If you’ve been a mom for any length of time and you’ve spent time in and about homeschooling circles, Bible studies, workshops, conventions, courtship talks, retreats, blogs in the last 3 years or so… etc., etc., you’ve no doubt heard, or been part of, conversations that left you with a case of comparatitus. All those Titus2 groups… you may lament and despair. Comparatitus happens — no matter your age, no matter your income, no matter your experience and, really, no matter your skills and abilities. Comparatitus happens.
Some time back, a group of sisters were gathered and there was some back and forth lamenting the various skills and abilities one or another lacked. The conversations meandered into areas of homemaking… babies… schooling… child-training. I noticed one of the women not saying all that much — but her eyes conveyed a tender message and her tears, despair. I observed that day and understood from that moment something I’ve never forgotten and that is when a group of sisters is sharing, there is (among *many* +/- things) a great potential comparing — potential for discontent and for envy. Comparatitus. O, how we must face this and determine to nip it in the bud.
When we stand next to and compare ourselves with anyone we’ll likely fall into one of two categories and, perhaps, a third will follow. We’ll either feel inept, inferior and sorely lacking whatever it is we think she has (self-pity), or we’ll feel superior, better-than, or self-confident (pride). A third category we might fall into might take on many forms — but will stem from what I’m calling Compartitus. We compare ourselves to a Titus woman = comparatitus. We might say, O, I don’t do thus and such, I never accomplish this or that, I’m not able to do thus, I don’t have these or those, I don’t have x number of children, I have x number of children, since I don’t have x number of children I must not be_____, since she has x number of children, she must be________.
The conversations (mental or actual) may continue on… I wish I could have_____, then I’d be able to______, but since my______ doesn’t or won’t______, I can never be______or have______. Like you.
Comparatitus can then get pretty heavy and… watch out now…
O, she thinks she’s so______, I mean, just look at what she_____. She always ____. I’ll never be as____ or ____. I mean, because she____ and I’ve never had the_____ and I cannot____ like she does. And, besides, I only have____ ____, so I________, unlike her, because she has_______ and she always_____ and________. So, I can’t ever be _______ like her.
Comparing ourselves to an ideal… to another sister who seems to have it all together, who seems to always get the right stuff, say the right things, have the right friends, yada, yada, yada. It’s such a dangerous spiral to get caught up in that thinking and in that talk.
Truth is, we’re not to compare ourselves to others — God didn’t create us to be someone else — He created us to be ourselves growing in grace to be like Jesus — for His glory. When we compare and despair, we are rejecting God’s marvelous design *and* His provision for us. When we compare and despair, we invite the enemy in to mock God (and our thoughts and actions determine how long he’ll stay and how much ground we’ll give the enemy). We gasp and think, O, I didn’t mean to do that! Really, none of us want to be found in that camp — surely. That’s why we must not covet — we must be content with such things as we have. (Hebrews 13.5)
Comparatitus is dangerous… and unless we determine daily to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, we’ll succumb to it. Maybe in a big way.
Titus 2 tells us boldly and plainly what we are (as Christian sisters) to do or to learn to do. But, above all, we must be about the business of daily yielding our hearts to God, daily following Him and trusting in the promises of His Word — not comparing ourselves to others — but simply living in obedience to Him and His calling on our lives. And He has individually called us — each one! This is good news! This is marvelous!
The cure for comparatitus is faith and trust: seeking to know and please the Lord. We read in 2Timothy 2.15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Be done with that lesser thing! Be done with comparatitus. (And, have a cheerful day)
May you always be blessed.