We live in a fast paced, instant gratification type of world and unfortunately this can cause us to feel like we are falling short, being held back and subpar at times. But, why does it really matter? What are we trying to prove? Who are we trying to impress? Not only is our world in a “get rich quick, lose weight fast, short cut” frenzy, it can also seem like our success is determined by how much stuff we have, how much money we give away or how much we have accomplished. It seems like everyone finds value by impressing people, some of whom they don’t even like. It is an addiction I call The Custom of Comparison. Can you relate? I love this verse in Romans:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Is it just me, or is there pressure and an expectation that we accept in our culture that we need to work hard all the time? I think we also feel the need to work hard because we feel that everything needs to be “earned” or “deserved”. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel guilty when I’m not working or accomplishing something. It is hard to just sit and relax sometimes. This past year has been hard. I discovered my husband had been living a double life for entire 17 years of marriage. I discovered a lot after he was arrested a little over a year ago. I filed for divorce and found myself wondering how I was going to support my girls with just my part time income. He was the sole “bread winner”. I was surprised to feel God saying that He was going to provide for us through my business and I just needed to trust Him and I needed to rest and heal. He has provided for us in unbelievable ways. In December, I felt like I was done with the “healing” process and ready to jump back into my business full speed ahead, but that night I broke my foot. I had to have surgery and was down for 2 months. I guess I wasn’t done “resting and healing”. Not only did my foot heal quickly, but my heart had some healing to go through too. That time alone with the Lord helped me heal inside and out. We need to accept that God wants to give us good gifts, provide for our needs and bless us. He doesn’t do this because we earned it or deserve it. Let’s stop striving all the time and instead ask our Father for what we want and need and then trust Him to provide and to show us what He wants us to do.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
I hope you begin to re-examine your circumstances without comparing them to other people’s circumstances or expectations. Would you agree that sometimes we put expectations on ourselves from others that aren’t even there to begin with? Why do we do that? I think it is especially true of women. I think we can expect too much out of ourselves because we are trying to please too many people. We want to do it all and we want to do it well. We seem to measure our value in “the doing” instead of just embracing that we are valued just because of “whose” we are and the purpose God has called us to. I love what Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”