As I went about doing my kitchen chores, I couldn’t help listening to my children’s conversation.
“You do not color outside the line”, said the big sister to the little one.
“I know, but it’s my homework, not yours”, she responded.
“Mummy never likes it when we color outside the line, that’s why she likes my painting better”, big sister replied.
At that instant, I knew I had to interrupt their conversation before it escalated into something else. Truth be told, I have always loved neat and beautiful paintings (I was an excellent art student back in high school) and I (unconsciously/consciously) made my older daughter tow my footsteps.
The younger sister on the other hand, detests anything that deals with coloring. In a nutshell, I find myself comparing my kids with each other or perhaps comparing them with me. I’m sure most of us can relate to this.
But the truth is: COMPARISONS ARE DETESTABLE.
If you want to be a miserable mortal, then compare. You compare when you place someone beside someone else for the purpose of emphasizing the differences or showing the likenesses. This applies to places and things as well as people.
We can become so proficient at this activity that we sustain our addiction through an unconscious force of habit. Inadvertently, the wheels of our thinking slide over into the ruts of this detestable mindset. Comparison appears in at least two forms.
First: We compare ourselves with others. You can imagine the results already. It is either you are prompted to feel smug and proud because your strengths outweigh others weaknesses . . . or, more often, you begin to feel threatened, and inferior because you fail to measure up. Striving to emulate a self-imposed standard, you begin to slide from the pleasant level of achievement of the real you to the sinking sands of I don’t know who. This sometimes leads to extreme role-playing where you try every way to adapt and alter your portrait to fit into someone else’s frame.
In simpler terms, you’ve given away your real personality for a phony disguise. That’s detestable! Paul wrote about similar sentiments to a church that had become known for its comparison cliques:
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”. (2 Cor. 10:12 NIV). The very next verse tells us, “Our goal is to measure up to God’s plan for us”. Not for someone else, but for you, personally. God’s great desire for us is that we fulfill His plan for us in our own lives. In His way—His timing.
Second: We compare others with others. This is worse than unfair; it’s senseless and often, cruel. Children suffer most from well-meaning adults who show off one child’s talents in front of another child in some misbegotten effort at motivation. This relates to the illustration above with my kids. That sort of comparison is toxic. It poisons a child’s self-image and smothers the very motivation the parent was seeking to arouse.
But children aren’t the only victims. We find ourselves comparing preachers and teachers; church philosophies and orders of service; soloists and song leaders; personalities and prayers; wives and mothers; families and friends; homes and cars; salaries and jobs; husbands and fathers; luxuries and limitations; pain and pleasure.
That’s detestable! Why not accept people and places and things exactly as they are? Isn’t that true maturity? Why not accept and adjust to differences as quickly and enthusiastically as God forgives our wrongs and stands behind our efforts to try, and try again? When love flows, acceptance grows.
Written by: Kehinde Oguntunde for #Moving Forward With Yinka
**About the writer**
Kehinde works as a Data Integrity Specialist. She is happily married to Sola. They both reside in Philadelphia and are blessed with 2 beautiful girls and an adorable boy! She enjoys working with children, reading, writing and of course singing with her husband.