Whether knowingly or subconsciously, occasionally or habitually, we often compare our looks, talents and personalities to those of others, and examine ourselves against another human being, as if that human being was the standard, or the “norm.”
In this social media driven culture—one that has grown so visual that it has officially put the term “selfie” in the Oxford Dictionary—our lives have a tendency to double as a public journal, documenting and broadcasting every achievement, milestone, and success story. And in a culture like this, comparing our looks and lives becomes hard not to do. We can’t help but notice that people are skinnier, taller, shorter, curvier, more muscular, darker, lighter—the list goes on. We also can’t help but see that our friends and even distant acquaintances are living lives that unfold faster or smoother than ours. And it is these inescapable differences and variations that prompt us to compare.
We begin to doubt, dislike, and even resent our own traits and journeys, and deep down, long for an appearance, or a life path, that is less like the one we have. Ironically, the things that make us different are the very things that God wishes to preserve, because the God that created Heaven and earth personally created you and your life—intentionally! He brought splendor out of darkness and decorated the canvas we know as earth with works too remarkable to fathom—one of them being you!
There are over 7.2 billion people on the earth, which means God fashioned 7.2 billion different bodies, with 7.2 different personalities, and strategically formed 7.2 billion walks of life. While some may be similar, no two are the same. There is no standard for beauty and no normal way of life. Therefore, the act of comparison is completely futile when it comes to people, because God does not replicate. He is creative, and purposefully crafts each human differently.
The creator doesn’t make mistakes. The maker of majesty produces only flawless, faultless, seamless work, and to wish to change any of it is to assume you are a better artist than the one who sculpted the world. God is proud of his art, and jealous for the inimitable masterpiece that is you. Therefore, let the only thing you change about yourself be the things that keep you from drawing closer to the Lord.
- Has looking at someone else’s appearance or lifestyle ever made you feel “bad” about yourself? Less attractive, less talented, etc? Knowing that no two creations are alike, can you try to understand that God made you with/without certain qualities for a reason?
- What features do you like about yourself? List them. Repeatedly thank God for them. Practice these types of gratitude prayers, and notice that overtime, rejoicing over his creation (you) brings glory to him, and an overall sense of joy to your life.
Written by Evan Jones . Artwork by Phoebe Shen