His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness,
through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence,
by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promise.
2 Peter 1:3-4a
Known Fact: I’m a hard worker (bonus!) and a perfectionist (meh) and I hate failure (sigh).
To ensure that I’m not failing, I use all kinds of “measuring sticks” by which to gauge my performance.
When I was first married, my measurement of a good housewife was that the whole house was deep cleaned, top to bottom twice a week and the sheets were changed at least once a week.
Laughable, I know! I failed. Miserably, of course. And I felt like the worst housewife ever. If I had only known how my standards would shift over eleven years… (No way am I telling you how often I change my sheets now!)
In general, I insist that I hold myself to doing one load of laundry per day so that I don’t get behind. The problem is, that at this moment, there are 15 loads of laundry souring on the floor of my closet. Clearly, I haven’t done consistent laundry in, well, a long time. 🙂
I have all kinds of ridiculous standards when it comes to my performance in pretty much all areas of my life.
Parenting….I’m almost certain to fall prey to comparing my inconsistencies with a friend’s consistencies (or a neighbor’s or that mom at church).
Marriage….I don’t have to look too far before I think of all the things I should or shouldn’t be doing to be a better wife, especially when the standard is someone else that I’ve put on a crazy high pedestal.
It seems like I can’t escape from the constant comparison game whether it’s my blog posts, the meals I make for my family, the way I grocery shop, how I educate my children, or even how I spend time with God.
The problem is that these crazy standards are my own invention, not God’s.
In Christ, God has graciously given us *everything we need for life and godliness*.
This means that not only am I free to give myself permission not to hold myself to crazy “measuring sticks”, I’m called to let the “measuring” go. In fact, I’m living below my birthright in Christ when I reject His offer of….everything and exchange it for my puny, but demanding, rulers.
I’m crazy to make this exchange!
But I do it, almost every day.
Instead, I need to remember, and cling fervently to, this truth:
God has not called me to performance, but to obedience.
We are called to quit comparing!
God doesn’t ask me to change my bed sheets every week. He calls me to love my husband. This looks like keeping my marriage bed holy, honoring my man, and learning to give of myself for him. He calls me to love my champion with my words, my tone of voice, my actions, and my thoughtfulness.
God doesn’t ask me to be “that pinterest mom”, but He has called me to faithfully love the five priceless treasures He’s given to me.
When I’m reading them stories, or when we’re watching TV.
When we’re going on a fun outing, or when I’m hiding out in the bathroom.
When I’m ready to wrestle or to play Barbies, or when I’m tired and all “touched out.”
At all times, He has called me to love them. Love shows up in the way I look at them, the tone of voice I use, the words I choose, and my actions towards them. Not on my own ability, but by His strength.
I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.
That oft’ quoted verse doesn’t mean that I’m able to do all the crazy things I feel I must attain to in my head; I’m given the power of Christ to do all things that Christ has called me to.
When I’m tempted to compare my blog to that one, when I look at what my neighbor made for dinner compared to the mac n cheese I plated up, when I listen to a friend talk about the outing she planned for her husband as I think about how long it’s been since I planned something special…I need to remember that:
I’m called to quit comparing.
I’ve already been given “everything I need for life and godliness.”
Can I get an Amen?!
My Father has not called me to performance, just faithful obedience to His love.
Just as I lean into His strength and sufficiency, so will He be faithful to grow my heart at exactly the right time and the right way in order to bring me to precisely the place where He intends me to be.
Join with me, won’t you? Let’s hold each other accountable as friends and as joint heirs with Christ, to remember the greatness we have already been given, to relax in the luxury of being empowered, and to follow Christ’s call to quit the damaging game of constant comparison.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.