I think the one of the curses of the fatherless child is to always compare oneself against someone else. For me, I was always searching for a reason why I wasn’t wanted and I was convinced that it had to be all about me —- it couldn’t have been about my mom or my biological father’s own shortcomings, selfishness, or lack of responsibility.
So I began comparing myself with girls who had their very own fathers. They were smarter, sillier, and sweeter than I must of been because their daddies didn’t abandon them. So I’d try to act like them so that I could have my very own daddy one day. And when that didn’t work, I became more and more introverted so that I didn’t have to see what they had that I so desperately needed.
But it wasn’t until I was about 13 years old that I began to compare my body to others. I can remember it clearly. My mom was managing some apartments in Stone Mountain and, after chores, we were allowed to hang out at the pool until she got off of work. There was a girl my age who wore one of those crocheted bikinis and she overflowed out of the top. (If I would have worn one of those tops at the time it would have looked just like it does in the picture – flat!) Not only did she fill out the bikini she was the first girl my age who seemed to flaunt her sexuality.
And I knew then that I didn’t and wouldn’t ever measure up.
I wish I could say that I outgrew that feeling or that I stopped comparing myself to others only to come up lacking almost every time. Truth be told, it became a habit that usually left me feeling quite horrible about myself. A habit that caused me to withdraw from others because I knew that I didn’t measure up to them.
I became so petty in my comparisons that I’d notice much more than their figures – I’d see their matching finger and toe nails and decide that they wouldn’t like me because I was more of an all natural girl. Or, I’d look at their clothes only to decide that we had nothing in common so they wouldn’t like me.
Those surface judgments stole possible friendships.
I’m telling you this because God brought it to my memory during my prayer time the other day. He asked me to look back at that moment in time and see things as they really were. She was simply a little older than me and way ahead of me in her development. I eventually caught up and could fill out that bikini top. But it took years for me to catch up to feeling as comfortable in my own skin as she did prancing around the pool that summer.
God then lead me through praying for forgiveness….. Forgiving myself for those horrible comparisons that I made and forgiving him for always being so critical of his creation. He reminded me that the Word tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I am created in his image, according to his likeness.
If, like me, you often compare yourself to others then maybe it’s time for you to ask God to show you the root of where those comparisons began so that you can dig up that nasty vine and plant seeds of forgiveness and acceptance. And, together, we will break this horrible habit that leaves us feeling so insecure that we allow surface judgments to steal possible friendships.
As usual Paul hits us hard in this area when he writes, “In measuring themselves against each other and comparing themselves with each other, they are simply stupid.” 2 Corinthians 10:12b
Scripture References: Psalm 139:14, Genesis 1:26