Have you ever had a weird compliment that left you feeling more bad (or at least confused) than good?
Recently, a friend was complimenting my outfit, and it was really sweet of her… Then, another person chimed in that, this look is great on me because my body type isn’t like hers. She was insinuating that that was a bad thing… Basically, she was comparing herself to me. it was like she stole a compliment that I’d been given, taken it, and turned it into a diss.
I left the conversation and started wondering, how often do we compare ourselves to others? How often do we disguise an insult towards ourselves as a compliment to others?
We’ll say, “Oh, you’re so much better at that than I am.”
“I wish I had what you have…”
“Ugh, I’m not that smart at math! You’re SO much smarter than I am.”
The thing is, if you’re saying that you’re really bad at something– but saying I’m better… That’s not really a compliment to me, it’s just an insult to you. Also, it almost always makes the other person feel awkward. What are you supposed to say if you’re really good at something and someone else is saying they’re terrible at it? It’s a tricky place to be in!
You start to feel like you have to say:
“Oh no! You always look good too!”
“NO! You’re SO smart! You’re probably better than me.”
So, here I am thinking about this comparison thing, and then another situation came up. I was walking behind this older man and I wanted to pass him! I was thinking, I have to be faster! Haha… Competitive much?!
Then, I started thinking about Jesus. Jesus was never competing with anyone, he was just being Jesus. It totally blew my mind! I realized, Jesus never thought, oh I wish I was better than Frank! Frank is so great… Hmm… How can I have better faith than Christy?
Jesus just did Jesus stuff. Jesus worked to please the Father from a place of knowing that he was completely loved and he didn’t need to strive or compare.
I asked God (as I was walking behind this guy), So what does that look like then? We never look at others to get better? He spoke clearly to me that, It’s not about COMPARING yourself to someone else… It’s about competing with the person you were yesterday and allowing the people around you to ENCOURAGE you to come up to your full potential. For example, right then and there, God showed me that I could’ve easily been walking faster and could’ve gotten to the destination sooner. When I started to see this guy walking fast, I wanted to be faster. He encouraged me to be better (ok, I’m reaching a bit deep with this story ;), but you get me!).
We’re all walking completely unique paths in life. None of us can really compare ourselves anyways! So, instead, embrace where you are and where others are. Give a compliment without insulting yourself. Be encouraged to walk faster (LOL!), rather than having to ‘beat that guy’ (Haha…. Oh man). Share in the accomplishments and hardships of others (and yourself) knowing that, we’re all different anyways!
What do you guys think? What’s one thing you find yourself constantly comparing to others?