“The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge! The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make for their carefully shaped works are a fraud. These idols have no breath or power” Jeremiah 51:17
You may say, “What does this verse have to do with comparison?” but I gasped when the Lord led me to this place in the bible. He impressed the subject of comparison on my heart several months ago and has woven the topic into my conversations with good friends and my husband, often. So, it was not surprising when he had the perfect verse to sum up the things we have been discussing as of late. Let me attempt to explain. We live in a world today that is very “in your face”. Bright colored ads, large billboards, overt sexuality, reality TV shows documenting everything from pulling catfish out of underwater holes with bare arms, to raising 18 kids, to fashion, to tattoo wars, musicians who are trying to be the most unusually dressed (think Lady GaGa in her “meat” get-up), social media broadcasting every last detail of your friends’ lives, sport’s stars breaking decade old records daily, and sadly, the media exploiting tragedies for ratings.
To take it a step further, our “in your face” world is becoming an increasingly “fabricated” world. Most of the areas that we as humans place earthly value have some component that is fake. For example, it is hard to know anymore which world-class athletes are competing with God-given talent versus those who take performance-enhancing drugs. False sense of what true athletic ability even looks like or even what real competition is. The models, actors, and actresses you see in magazines are so heavily airbrushed, their skin is made to look flawless and their bodies are reshaped and resized until just “right” with the simple click of a mouse. False sense of what “real” human bodies look like. Pinterest has you believing if you don’t do all of the darling homemade holiday treats for your kids, make gourmet looking meals every night for dinner, or decorate your house like HGTV, then you are a flop as a wife and mother. False sense of what being a truly good mother/parent is. Social media has us examining our seemingly pathetic lives compared to our friends who go on monthly vacations to exotic locations, have the most romantic and thoughtful spouse EVER (just look at the bouquet of flowers, diamond earrings, and new car he just bought them), have the most “Friends” of anyone in the world, is always smiling, never has a bad day at work, never has a sick child, always has on the perfect outfit, with perfectly fixed hair and “loves their life” every single day of the year. False sense of reality.
Now, this one may sting, but the phony sense of financial security that we are trying to portray to others is just that, phony. We buy houses that are too big and expensive, clothes, cars, toys for our kids, toys for us, electronics, more clothes (and shoes), furniture, etc. all, if not mostly all on credit, not real money. False sense of financial stability. Do you see yet how all this ties into our opening verse? We are the craftsmen who are disgraced by the idols (whether they be athletes, business moguls, perfect bodies, perfect lives, or whatever) we have created. Do you hear me? NONE of it is REAL! The verse says it perfectly, “their carefully shaped works are a fraud.” We wonder why we feel like we never measure up. We exhaust ourselves trying to live up to a self/society-created standard that doesn’t even exist. Please remember, the bar has not been set by God, it has been set by man. God loves you just the way he created you. The verse goes on to say none of these idols have “breath or power,” but you and I both know who does. The one True God. When we begin to become jealous for, or discontented by the idols we create, then we have lost sight of the Lord’s plan for us and our lives, and the many blessings he has already bestowed upon us. In I Samuel 12:24, the bible says “be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of the wonderful things he has done for you.” So, when I begin to get bogged down with feelings of inadequacy, I turn to the word of God to see what He says about me, instead of comparing myself to others. In the end, His is the only opinion that really matters. The Lord, the Author of our lives says that:
-We have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)
-I am a child of God (John 1:12)
-I am a fellow heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
-I have been accepted by Christ (Romans 15:7)
-In Christ Jesus, I have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption
(I Corinthians 1:30)
-I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
-I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God (Ephesians 1:3)
-I am God’s workmanship, created to produce good works (Ephesians 2:10)
-I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
-God loves me and has chosen me (I Thessalonians 1:4)
Since God found you and I to be valuable enough to have His one and only Son die for us, then let’s try really hard to believe what he thinks of us. Blemishes, bumps, mistakes, bad decisions, normalcy, and all.