“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
My husband’s cousin recently had a tiny bump on his shoulder that he thought was a mosquito bite. He itched the bump a little bit, but within two days, it turned into a lesion that blistered and ate away at his skin tissue, producing a lot of pain. He soon came to find out that he had been bitten by a brown recluse spider!
The brown recluse spider is one of three spiders with medically significant venom in North America. These spiders contain a rare toxin called sphingomyelinase D, and let’s just say, without proper care the bite can be more potent than a rattlesnake. The initial bite starts out so small, just two very small fang marks; however, after just a couple days it starts to spread and break apart the skin. As I thought about this spider bite, I was reminded of how poisonous comparing ourselves to others can be — it’s like venom that eats away at the inside of us.
Often we compare our accomplishments, material possessions, and outward appearances. It can start small, but it usually spreads quickly until it attacks our hearts; and if gone untreated, it takes over everything … because there is always someone prettier and smarter, right? You will always find people with more possessions, a better job, a better house, a better “something”. So what can we do about it? Stop comparing!
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This is so true, especially if you let comparison in like venom. Treat this venom by making a list of all the blessings in your life and all the things God has given you. Look – I mean really look – at your blessings. Keep your eyes on your own paper, so to speak. Don’t look to the left or to the right, just look at Jesus.
Paul says in Philippians to do nothing out of jealousy or vanity. With a humble heart, we are to count others as more important than ourselves. Wow, this is hard to do! Lately, I have practiced speaking out words of kindness and encouragement to those I often want to compare myself with. Even when they are not in the room, I try to say things like, I am so happy that she got that job promotion. Isn’t that great that her baby slept through the night.
I have to admit, though, I don’t always believe what I’m saying, not immediately; but the more I continue to speak positivity and love over these people, the more love I start to feel toward them. These comments have helped me gain a new perspective, because really, I don’t want my sister in Christ to be burdened or struggling. I want her to succeed! God will see this effort and you will be blessed in the process.
- What area in your mothering do you compare yourself to others the most? Why is this?
- Find a Scripture verse today that talks about who God has called YOU to be as a mom. Say it out loud for the rest of the week!
Angela Larson is a science teacher, cycling instructor, outdoor adventurer, wife, and mom of three girls. She loves to include ideas about science and nature into her writings. You can often find her at the YMCA working out and spending time with other women. Quality time and vanilla lattes are her love languages.