Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why You Don't Want to Be Like Her

My family! I can name almost all of the people in this picture. Norkus/Chase Family Reunion, July 1940

  • “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” (Galatians 6:4-5; NIV)

In the mid-1980s evangelist Dave Roever (Ree-ver) came to our church and gave his testimony. He is a Vietnam vet and survived a white phosphorous grenade that went off next to his face. He endured years of treatment and reconstructive surgery, but even today the scars on his body are obvious to anybody who passes him on the street. Dave Roever has travelled this nation and the globe sharing God's healing, mercy, and love. Many have come to know Jesus through his ministry, which has grown and is still reaching people around the world today...even in Vietnam, the one-time enemy!

Years later I knew a man who said he prayed to have a testimony like Dave Roever’s and to be able to reach people the way Roever did. God reminded him such a testimony could be arranged if he was willing to have a phosphorous grenade blow up next to his face. He recanted his prayer.

Why do we endeavor to be like others? We see their successes and wish we could be like them. What we don’t see is the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, frustrations, set-backs, emotions, pain, heartache and more along the way. We just see the success and want that, as if it was just handed over like a gift.

I was thinking of writing this post before I went to church on Sunday and Pastor said something that I made note of. Here’s his quote:

  • “People don’t know the price you had to pay to get that position in life. Nobody wants to go through the loss or the let down to get there. But that’s part of the success.”

I recently overheard a woman say to her friend, “I wish I could be like you. You’ve lost over 100 pounds and I just can’t do it.”

I happen to know both ladies and the friend who wants to be like her 100-pound-loss friend doesn’t really realize what she had to go through to lose that 100 pounds. It was years of battle and confrontation of evilness from her past. It was years of heartache and counseling. It was, and still is, an emotional battle for her every day.

By saying, “I wish I could be like you,” she was wishing for an awful lot. I don’t think she realized what she was “asking”. Would she really be prepared to go through what her friend went through to get where she is?

The problem with food is that we need it to sustain life. We can’t live without it. Alcoholics, smokers, drug addicts have a different battle to face because they can walk away and say, “I’ll never touch that again,” and they don’t need to in order to live.  (Note: I realize it’s not that simple, but work with me here.)

Eating is a whole different thing. We HAVE to eat to live! We need the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, fiber, protein etc. We can’t just walk away from it and never touch it again, or we would die.

So my question to “the wisher” is this. How committed are you to make the change your friend did to lose over 100 pounds? Are you willing to endure the counseling, pain, raw emotions and more? Are you willing to confront the reason why you battle to start with?

Or is your battle more with self control?

  • "But the fruit of the Spirit is...self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23; NIV)

Or maybe just an innocent lack of knowledge about how to nourish your body and take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit?

  • "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16; NASB)

Are you committed to making a change in your lifestyle choices? A real commitment. It’s hard. It takes a conscious effort to change. It takes WORK and learning new habits and trying new foods.

It also takes TIME!

God has made each one of us unique. We should not compare ourselves to the others we see around us. We don’t know the path they’ve walked. The grass is not always greener. Success probably didn’t come easy to them.

I recently had a woman say to me, “Your life is perfect, you don’t need to worry.”

How I longed to tell her of all my shortcomings, battles, insecurities and “issues”…and that’s just from the past couple of years! I’m glad I can put on a strong front, but my life is FAR from perfect. Don’t strive to be like me or you will be sorely disappointed!

But strive to be like Jesus. He is perfect.
  • “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:14; NIV)

And His plan for you is perfect.
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11; NIV)

You may not be where you want to be in regards to an area of your life, but keep your eyes on Him and seek Him for what He would have for you.

He may show you new and creative ways to mend a relationship. He may lead you to the ‘perfect’ someone to help with emotional or spiritual issues. He may intervene in your finances in ways you never imagined.

Just trust Him. He has a plan for YOU, one that nobody else on this planet can accomplish.

I used to compare myself to others and ended up only feeling beat down in the process. My hair wasn’t as cute, my clothes weren’t as pretty, my face was the wrong shape, blah, blah, blah.

But I learned who I am in Christ. He taught me about where I came from and what my heritage is and I learned much about my ancestors who came before me. In that, I learned to be content with myself and stopped comparing myself to others. Today I’m thrilled with who I am, what I look like and even love what I wear. (Thank you, Stein Mart!)

I pray you learn to be content with who you are in Him. It’s not worth it to compare yourself to others. You only waste time and beat yourself up in the process. And that will cause you to miss God’s BEST for your life.

Does this describe you? Do you want to talk about this? Are you feeling like you don’t know where to turn or what to do? Send me an email and we’ll “talk”. Or find a trusted friend you can be honest with. But please remember to count the cost before wishing to be like someone else. Just be who God created YOU to be.