The summer olympics kick off tonight and you can’t turn on the TV without seeing the athletes and hearing stories. I love it! I love the patriotism I feel when Team USA enters the arena. I love the celebratory mood that permeates every medal update. What I don’t love, is that it offers another place for me to compare myself. As a little girl, I remember watching the gymnasts (summer) and skaters (winter) and comparing my body to theirs. Ridiculous? Yes. But it’s a habit that started young. You’ve probably heard the saying, “A habit is like a cozy bed. It’s easy to sink into and hard to get out of.”
In the last two days I’ve become aware of a couple of public confessions. (No, I’m not talking about Kristen Stewart’s confessed affair this week. Sheesh. Really? This is news?) The first was a reporter who interviewed USA olympic swimmer ,Cullen Jones, on NBC’s Rock Center. At the end of the interview, as the reporter waded into a swimming pool with Jones she confessed that she can’t swim. I felt a knot form in the pit of my stomach as I watched her fearfully dip her face into the water and promise to learn to swim. Later I jumped on Facebook and noticed a post from a well-known Christian author confessing her life-long habit of yo-yo dieting.
Let me first say that I think it’s wonderful that Donna P. is going to help other women make peace with their bodies as she seeks to do that herself. You go, girl! I am equally happy to hear that the NBC interviewer is going to learn to swim. I’ve shared that same goal for myself in years past. If I’m going to leap into the confession ring, it would be to admit that a significant amount of my life has been consumed with comparisons, and believe me, I usually come-up short.
God and I are wrestling this one out this summer. Who am I? What do I really think? … Note: That’s NOT “What do I say I think when others who I believe might judge me or disagree are around?”! How do I feel about this /or that?
You see, this practice of using others as a measuring stick, rather than looking to God’s Word and the example we have in His Son to reflect who I should be is a bad habit. I’ve discovered that I’m not just comparing my flat hair, wide hips, thick thighs, and oh-so-average brain to my otherwise beautiful, thin, and intelligent friends – I’m also shaping what I think and how I live according to what they think and how they choose to live.
There you have it. My confession. I must keep the promise that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) in front of me at all times.
1. In what areas do you use others as your measuring stick?
2. How do you recalibrate your thinking to reflect God’s Word rather than warped comparisons to others?
3. In what areas of your life have you been successful at this?