (insert name) then… ”
“If I was more (insert skill) then…”
“If only I had what (insert name) has then… ”
Then what? Then you’d be more attractive? You’d be more love or successful? You’d be happier? I am guilty of thinking like this too, more times than I would like to admit, by taking my worst trait, and holding it up to someone else’s best trait. At some time or another, I am sure I have frowned upon most of the things that make me, well me. Is my laugh obnoxious? Am I too clingy? Did I study enough? I wish my eyebrows weren’t so dark. I wish my hair wasn’t so curly. If only I was skinny like her. Would more guys like me if I was more athletic?
We are heavily weighed down by the chains of comparison. It sparks an inability to live joyfully, causing us to spend so much time focusing on others that we fail to look at ourselves for all the wonderful things we were uniquely created to be.
Beloved. God says that you are his beloved. He speaks to you and says that he is happy with you. He is pleased with you. You are His beloved.
This is the very first step to any sort of success or personal growth or steps toward fulfilling your mission in Him on His earth He made for you.
This might be the first time you are hearing this. And if it is, welcome. Let these words of truth resonate in your heart and allow them to take root in your soul and fill all the corners of your being, and let it speak loudly to your spirit. You Are Loved. It is often not easy to hear the still small voice that whispers this to us, it is muffled by those thoughts of comparison and overcome by a world that screams at you to look a certain way or believe certain things.
Galatians 1:10 states, “Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
It is then — when we forget that we are God’s precious children — that we begin to lose sight of the beauty we hold and begin to believe the lies of comparison.
Sometimes it is hard to see our gifts, to recognize our talents, especially in our times of comparison. Being His beloved requires us to rejoice in our differences, to include, not exclude, to praise, not decry, to choose compassion, rather than competition, to work with others in admiration, not envy.
God knew we would feel this way, above the fact that it is simply human nature to compare, because the bible describes this problem through the account of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. He notes that the human body is made up of many parts — hands, eyes, feet, legs, arms, ears. And though these body parts all have very different functions, they are all vitally important to your body. Without one of these parts, we would be weaker.
Saint Paul goes on to comment,
“As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I do not need you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I do not need you.’ Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this.”
You are needed, you are loved. You are not any less.
Cast out your insecurities find the truth in your comparisons.
Is my laugh obnoxious? Nope. It makes you, you. It makes others smile. It’s contagious.
Am I too clingy? No. You love hard. You show others their worth and you value relationships. You care.
I wish my eyebrows weren’t so dark. You have your father’s eyes. You share that with him.
I wish my hair wasn’t so curly. It has endless possibilities. Embrace it!
Would more guys like me if I was more athletic? Have you seen your paintings? Check out that writing! The right one will come along. Trust Him.
Today I want you to try to banish this culture of insecurity and comparison.
- Write down what you love about yourself and look at it every day.
- Don’t Judge a book by its cover, we all carry crosses. Don’t look upon a person with blind eyes, don’t compare your journey to someone else’s.
- Get rid of sources of inflow that spark insecurities and comparison. Maybe your fit Instagram pages are defeating you rather than building you up. It doesn’t hurt to unfollow.
- Surround yourself with people who love you for you!
- Compliment someone new every day. Focus on things that aren’t physical. Help them to love themselves for who they are, not what they are.
- Pray! Ask Him to cast out your insecurities, praise Him for all your blessings.