I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle and you will eat and be satisfied.
(Deuteronomy 11:15, NLT)
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
We live in a culture of comparison. Media bombards us with the newest, best, greatest, prettiest, handsomest and so on the cycle continues. We are conditioned to be beyond satisfaction; why would we ever be satisfied? We should desire better, more. We should strive to be more. Never settle. We are trained to look at what everyone else is or has and measure it to what we have and are. Of course, we always come up short in some way and we should. After all, if we don’t lose out in the comparison, we will cease striving to somehow measure up to this ill-conceived objective.
I would never advise myself or my children to just sit on the sofa and never seek to achieve or strive for success; however, if we are consumed with achievement, we lose the ability to rest and be satisfied. Yet, isn’t that what God has asked us to do? Be satisfied? We can never be sated if we abide in longing. We will always be in a state of yearning if we continue to contrast someone else’s life to ours and perceive theirs as somehow better.
Women are great at comparing. Really, we are fantastic at it! We can go into the grocery store excited for an upcoming TV night with our family and come out feeling completely defeated because we realized we are buying chips and dip while the girl in front of us at the check-out is buying kale and no-salt almonds.
“She makes healthier choices than I do. I am failing my family.”
A trip to our favorite dress shop can send us home empty handed because
“All those women look so much better than I do.”
We go to women’s bible study and come away feeling like God is judging us because
“I will never be as spiritual as she is.”
Comparing ourselves to other women sometimes seems like it is part of our DNA!
Rather than looking at other women and comparing ourselves, what if we see them as sisters: just like us with their own tastes, habits, successes, failures, desires and shortcomings.
Comparison kills. It kills our ability to hear God when He whispers a call to go speak to that woman and compliment her or hug her. It kills our ability to see need. It kills our words of affirmation. It kills our satisfaction with who God created us to be! We are suddenly very dissatisfied with our looks, our health, our home, our job, our man.
Dissatisfaction, or better named discontentment, leads us to seek other than, better than, more than. I need a better diet, a better job, a better home, more money, a better man. We are then in a constant state of stress and striving. God told us to cease striving. Psalm 46:10 “Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God.” Our minds will never rest if we are never satisfied. A mind and soul that is not at rest will fall into sin. Sin kills.
Death by discontentment comes by many small cuts. One leads to another. First, it’s our waistline, then it’s our clothes, then it’s our home and then…. well you get the picture. You may have lived this thought pattern. I have. So, sister, how do we find satisfaction, contentment? Look back at our scriptures today. We are satisfied by the provision of our Father.
When we are satisfied by God, we don’t have to want and strive. We can rest and abide in Him. Life is good, breath is refreshing, our home a refuge, our man – well we love him! Life is so much better when we are souls at rest. Does this newly found satisfaction keep us from reaching for a higher standard? No, but it keeps it in perspective. Achievement is not the enemy, but distortion in the form of comparison is. We can rest and achieve at the same time. A soul at rest with what God calls us to instead of a mind in turmoil because we never score high enough on the comparison scale.
Girl, be all that you can be according to HIS PURPOSE. That is what we are called to do. Has God called you to be healthier? Strive to eat better. Do you like that dress and how it looks? Buy it, wear it and smile big! Go to bible study, join hearts with those girls and run toward the Father together! You strengthen and support each other. Has God called you to start a ministry, a business, move to a different home, neighborhood or state? GO! Do it!
What He calls you to, He will provide for in His own wonderful timing. What will come as a result? Stress and strife? Nope. Peace girl, peace! Even if it’s sometimes difficult and the work is arduous, you will have that fulfillment and stillness that comes only from God. Confidence instead of comparison. Gratified and not grappling. Peace in the pursuit.
Life rather than death. Life that brings life to others.