Sisterhood….Comparison

Source: elembee.com via Joy on Pinterest

 

So, we’ve talked about the call to sisterhood, embracing who God has made you to be, learning to get real with one another, accepting the differences of others, and then how we need to encourage one another as sisters.

And here comes the doozy….

In order to build a true sisterhood of Christian unity, we REALLY need to stop comparing ourselves with others. Seriously.

Each one of us is an important part of the body of Christ.  Each person adds something beautiful.  Let’s join our individual songs together…all of us together in unity and praise of our glorious Father.

Don’t let comparison steal your joy.

What is your thing? What has the Lord put into your life that drives you?  Whatever it is that the Lord has given YOU to do, do that well, and relax and enjoy it! Do it well, and do it for the glory of God.

And don’t compare the results of your work with another.  And for bloggers, in God’s economy there are no subscriber numbers, no page views, and no follower numbers.

For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,’ and if the ear says, ‘because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,’ is it not for this reason and less the part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now, God has placed the members, each one of them in the body, just as He desired.” 1 Corinthians 12:14

And, here is where I get really honest.  Last year, I was asked to speak at the Relevant conference as one of the speakers.  I was flattered and humbled and I said yes.  That was when I blogged at The Stay at Home Missionary.  I was excited and nervous and slightly overwhelmed.  Then, when all of the speakers were announced, and I found my name among them, I was terrified.  I looked at the list and felt overwhelmed and small.  It seemed that nearly everyone had a book published, had a ginormous following, and I felt small. I’m not saying this was right, but it is honest.

I let comparison steal the joy of my being asked to speak.  It ate me up so much that I ended up backing out of speaking and eventually quit my blog all together.  Me, measuring myself, comparing myself to others, instead of what God had called me to do.

Well, you know the rest of the story.  I think God has quite a sense of humor, because not only did He have me go back and speak at the Relevant conference, but as a keynote!

God has made each one of us with a specific purpose.  Are you going to fulfill the purpose He has for you by following His lead?  Will you use your gifts, talents, and stories for His glory?

I am, how about you?

Check back next week for the conclusion of this series….the last bit makes me cry every time.

{This series is a slightly edited version of the keynote I gave at the Relevant conference.  If you would like to listen to the audio of that session, you can download it here.}
Here is a list of the previous posts in the series:

1. The Call

2.Embrace

3.Get Real

4.Accepting Differences

5. Encourage

I’m linking up here:

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  • Regina

    Thanks for the encouragement, Joy. At times, I too have compared myself to others. It is definitely a joy stealer. I am working on it each day because I know that when I compare myself to others I am not wise. Here is a link to a post where I discuss my issues of comparing myself to others – http://teachmetheancientpaths.blogspot.com/2011/11/days-of-obscurity-and-insecurity.html

    • Joy

      Good thoughts Regina. I went over and commented on your post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thehomespunheart

    Well, I’ve already confessed how I have recently struggled with this. Thank you for the reminders! And, God has been helping me let these thoughts go and rest in Him and who He made me to be! Can’t wait to hear the next part! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Joy

      Thanks Monica. Yes, we all struggle with it. The funny thing is that some of the biggest bloggers at Relevant confessed to me as a result of this talk how they struggle with comparison as well. I thought it was really interesting that it is a disease that afflicts us all.

  • Michelle

    Joy,

    I love reading your blog posts- so very encouraging to this mama’s heart! I so wish I could have been at Relevant and heard you and others speak. (Maybe next year =) ) I seem to struggle a lot with comparison in regards to homeschooling. Here is what I shared on this topic as well recently…
    http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/blog/2011/07/22/the-joy-stealer/

    Blessings,
    Michelle

    • Joy

      Thanks Michelle. I am heading over to read your post….

  • http://carriethinkstoomuch.blogspot.com/ Carrie

    I definitely fail in this area!

    • Joy

      Well, tomorrow is another day! :)

  • http://everblossom.net Kylie

    I struggle with this, especially this season. Getting together with family and friends so much more makes it easy to compare my life to others, wondering “why they do it like THAT?” or “oh, well is my way good enough??”. I hate the way both make me feel . Thank you so much for the encouragement to be mindful of my thoughts toward others.

    • Joy

      Yep, that’s so hard, isn’t it? Hang in there!

  • http://www.gracetags.com Unique Christian Jewelry

    I loved the recording of your keynote speech at relevant, talking about this topic. It’s something I’ve struggled with before too.

    Janelle
    GraceTags

    • Joy

      Thank you sweet Janelle!

  • http://www.deniseinbloom.com Denise In Bloom

    Joy, I love reading this once again! It blesses me all over. amen, amen, amen!. As much as we hear not to compare, we do it. We must embrace who we are in Christ so we can be confident in that place! I love you, and so appreciate your friendship and sister-heart!

