BY LEANN DILBECK –
It is clearly a female trap and starts very early and plagues even grown women. It diminishes the value of their unique traits. It will cause insecurities that will ultimately produce a feeling of inadequacy. It cultivates opportunities to create lifetime scars. It’s called the comparison trap.
It seems to start at such a young age… wanting to be “just like” your BFF… dressing like twinkies and of course, at that age, it’s harmless. But then we grow older and the trend continues. Remember that awkward middle school age? You can’t completely change how you are… you can’t get rid of your freckles and braces but you can certainly modify how you dress and act to attempt to fit in with the cover model off of Seventeen magazine that has THE perfect blonde hair and THE perfect teeth and as luck would also have it, has THE locker above you.
Some grown women continue to be plagued with it and if it is not comparing their clothes and purses, it’s comparing homes or maybe even figures, or sadly, continuing to infect the next generation by comparing children or maybe even families. Eventually, many women break free from it but the trend appears to be multi-cultural and universal. The danger of it all is that it is impossible to “win,” because we have each strategically been created to be different.
What the unhealthy and dangerous comparison trap causes is women to “compete” with each other… when in reality, we should strive to “complete” each other. Our Creator strongly desires for us to complete one another — encouraging each other’s strengths while discovering and embracing who He created us to be.
Paul explains why in 1 Corinthians 12:18-20: “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
The comparison trap sets you up to lose and lose every single time because you will be comparing your internal issues with only what you observe of someone else’s external appearance. What may appear to be the “perfect family” on the outside is not always so. Each family, just as each person, has its own struggles but many are more skilled in camouflaging it to the public eye.
The only way to break free from this degenerative trap is to first, embrace who you are and how God created you to be instead of trying to be something or someone you are not.
The second is to celebrate our differences. God made some of us people-oriented and sensitive to others’ feelings, while some of us are more task-oriented and lower on empathy. He created those who love to talk and live life on the fly, while others love to listen and schedule plans in advance.
When we can recognize that when all of those unique traits are woven together, the fabric is not only stronger because some of the threads are made just a bit thicker and from different materials but also beautiful because of the contrast, it is then that we can become edifying and encouraging to each other.
All for His Glory –