Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And when I was in middle school, my life revolved around comparison. I can remember times when I would walk into my dance studio, stare at the mirror and completely tear myself apart. I would look at the other girls in the studio and think I wasn’t
- talented enough
- pretty enough
- skinny enough
And what fed into that, even more, is I was single all throughout middle school, high school and even into college. I felt like I was missing out by not having a boyfriend. That led me to feel like I was not good enough to be in a relationship.
As a result, I experienced jealousy, fear, insecurity, loneliness, and anxiety. I was seeking man’s approval and not God’s approval.
I kept asking myself, “Why can’t I be satisfied with the way God made me?”
Even though I grew up in a loving Christian home with my dad as a pastor, my view of Christianity was skewed. I thought that being a Christian meant that you go to church, read your Bible and pray to God.
But then I went to a high school youth retreat and it was there that I realized that being a Christian is more than just rules and routine; it’s about a relationship with Jesus. And I discovered that God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, also created me in His image. And so that completely changed my view of who God is and how He loves me and how He created me for a purpose. No longer do I seek man’s approval, but God’s approval.
My focus shifted from a self-centered view of myself to a Christ-centered view of myself.
Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
In pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ, not only did I discover God’s immeasurable love for me, but also His incredibly beautiful demonstration for all of us. 1 John 4:9-10 says, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
I no longer have the fear of comparing myself to others. Whether it’s looking at myself in the mirror of a dance studio or looking at other people’s relationships, I know that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.”