    Thanks for sharing your keynote in this way so we can all see the words and let it sink in.

    • Joy

      I’m so glad that it resonates with you sweet Denise. It is so easy to say…but so difficult to do. You are welcome. Thank you for blessing me abundantly!

  • Janell

    What is your thing? What has the Lord put into your life that drives you? Whatever it is that the Lord has given YOU to do, do that well, and relax and enjoy it! Do it well, and do it for the glory of God.

    THANK you Joy, this was so simple yet so TRUE! I don’t know where this idea in my head came from that there is this cookie cutter image of what a godly womans life was going to look like. Well let me tell you, my life looks nothing like I imagined, but it is truly beautiful and I am learning to grow where God has me. This season of life with 3 kiddos (4th on the way) and soon to have 3 under 2.5 I can sometimes get lost in it all and forget that THIS is my ministry. My “thing” the thing that drives me is my sweet family and gift of edification. It may look different in different seasons, but for now I am changing diapers & sending out emails for the glory of God <3 Thanks for the great reminder!

    Janell

    • Joy

      Love it! Yes and amen!!

  • Karina

    So true, Im really enjoying reading what your saying on this….I totally get what your saying here. Wish I could meet you…….Im about to move to England and so worried….Reason is finding friends. I had not much luck where I am and now we are being sent clear across the world where my phone and skpe friends may now be taken from me…..So hard to connect with others……I am trying to trust God on this……Anyways, all that to say, I enjoy your blog and gain encouragement……also jealous you got to sit and speak with Sally…..lol

    • Joy

      Karina, Praying that God will bring some special friends to you in your new place. I know it took me moving across the world to find my heart friends, so maybe it will be that way for you!!

  • bkasm5

    I have let comparision steal my joy many times. I am so thankful for your blog. I enjoy reading the Truth God lays on your heart. Keep loving Jesus Joy and striving to be who He has created you to be. So often in bloggy world we see self promotion, but I love reading your honesty and your struggles. It shows me that christianity and real and sometimes messy, but we are to keep our eyes on the One who can redeem us.

    • Joy

      Well, I never, ever want to seek self-promotion on Jesus promotion, and if that means letting all my ugly hang out then so be it! :) Thank you for your kind words!

  • http://youaremygirls.com Jennifer Camp

    Dear Joy,

    I was incredibly blessed by your keynote at Relevant, and I am so grateful for your revisiting the important, life-giving points you addressed there by sharing them in this series. I especially needed to be reminded of the scripture in your post today. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Tara P.

    I really like your blog Joy and I’m sooo glad you came back to the blog world! I remember when you had the first blog. Your posts are encouraging, truthful, and always timely in my life as a homeschool mom.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, Joy, this post has been sitting in my inbox since I received it. When I saw the title, my heart beat slightly faster. Comparing myself to others is my Achilles’ Heel. I am prone to compare EVERYTHING… It’s draining, exhausting, saddening…

    When it comes to this weakness, I am a work in progress. I can honestly say I am learning and believing I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”, designed for His purpose exactly as He desired. I must, must, must continue walking closely, calling to mind that verse in addition to others. I am who He made me to be. Refining is an ongoing process. Awareness is where it begins.

    Thank you for your transparency. When you spoke at Relevant, I related in such an outstanding way. I’m confident I have missed out on many opportunities in life due to the fear of not measuring up. I’m saddened by the fact. Thankfully, through HIS gracious love, nurture and care, I am missing less and less opportunities. Blogging, for example. I know I am called to write. I am confident of that fact. However, in times past, I wouldn’t have put myself out there because the comparison factor would have hand-cuffed me into submission. Instead, through HIM, I am submitting to HIS call in my life. I’m so thankful!

    I appreciate you, Joy! Looking forward to ministering alongside you through Sisters In Bloom!

  • Anonymous

    This is so true… but sometimes so hard. Thanks for the reminder.

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  • http://awomanwholived.com Katie Vrajich

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I stumbled on you today, and you had just the words that I needed. I am a mentor, and a speaker and my message is SO SIMILAR to yours. I do it in slightly different ways, but I have the same message. That comparison that this article is about keeps me hiding way too often. Thank you so much! I am sitting here crying – realizing that I can have a big family, be an awesome mama, and get my message out to women effectively. I can! Thank you for sharing your gift, being real, and helping me to see something vital today. Thank you for stepping up even though I am sure it isn’t always easy. Thank you. (Did I say “Thank You”enough yet?!)

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  • Teddybe88

    Is there a way to purchase the poster above to remind me of it’s message? I work in a school and I would love to put one up there too.