Hey guys! Today, we have a special post from Shelly McGraw. I just love Shelly! She is such a sweetheart, and I’m excited about her guest post today. She wrote on how we compare ourselves to others and how when we do that, we’re trading the truth for lies.
Comparisons. We all do it.
I do it.
I struggle not to automatically compare my writing to someone’s clever, funny, well-written blog post that has an unbelievable amount of hits and 5 gazillion shares and comments.
“Wow. Compared to them, my blog should be used as an example of how not to write.”
I do it when I meet someone who (at a size zero) says they cut soda from their diet for 4 months and lost 10 pounds as a result.
“Umm…they were already super thin. And, just where did those 10 pounds come from, her hair? I mean, come on. I don’t drink soda at all. Like ever. Why can’t I lose 10 pounds?
And the list of examples could go on and on.
But then, one day, one of my friends invited me over to her house to chat while our kids played. Her house is beautiful, she’s intelligent, kind, and her kids are adorable. While sitting in her kitchen she said,
“I’m a little jealous of you. You seem to have it all together… You have such a positive attitude…I look up to you, actually.”
I was stunned. She can’t possibly be talking about me!
It was in that moment that I realized what she was doing…and what I’ve been doing…and what EVERYONE is doing. We are trading the truth for lies.
The truth is, I’m just like her. I don’t have anything together. I’m trying to homeschool three daughters, while serving in ministry, while writing everyday, while doing other things needed to survive like eat, sleep, and make sure my kids don’t kill themselves or each other.
The truth is, I don’t always have a good attitude. Yesterday, I was telling off an outfit in a dressing room of a store because a top didn’t fit the way I wanted it to.
I was yelling at a shirt. A SHIRT.
The truth is, I struggle with an endocrine disorder that wreaks havoc on my body, causing a whole host of symptoms that I fight with daily. What I do have is coffee, worship music, a kind husband who loves me the way I am, and Jesus.
The truth was, my friend was only looking at the surface of my life, thinking that was all there was to see.
I do the same thing. All. The. Time.
The truth is, the blog that has a bazillion followers has been publishing posts for a long time and their writing is amazing. They deserve it.
I wasn’t there when they spent many late nights typing away instead of sleeping, fretting over font colors, or sweating as they wait for a literacy agent to decide if they have something worth publishing.
I wasn’t there when they first started out, drooling over other people’s writing while wondering if they’ll ever be that good.
All I see is what they are now.
And, what about that thin beauty that cut out soda? It’s great that she cut out soda. Maybe she has health problems and she had to start making drastic changes to her diet. I should’ve asked her. Shame on me for not just being happy for her.
The only thing I should compare, is my life before Jesus and my life now.
I’ve lived through some really tough times, made stupid mistakes, and experienced painful seasons that seemed like they’d last forever. Jesus has redeemed all of my past and has given me a future. Why do I allow the world and my emotions to blind me from how far God has brought my life?
I need to compare how I’m using my life to serve Jesus now from how I didn’t serve Him years ago. My focus should be on Jesus, trading the lies that the enemy whispers into my ear for the truth of the Gospel.
12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. ~2 Corinthians 10:12-13
So, the next time I find myself comparing my writing, my body, or yelling at inanimate objects, I’m going to take a deep breath and trade all of those lies for the truth.
About Shelly McGraw
Shelly has a heart for discipleship and spiritual growth, writing weekly devotions for the purpose of equipping the Body of Christ to better serve and follow Jesus. Her encouraging yet thought-provoking devotions are a mix of testimonies, struggles, joys, praises, and everyday life that are full of grace and wisdom.
She has been involved in ministry for over 15 years, serving mostly in worship, youth, and missions. She currently serves in worship at Redemption Church Charlottesville (RCC) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Shelly and her husband, Jason, have three beautiful daughters that they homeschool.
Connect with Shelly McGraw
Facebook: Lessons of Grace and Wisdom