Church girls: Have you ever found yourself falling into the trap of comparison, even at church, the place where you grew up learning not to envy? I’ve certainly caught myself more than once.
Don’t worry. There’s no way she felt my gaze. I stood on the balcony, hidden many rows deep, just like my heart of comparison. Since I remembered the chorus from childhood, I didn’t need to read the words. Instead, I analyzed her as I sang each line of the worship song.
“God, you’re so good.”
Are her legs thinner than mine? They might be. Is she wearing heels? That would make them look thinner, of course, that and the dark denim. I wonder how she gets her hair so smooth when she straightens it? That’s a cute sweater set she’s wearing. I think I used to own something like that. That would have looked better than this dress I have on. I can barely breathe because of this stupid shapewear. She’s probably naturally thin and doesn’t have to wear suffocating undergarments.
“God, you’re so good.”
She has such an incredible voice. I wish I was a better singer. I remember leading worship that one time at youth camp. Of course, the mean sound guy told me he turned my mic way down. I guess singing’s still not my thing. Why didn’t I take voice lessons? Then I could have been a worship leader. She’s so in tune with Jesus, I bet she never struggles like I do.
“God, you’re so good. You’re so good to me.”
As I belted out the last line of the song, conviction overwhelmed me. While singing about God’s goodness—to me—I was comparing myself to another woman, sizing her up. At church, nonetheless! Years of Sunday school lessons and youth group studies on the dangers of envying and coveting seemingly thrown out the window while I compared myself to her. Sigh. I had measured myself against her from every angle—using fictional rulers I’d constructed to assess my own value.
Comparison can sneak its way into all areas of our lives, even within our church communities. If you’ve ever caught yourself like I have, can I encourage you to check out my new book, “The Burden of Better?” Together, by the grace of God, we can stand up to comparison!
Learn more here!
Check out my first book on body image, “Compared to Who?” here!