Galatians 6:4-5 (NLT)
"Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct."
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It's been awhile since I've written a real "post," but after reading some verses the other day, I had to share. :)
I called this post "Robotic Weight Loss" because it seems that in the community of weight loss there is a lot of comparisons made and hurt feelings when we aren't able to do the same thing someone else did:
- "Well, she lost 8 pounds in one week, why couldn't I?"
- "How is it that she lost 100 pounds in 8 months and it's taken me over a year now?"
- "Those people on the TV show burned 6000 calories in one day, what am I doing wrong?"
- "When you ran that 5k you did so well, I dont know if I can ever be a runner."
It's not wrong to set goals or be inspired by the accomplishments of others, but I see a lot of negative tension that develops when people are motivated by trying to meet or beat someone ELSE'S personal record. If we do meet/beat their record, we miss a very special part of personal accomplishment for the simple fact that at the core of our excitement - it's about what someone else did! Are you following me? Yes, you were able to do it too - but the unit of measurement was "Billy Jo Bob." On the flip, when we are unable to meet or exceed that goal, oftentimes we feel as though we have failed. "Why is it that they were able to do this and I was not?" Discouragement sets in and people begin to dishonor themselves and discredit their OWN accomplishments. There is a good reason they call them "PR's" in the athletic world - it's because they are supposed to be PERSONAL records.
If you've read much of anything on my blog, you've probably noticed that I try to glean from scripture and revelation from God as it applies to my life as a whole - including weight loss. For awhile I'd somewhat lost perspective, it's easy to look at the world around you and quickly paint a picture based of what "seems" most desirable and commonly accepted. "I'd love to be her size, lose x amount of weight quicker than she did, abs like hers, run faster than that chick, get a HUNK of a man at my right side by looking like her..." and the list goes on. All of these with the common denominator of "How I compare to the next person." Can "I" do more than they can? What do "I" look like next to those girls? Am "I" more successful???
We've all probably heard someone say, "You shouldn't compare yourself to others," but have we really taken that statement to heart and thought about WHY comparing ourselves isn't beneficial and oftentimes tears us down more than builds us up? One of two things often happens by comparing ourselves to others:
1. We are discouraged because we don't "add up" to the life or accomplishment of the person we are comparing ourselves to.
2. We boast that we are somehow "greater" than the next guy and exalt ourselves higher than we should.
When we compare ourselves to others, we subconsciously try to duplicate or improve what others have already done or have. As long as I'm looking around to everyone else, I will NEVER be satisfied with my own work and will rob myself of certain elements of joy that come from being original. Our reflection becomes dependent on someone else. What would be the point of looking in a mirror and seeing my neighbors reflection? I wouldn't even know what "I" look like.
Think about an original piece of art, whether it be a painting, song or creative writing. There is something special about sharing this original piece of artwork. That is a reflection of the talent God has placed in you and it's not in light of anyone else's prior work or achievements. AWESOME! Now think about someone who paints a duplicate or remixes a classic song. They may very much so still have creative talents and abilities within themselves, however, there name will always come after the original artist is recognized. This wasn't inspired in and of themselves, it isn't the "work of their hands," it's a copy of someone elses.
Now back to the verse this is all inspired from:
Galatians 6:4-5 (NLT)
"Pay careful attention to your own work, for THEN you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct."
Instead of always looking over at our neighbors results, we need to focus on what "I" am doing? Am "I" working hard? Am "I" being the best "me" that I can be? Like I said, this is more than just weight loss. I'm talking in our jobs, in our relationships, in our finances in everything that God has given us to be a good steward over, are we paying careful attention to our own work and finding satisfication when it's well done?
If we don't get past this damaging mindset, there will always be "someone" else out there to compare ourselves to and we'll always be striving, yet never finding, that place of satisfaction. If we just look at our own work, satisfaction truly DOES come from knowing what YOU have accomplished and what YOU worked hard to do. You can take pride (not sinfully) in what you've worked hard at doing and see the end result of it paying off. AMAZING!