Our world is craving transparency and authenticity. We long to know and be known. I see it every day - whether in a coffee shop, grocery store, gym, church, the gas station. I see it in hollow eyes, hopeful eyes, sad eyes, and even happy eyes. Deep down our souls long to connect in meaningful ways with other humans. We want to know we are loved and accepted for simply who we are. We want to be known and we want to know others. But many find it hard to expose layers underneath the surface. There is so much cultural pressure to appear as through we have it all together. Sometimes life gets messy and it can be scary to let anyone see us inside.
I grew up in a Dallas surburb where there was always a lot of pressure to measure up, even in the church. For so much of my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood I felt that I never measured up, even in the church. For so much of my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood I felt that I never measured up. There was always someone prettier, more talented, smarter, more capable. I was a believer but seriously lacked identity in Jesus.
I compared and measured and tried to prove myself. It was tiring. Exhausting, really.
Brokenness and redemption has produced a deep desire in me to take the risk to live transparently, vulnerable, and authentic - on my best days and on my worst days. Experiencing how fully known I am by Jesus and yet so fully loved by Him I began to see how deep and real His love for me really is. He's not afraid of the mess. This began to break the cycle of comparison, giving me freedom to have true identity in him and begin living the life I was made to live.
We are so loved and accepted by Jesus, no matter who we are, no matter what we've done, and no matter what has been done to us. He came to set us free from all the sin and all the stuff - walls, masks, labels, pressures and comparisons that steal our living the life we were made to live. We are fully known by Him and fully loved. This is our identity and security.
Living in the comparison cycle is exhausting, and more importantly, it is not the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. He wants us to have an integrated life in which we are the same on the outside as we are on the inside. We don't have to fear other's opinions or hide messy hearts be loved and accepted.
We all need cheerleaders. We need to cheer others in their race. Comparison can kill our joy over who we are in Christ and the blessings God has given us. It can rob us of our identity and destiny because we are too busy wishing for someone else's life. Only the intimacy and confidence in God to walk in the calling He has uniquely planned for each of us will bring deep satisfaction to our souls.
Read Jeremiah 1:4-7 Have you ever felt too young or old to do something God was calling you to do? Have you ever felt inadequate or inexperienced? Did this cause you to compare yourself to others who appeared more capable or likely?