When our neighbor’s home went up on the market recently, our family joked about watching and checking out all potential buyers as they came to look at the house. We had a vested interest in knowing who would be moving in; after all, we were living right across the street. So, a few days later I walked into the kitchen and there she was. My curious little 7-year-old girl was standing there looking out the window, with a pair of binoculars in her hands, staring at the perspective buyers who were there to see the house!

I said, "Gracie, what in the world are you doing??? Here, give me those so I can see better." Lol.

We laughed about it later, but this truth hit home. I was reminded of the other times in life when we find ourselves picking up those binoculars, or the microscopes, as we look ever so closely at one another. We examine, we stare, and we search really hard to find the imperfections. Somehow, we falsely believe that if we’re just able to see the weaknesses, the struggles, in someone else, we can somehow feel better about ourselves. And once in a while, clutched in our deepest insecurities, we might even secretly wish that someone else would fail.

It’s all such a trap. It will never make us feel better, but only fuel the fire for more jealousy and comparison to build. When the validation of ourselves and our own self-worth is based on another’s failures, or successes, we will never feel good enough. We are destined for a constant cycle of striving and defeat. It robs us of the right perspective and leaves us feeling empty.

Because here’s truth in that battlefield of comparison and over-evaluation.  When we’re critical of others, it really says more about us, than them.

We often look for approval from everyone around us of whether or not we’re doing a good enough job. We even measure ourselves against other women, striving to feel better about the job we are doing.

We listen to the accusing lies that we know are not from God, but play over and over in our minds, “a good mom, a successful woman, would never do that, why can’t you get it together, why can’t you be more like…” We begin to swallow them down, accepting, believing it all to be truth, applying one big “fail” directly to self, feeling like we never quite measure up.

But what if we all chose to live differently?

What if we set down our binoculars and high powered lenses?

What if we let God be judge and we just chose to be friend?

What if we stopped criticizing and started speaking encouragement?

What if we brought our own mess and struggles to God instead of striving and trying to measure up or look better than someone else?

What if we spoke out words of blessing to others, instead of withholding them, out of our own feelings of jealousy or comparison?

That would be so very…

Powerful.

We hold much greater ability to influence this world for good, when we, as women, are willing to link arms with those around us. Instead of looking for the weaknesses, we can focus on accentuating the strengths. Instead of highlighting our differences, we can choose to find the common ground. We can make the choice, to spend our days supporting other women, and release the need to judge, over-evaluate, and tear down.

There will always be someone else doing “more,” doing “better.” Let it go.

Incessant comparisons with others around you will leave you feeling cheated, betrayed, and disillusioned. But choosing contentment and finding confidence in Him will foster joy.  It will pour out to those around you, it will attract others, it will shine, because true beauty is best reflected in a heart that finds security first in God.

If you find yourself in the heat of this battle, 5 things may help: