[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Beth Wooldridge. I thought it was so topical in this age of social media. Thanks, Beth!]
Sister Perfect Christian
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (Gal. 6:4-5 MSG)
We all have one. That one friend that we kind of hate. Don’t get me wrong we love her as a sister in Christ, but we hate how perfect her life is. Everything from her children to her home, her car, her hair, her nails, everything about her is perfect.
You never see her with her hair on top of her head in a sloppy bun or without makeup. You never see her with four nails that are not painted and three that are chipped and half painted. When she pulls up to let her kids out at school water bottles and snack papers and don’t fly out the door or roll under her car. When her family arrives at church they look like they stepped out of a JCrew catalog.
Yep, I hate her.
I like to call her “Sister Perfect Christian.” Because she seems to have it all together. Nothing is ever out of place. No one shuts their eyes in the fabulous Christmas Card pictures, and their vacation photo sessions leave the pics of your kids at the beach looking like some sort of abstract art. No one is looking at the right time and someone is usually screaming.
This phenomenon that is destroying our self-worth and causing us to compare ourselves to the perfect lives of others has been called The Highlight Reel. Through social media sights we are able to see the best of peoples lives. We see cropped and edited picture and posts about how perfect their husbands and children are. We see only the highlights, and boy do we start looking around and comparing our lives to theirs.
Many, many years ago I had a friend that was very much like what I have described. We had met through church and I was always in awe of how put together she was. Her ability to quote scripture, her highlighted Bible, and her perfectly manicured toes made her everything I aspired to be. However, things were not as they seemed.
She later confided in me about a horrible situation within her marriage. She told me she struggled to get out of bed everyday, and how keeping up the pretense was slowly killing her. I was completely blown away. I repented. I prayed for her. I learned a valuable lesson.
As I tell the fabulous ladies in my Bible Study class, we do not know what goes on in other people’s homes or behind closed doors. If it looks perfect, pray that it is because usually it isn’t. None of us have perfect lives, but we do have a perfect Savior. What if we were to stop this, today? What if we were to start looking to God, our Father, the King of all Kings and stop looking around us and playing the comparison game.
The book of James 1:17 has helped put things into perspective for me. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
When I read this I can clearly see all of the perfect gifts that have been bestowed on me. I see salvation I was unworthy of and blessing beyond measure. I see undeserved favor and love that will never end or change with my circumstances. I see a God that loves you and wants a personal relationship with you through his son Jesus Christ.
So, the next time we are tempted to compare our lives to others or wish we were more like “Sister Perfect Christian,” we will think of our own perfect gifts. The things God has so graciously bestowed on us and into our care. Remember, you do not know what battle she is facing or what trial she is walking through. We are all in this together. It is time we stop comparing our circumstances and start praying for each other.
We are, after all, sisters.