I’m currently hiding in my room having just arrived at a conference and feel like I am doing one of those video diary things. Hence why I am typing in a whisper and feeling furtive.
I should really be going down to have tea with everyone else, but I am just gathering myself. Why the hesitation to go amongst lovely like minded ladies who all love Jesus?
Put me in a room full of ladies who do a similar thing to me and have a similar role to me and my comparison juices start flowing. The picture that comes to mind is that of a person on a diet looking longingly at a plateful of their favorite cakes. Of course this is not an accurate picture. The juices may be flowing, but not because I want to compare myself. I guess in that sense it is more like giving an ex-smoker a packet of cigarettes, a lighter and an ash tray. It is not just that I am temporarily starving myself of comparison in order to look right for a certain occasion before going back with a sigh of relief to my old habits. No, I don’t want to walk into that room and make it all about me. How I match up. How I look. How my husband’s ministry compares to their husband’s. How my family compares to theirs. How my writing career (or should I say complete lack thereof) holds up against their bestseller. Just typing it it sounds so crass and ugly, but I know it is where my brain will strain to go unless I pre-lay some alternative pathways.
So note to self:
Strategy 1: Make it about God. He is incomparable.
Strategy 2: Who I am and what I am worth is sorted in Jesus. My ego needs nothing from this conference. It doesn’t need to compete for ‘food’ with these other ladies. It is therefore free just to love and serve them in Jesus.
Strategy 3: Cut the cord between who I am and what I achieve or do. Just sever it – it is a false link.
Strategy 4: Remember humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less. If I take ME out of the picture there is no comparison!
Strategy 5: Pray, take a deep breath and go and have a cup of tea – it is a conference full of vicars’ wives after all.
Here goes. For more on this subject read: Compared to Her – Sophie De Witt, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness – Tim Keller (see COMMENTS FROM MY BOOKSHELVES) and The Big Ego Trip – Glynn harrison (see COMMENTS FROM MY BOOKSHELVES).