Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The me I want to be...

You know the phrase Keeping up with Joneses? I have been known to fall into this trap a time or two. It's so easy to see what others have and want it myself. I know I'm saying anything new here, because I think it's something that everyone experiences in some way or form. Maybe you don't want to have expensive clothes or an expensive car, but maybe you want to have that job or promotion that your best friend just got at work. It's so easy to look at the people around us and compare ourselves. Especially in a world where we're constantly seeing the "highlights" of our friends and acquaintances lives daily on the internet.  My parents and my husband have done a good job keeping me grounded most my life, and I've never been once to over indulge on things, but that doesn't stop me from feeling a little jealous of the friend that got the pair of $350 boots that I can't afford.

I started going to a new church in Charlotte right before the new year, and this past Sunday the pastor started a sermon series called "The Me I Want To Be." This past week he spoke on the types of "me's" that we don't want to be. The one that struck me the most was this one...

The me I don't want to be...the me I think I should be.

It's really easy to tell ourselves we need to be this and we need to be that because that's we see other people doing. I am so guilty of this. I see the way someone else lives there life, and I fall into a trap of thinking that's how I should be living my own life. I see friend's buying new cars and homes, and I so often think, "Oh, I need that too," when that is far from the case.  

Here's the part of his sermon that really got me though. His next words are what hit me.

"When you compare yourself with someone else, you're comparing your insides with their outsides."

Read that a second time if you need to. It's powerful. While sitting there and listening to the pastor, I suddenly realized how ridiculous my wants and needs for my exterior appearance can be. When I look at someone else and think "they have it all," I don't see the whole picture. I am taking my feelings, and comparing it with only the parts of them I can see. From the outside, I don't know that they're completely broken on the inside. Or maybe they're hurting due to trouble at home with their spouse. I also don't know anything about their financial situation just because they have a big house and a nice car. There's very little that you can tell about a person from the outside, so why do we compare ourselves to them from that view?

Maybe this isn't a struggle for you. I try hard not compare myself to others, but it's definitely something that can be a struggle. My prayer is that I can be secure in who I am, based on my insides. That my appearances and no one else's appearances can sway the person that I want to be and the person that I am called to be.


30 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful post and just what I needed to read today! I struggle with the same feelings quite often but you are right- what you see is not always what you get. Thanks for this!

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  2. This is absolutely wonderful!!!!

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  3. I struggle with this a lot...particularly when I see other people get pregnant after I've been waiting so long. But there is a passage in the Bible where Jesus says (paraphrase), "What's it to you if I want him to live until I come back? YOU follow ME."

    I try to remember that when I'm feeling really frustrated. I don't know their situation, and they don't know mine.

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  4. Very well written! I am guilty of this and I try so hard not to be. I dont want my husband to ever feel that what he provides for me, both financially and emotionally, isn't enough.

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  5. I love this post friend, thank you for sharing!

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  6. Very nice post. I struggle with this often, but your pastor is so very right in what he said about comparing your insides with their outsides. I try to remind myself often that we truly don't know the 'whole story.' But it's something I think we all struggle with daily.

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  7. This is such a wonderful post. When I find myself coveting what other people have, whether it be clothes, jobs, children, it's like I'm telling God that all that He's provided for me thus far hasn't been good enough. I pray daily that I don't fall into this trap. You brought up such a great point that we only see part of it, we don't see the whole picture and don't know all that they're going through...a good thing for me to remember. Loved this post!

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  8. Such a powerful statement - I love it!

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  9. Good post. I struggle with this too.

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  10. I really needed that. Thank you!

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  11. I think this is so powerful as everyone can relate one way or another. And the quote I seriously read twice and then read your immediate next sentence to read it again. Amazing!!

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  12. Amen, thank you for this post.

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  13. So cool! Thanks for posting, I so needed this!

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  14. Great post, Rachel! I don't think there is anyone that can say they don't try to compare themselves to others or don't wish they had something someone else has. Today's world is SO competitive and it's a fact of life to compare yourselves with others. It's sad, but it's the truth. In a way, it makes the world go'round. But I think the thing we need to change is HOW we compare ourselves to others. I want to compare myself to someone who does amazing volunteer work or that goes on mission trips to help other people. I don't want to compare myself to the people in this blog world (which I do). If I'm going to compare myself I want it to be for the good of others, which is hard to do. It definitely makes me think about who I am and who I want to be--is it really for me and my family or because of others around me?

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  15. Yessss. So so true. You never really know what people are going through and you're right -- we only see the "positives" through facebook and blog and twitter posts. Everyone has their own secrets, struggles, fears, worries and it isn't fair to compare outside vs inside. Love this post!

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  16. I love this post Rachel!! I can so relate to all of this. And it's so true, you never know what a person is carrying with them. I try to remind myself of this often. Thanks for this post and the food for thought!

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  17. I really struggle with this too. The quote from your pastor is great-so true!l

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  18. Great post and something to really think about that we need to think about more often.

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  19. A friend's dad told me recently that he always tries to ask himself, "Is this eternally significant?" Of course it's hard to focus on that, but it's helped me a lot lately when the little green monster rears his ugly head.

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  20. We go to the same church. Don't you just love Chris? I am so glad you found your way there!

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  21. this is SUCH a good post! Something that all of us need to remember at times. We need to be the person WE want to be, not who others want us to be

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  22. Fantastic post. I never even thought about "comparing your insides with their outsides." I struggle with this a lot, and this is a good thing to remember.

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  23. This is such a wonderful post, and I couldn't agree more. I recently realized that one of the only things I dislike about blogging is that I allow it to make me feel like what I have is insufficient. Whether it's our house, my clothes, my fairly boring weekends, or our non-existent vacations.... I've realized other peoples blogs frequently make me feel like we don't have enough, which is incredibly dumb. This quote is perfect, and is a good reminder to all of us.

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  24. I love this post and it's such an important reminder. I've realized comparing myself to others only makes me feel insecure or not good enough. It's so easy to forget how great you or your life is when you're constantly comparing it to others. I'm so guilty of this and am trying my best to stop making comparisons.

    Thanks for sharing and making me and others feel not so alone in this struggle.

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  25. Thanks for sharing this. I don't have this struggle as much with material things but more "place in life." Like, I see a couple who are where I think my husband and I should be (financially, family-wise, etc) and I really struggle not to compare.

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  26. What a powerful statement! I love thinking of it from that perspective!

    What church are you attending? I'd like to check it out as we don't have a church home yet.

    Have a great weekend & I hope to see you soon!

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  27. I completely agree with this post. I am totally guilty of wanting things from others. I need to remember this message.

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  28. Just read this now what a fantastic quote - something I really need to remember more often. Thanks x

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