How many of these declarations have you said or heard recently:
I would be much happier if I could lose _____ pounds.
Her house looks so perfect. Do kids even live there? I wish my house would look half as nice.
I tried another recipe from Pinterest. Fail! And my kids complained about it. Dinner time is so stressful at my house.
Technological advances usher in new ways for women to compare themselves. Thanks, social media! My feeds either encourage or discourage me. Maybe you can relate?
The woman feeling frumpy scrolls her feed filled with skinny women holding up their shakes and vegetables, and shames herself.
The mom who just yelled at her kids and needs a minute to escape reality finds her feed full of perfect moms with perfect kids who never disobey, disrespect, or disappoint. Guilt overwhelms her.
The wife whose marriage is on the brink of dissolution logs on and finds women boasting of their amazing husbands, their blessed unions, and their unicorns-and-rainbows love for one another. She feels like a failure.
The comparison game isn’t new. Leah and Rachel, Jacob’s two wives, compare their situations to one another. Leah sees how much Jacob loves Rachel and wishes he felt that way about her. Rachel sees Leah’s fertile womb and wishes she could just bear a child. Unhappiness fills them and they start to believe “if only _____, then I would be happy.” Just like women today. (You can read about this troublesome trio in Genesis 29-30)
We are fueled by our pursuit for perfection. Perfection is defined as “the act of improving something so that it has no flaws” (Webster’s Dictionary). Therein lies the problem: perfection simply does not exist this side of eternity. The Fall ushered in flaws galore.
Here’s the Good News, though. God created us for perfection. We – ALL people – were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). We all descend from Adam and Eve, who lived in perfect harmony with the Lord. The Fall caused separation between man and God. Jesus redeemed us. Those of us who are in Christ will one day be restored to live eternally in the world God originally intended!
Our hearts desire happiness and joy. We manipulate our lives in an effort to achieve those feelings, but we will always fall short. Perfection will not be found in material things this side of heaven.
Perfection will be found in eternity thanks to Jesus Christ.
Fight the pursuit of perfection by:
- Recognizing the enemy’s strategy to spark discontent in our hearts. The negative voice screaming in your ear is not God.
- Chasing Christ instead of looking to worldly solutions. Seek Him first and foremost through His Word (open your Bible!) and prayer.
- Shifting your focus to gratitude instead of comparison or negativity.
Gratitude is the antidote to discontent! If you struggle with negativity, or you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others, start a gratitude journal. Don’t like journaling? Simply thank God for three things RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait!