The Temptation of Comparison
She was ahead of me in line, and I tell you, if she wasn't a full 6 feet away, I probably would have tried to touch her hair.
I was mesmerized by the cut, the colour, and what appeared to be the perfect hair texture. It wasn't too long, it wasn't too short. It hung with a soft, natural flow to her shoulders.
She seemed oblivious to its perfection.
I, on the other hand, went into full-out hair envy right there in Walmart.
Noticing her perfect coif would have been fine - if I could have just appreciated for her the loveliness of having wonderful hair.
But that's not how it usually works, is it?
We struggle to appreciate what others have or celebrate with them the things they've accomplished, experienced, or acquired - without somehow measuring it up against our own stuff.
And as I stood in that line appreciating this woman's beautiful hair, my attention quickly shifted to the fly-away straw atop of my own head. Oh the wrestle I have with my hair. Mostly grey and wiry, sort of masked by a Ms. Clairol touch-up a month ago... My hair is angry and unruly.
And, here we go... compared to that woman, how dare I go out in public with such a mess on my head.
If you're at all like me, with or without the hair problems, comparison is that sneaky and brutal dark passenger that seeks to minimize what we have and magnify the goodies of others. And then with a cruel twist, it introduces self judgement and leaves us feeling less than.
When we follow the rabbit trail of comparison we lose sight of the truth and find ourselves caught in a mental chatter of lies. Not only does it steal our joy, it takes us away from what God says about us.
He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Ps. 139:14
He says we are made in His image. Gen. 1:27
He says that we are His workmanship. Eph. 2:10
It's a daily challenge to stand against the temptation of comparison, but when we do, when we allow ourselves to see ourselves through the lens of our Creator, the measuring stick changes. And we get to live in the freedom of knowing that we are uniquely created and absolutely beautiful in the eyes of Jesus.
Straw hair and all.
Blessings to you this month.