Just a note before you read this post…. I wrote this two years ago and it has been one of my most read posts. It’s a message that resonates with so many because we live in a world that is hell bent on telling us how little we matter and how royally we are messing up — lies, all of it. This post is included in Kay Wyma’s FANTASTIC book, I’m Happy For You (Sort of…Not Really). It is also in the line-up of January posts on The Sisterhood Blog.
Every year I make New Year’s resolutions. The clean slate of the New Year is the perfect opportunity to do things better, work harder and strive to better myself. But this year I’m having a hard time making a long list of resolutions I can put my whole heart into. And, I think that’s a good thing.
It’s not that I’ve achieved perfection, to be sure. No, it’s just that I’m looking at resolutions in a different light this year, hopefully a healthier light. As I listed the typical New Year’s resolutions, most resolutions fell into the categories of body image and money with the underlying theme, “Whatever is now is not good enough.”
Admittedly, “not good enough” is a plausible conclusion as we are bombarded hundreds of times a day with messages encouraging us to be discouraged about our current situation. Billboards, TV ads, social media and Pinterest show us what we are missing out on in life — and just how great things could be if we only had what they are peddling. Without making a conscience decision to do so, we compare our lives with the unrealistic, staged messages the world is constantly throwing at us. And we come up short every time. Or maybe it’s just me.
And so, this year, my New Year’s resolution will be different. I am going to resolve to do something I’ve been encouraging my kids to do lately. As my children have been plagued by comparison with each other, with friends or strangers, I’ve repeated to them, “Stop comparing your life with someone else’s. We all have our own race… stay in your own lane.”
I’ve said it out of love, explaining to my kids that God created each of them for a unique purpose. And as their mother, I know that if they spend their time constant comparison, they will not be the people God created them to be and will not live the abundant life God intended for them.
And so it is with me. I do not want comparison to steal my joy or derail me from the path the Lord has set for me. Therefore, I resolve in in the year ahead to stay in my own lane. Run my own race. Stop comparing.
While it is so easy to slip into comparison mode, it can be difficult to stand firm in the truth. And the truth is, God loves us with an unending love and He does not compare us one with another. As a matter of fact, I read something recently that became a comparison game changer. Author Henri Nouwen wrote in his book The Return of the Prodigal Son,
“Our God… does not compare. Never…. I cannot fathom how all of God’s children can be favorites. And still, they are…. God loves with a divine love, a love that cedes to all women and men their uniqueness without ever comparing.”
I read the quote above and my heart rejoices and the weight comes off of my shoulders. How different than what the world says is true. How different than “not good enough.” I am God’s favorite. And so are you. And so are our children. And so are all of His children. He does not compare, and neither should we.
Living as God’s favorite makes living in comparison futile, if not downright silly.
I don’t want to be futile or silly this year. So, while there is value in taking inventory of our lives each new year and making necessary changes and improvements, we must be careful not to fall into the pit of “never good enough” as a result of constant comparison. No more striving, no more hustling, we are enough as we are right now. Sin-stained, imperfect, unPhotoshopped, we are enough to be loved by God and by others.
We are each His favorite. And that’s the truth.
Please check out Kay’s awesome book. It’s a fantastic read and I am honored to be included. And by “honored” I mean pinch-myself-giddy. I’m not kidding. I almost threw a book launch party for my page (page 207, shout out!).
Love the ornament pictured at the top? Buy it here. And check out their other ornaments. They are cute, fun and funny.
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