The Comparison Trap.
Confession time: I am the biggest body shamer of all time. I curse my large hips daily, shudder at the number on the scale, and have been a general complainer towards my appearance for as long as I can remember. For years I have tried on and off to work out, eat cleaner, and be more intentional with how I take care of my body. However, nothing has stuck. This past week, week eleven of my 90 days toward contentment (for more information, see my past posts), I not only have joined a gym, but I have eaten significantly healthier and exercised SIX days in the past week. Only the Lord can explain how I have managed to do this.
Although it has only been a week and I have seen no physical transformations, I can see a difference in the way that I feel both physically and emotionally. My schedule starts earlier now with workouts in the morning, a banana before a run and a boiled egg after, and time with my coffee and morning devotional. This is quickly becoming my favorite part of the day.
When I created this blog, I not only wanted to be able to use it as an accountability tool for myself while taking part in the contentment challenge, but I also want to use it to serve as a way to spread the gospel and share how the Lord has worked in my life. In this past week, He has moved significantly through shedding light on my incessant need to compare myself to others. From the very beginning of my devotional The Comparison Trap author Sandra Stanley speaks of how comparison triggers discontent. So, while I may not be purchasing new clothes or going out to eat with friends, I am not content because I continue to compare my appearance, my relationships, and even my intelligence to others. How do words like this glorify God and thank Him for the immeasurable blessings given to us each day? They don’t.
By saying, “God, I hate my body. My hips are huge. I will never be thin enough, or pretty enough, or ____ enough,” we are essentially saying, “Thanks for dying for me on the cross and saving me from my sins, but that isn’t enough. You aren’t enough.” That thought hurts me to my core. In order to truly be content, we must tap into Christ’s strength.
I was driving in my car today, in a hurry as I always am, trying to run errands for work when my favorite hymn came through my speakers: In Christ Alone. I began singing, thanking God for becoming flesh to bear my shame. Then, I burst into tears, overcome by how beautiful and perfect He is and how insignificant and sinful I am. However, while He may be infallible and my existence is completely unnecessary to Him, He still chose to die for me, to pursue me no matter the cost.
“No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”
-In Christ Alone, written by Keith Getty
So here’s to my last full week of the contentment challenge. May I focus less on comparing myself, my body, and my future to others and more on pursuing the path that God has set before me!