Comparison and Approval

11.26.2014 |

Do you ever try and try and try, and it is just never enough?  You never can win the approval of your co-worker, and no matter how nice you are, it's never up to their standards.  You can never win the approval of your family who just doesn't get you and your jesus-y lifestyle. You seem to never be able to get the approval of your friends, blog-world, boss, people on the bus, etc.  Do you ever feel like this?  Like anything you do, even when it is done with the most pure intentions, just doesn't cut it.  Do you ever compare yourself to other people, maybe even subconsciously?  Take this for example: Everything is going great, actually each new day seems like it is the best day, until you discover....that someone has done it better....or gets paid more for the same job......or has more followers....or cares more than you do....or has more craft skills.....or is entirely more thoughtful than you tend to be....or has a better since of fashion than you.....or....or....or.......a trap of comparison, of approval.

It hits you square in the face when you were on cloud nine, and all the sudden you fell off the rainbow you sat on and landed face-first in a steaming pile of "you'll never measure up."

Ok, before you start thinking, "this girl is psychotic and an attention hog and obviously has some serious personal issues she needs to work on stat," could you please take a look at your life?  
I mean, have you been there?  Am I the ONLY one who has struggled with this? Am I being weird? 

I think, especially as women, we have this pressure on us to make the grade when it comes to being a mom, wife, co-worker, friend.  Maybe that expectation is all a figment of my imagination, but we try to win the approval of others....and through those approvals of others, we try to approve ourselves.

Trying to please other people is completely useless and gets us no where in life.  

"For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
"For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends."
2 Corinthians 10:18

I am so glad that, even though these thoughts can plague me from time to time, that my hope is not wrapped up in a whether or not i am an A+ baker or have the super-natural ability to wipe 2 snotty noses while eating a gluten-free turkey burger and balancing a budget.   I am so glad that my hope is not wrapped up in whether or not I get 12 zillion hits on this blog or can sew my husbands knickers. I am so glad that my hope is not in how much money I don't make or what type of food my cat eats. Because, to be honest, I don't like having added pressure or unrealistic expectations on me.  I don't like to compare myself to other people, because it's depressing.  I know who I am and who I am not.  

My hope is in Christ, and while the reality of day to day living is obviously there, I can fully rest assured that my hope is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  God looks at me, and because of God's mercy on my life, he sees Jesus.  By his grace alone, I was able to surrender my life to him.  God approves of me, the way I am in Christ.  Nothing added.  

God doesn't see, Renee: the sub-par cook; Renee: the promise breaker; Renee: the deadline miss-er; Renee: the disobedient daughter. He sees Jesus. He sees perfect.  He sees approved.   

I don't have to compare myself to other people. I don't have to prove myself to other people. I don't have to approve myself.  The only one we need to examine our lives against is Jesus.  How close can we come to looking like Jesus in our every day?  You can only look like Jesus in the power of Jesus, and yes, we will fail, but in our repentance and his mercy, he sees Jesus. Forever.  

You don't have to be good enough, you just have to have Jesus.    


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