Is it just me, or does anyone else fall into the comparison trap? Perhaps I'm more prone to this sinful behavior due to some of my first born, perfectionist tendencies, but either way, sin is sin right! And let me be clear here, most of my comparing has no basis in fact; how pathetic is that!? Most of the time, I'm comparing myself (and falling short of course) to things I only imagine other people have or do. Here's a little monologue I shamefully play in my head at times:
"In other people's homes, I bet the floors and counters are always clutter free. I bet their floors are always swept and mopped and their windows are free of little finger smudges. I bet other people's bathrooms never have pink rings in the toilet or toothpaste splatters on the mirrors or make-up drips in the sinks. I bet other people's showers are always free of soap scum and their window sills free of dust and their carpets free of crumbs and... well I bet their houses are always perfectly clean! And I bet other people's children never fight or disobey or sass their mommies and I bet those mommies never respond in anger. I bet other parents are always perfectly consistent in discipline and have children who respond perfectly and lastingly to each episode of chastisement. I bet other mom's fix gourmet meals for their families every night and have children who quietly and serenely color in coloring books for the entire time it takes to prepare the meal. I bet other mom's get up at 5:00am every morning for a quiet time and a rigorous workout routine, even after only 5 hours of broken sleep..." And on and on it goes! I am confessing this here because I want to change. I want to turn from the sin of comparison and bask in the promises of my Savior. He promises to be glorified in my weaknesses, to give me strength when I rely fully on Him, and most importantly, He promises to love me with an unfailing love! Where is there room for shallow comparison when we humble our hearts before the Lord and realize what He did for us when there is nothing we could ever do to deserve it? We are all in the same boat, we all fall drastically and lethally short of God's glory and are in desperate need of Jesus Christ. Without Him, we are nothing, and no amount of good deeds is going to change that. And are we really loving one another when we try to appear that we have it all together or are we perpetuating the comparison game even more, keeping our focus on what WE can do instead of who CHRIST is?
So, my challenge to myself and anyone else who sees themselves in me is; let's be open and real with one another. Let's let people see our cluttered, dirty houses once in awhile. Who knows, it might just bless the socks off of them to see that "other people" can't keep it all together all the time either. This in no way means we stagnate in laziness of course, but rather that we link elbows in a sort of understanding that our jobs are hard and we don't always do them perfectly. Let's share our parenting struggles so we can glean from other's experiences and strengths. And if we have times of success and strength, let's not be tempted to judge or look down on those who are struggling, but rather, let's put on a servants heart (and perhaps some cleaning gloves) and serve our sisters in Christ, both through acts and through words of encouragement.
Just me growing, As The Lord Works:).