From the LYWB.com Team: Our team has long hoped, prayed, and looked for a male voice to add to our staff of bloggers. That’s why we are thrilled to introduce Brad Neese this month. He’s a youth pastor (and a guy!) with some great insights into your girl world. Leave him a comment to show some love, and weigh in on his thoughts on the comparison game.
"So there is this girl—at first I judged her, like nine weeks ago, cause she is a big time cutter, dresses in black, doesn’t bathe, smells, and was engaged to a mentally challenged guy."
Yep, that is an actual excerpt of a recent email I received from a high school girl asking for advice on what to do. But admit it—you have been in similar situations. There is another girl (or group of girls) that you don’t jive with. They are different than you and eventually some pretty serious opinions about her (or them) start forming in your brain.
One phrase stood out to me as I read that email: "I judged her." Basically, "I compared her with myself." Ah, let the Comparison Game begin!
Many girls live and die by the Comparison Game. It determines who is popular, accepted, and revered. It is kind of like "survival of the fittest" in the cat-fighting world of girlism. The Comparison Game is when you set the standard by which other people are compared. You determine beauty, intelligence, social status, athletic ability, and relationships—get ready for this—based on yourself.
Let’s translate that email according to the Comparison Game rules:
"She is a big time cutter" = That is gross and disgusting, and only people with some serious mental issues do that nasty stuff. I’m glad that I have a "normal" brain and respect myself.
"She dresses in black" = Total goth-girl—give me a break! So glad that I have better fashion style. She is probably totally agnostic, too.
"She doesn’t bathe" = Ewww! What normal person doesn’t bathe? No way I would be caught dead in public without a shower!
"She smells" = If she would just take a shower she wouldn’t have this problem. Can’t someone clue her in that she stinks?! I even feel like I stink whenever she is around. Just being around her makes me feel gross.
"She was engaged to a mentally challenged guy" = Weirdo. No way would I date a loser like that.
Many girls play the Comparison Game because it seems like just a normal part of life. At first glance, the Game seems harmless enough, but there is an underlying reality residing in you and all the girls who play: fear and insecurity. For example, you may downplay others because you are afraid of what people think about you. Or maybe you feel insecure about your body shape, your intelligence, or the fact that you don’t have a boyfriend, so you point out the faults of others as a cover-up attempt.
In either case, those feelings upon which the Comparison Game is played are dead wrong.
The Gospel reminds us that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, which is grounded in divine love.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (2 Tim. 1:7).
God also seals you with the Holy Spirit until Jesus returns, and it is in the Spirit we can find security.
And you were also included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13).
When we get down to it, all of those human insecurities are really attacks by the Adversary.
There you have it. Divine love and divine acceptance replaces fear and insecurity. You are loved by God, so distribute the effects of that love to others. You are secure in God, so live secure in His promise. Based on the gospel, the Comparison Game comes to a sudden halt.
What ever happened to the girl who wrote the email? Although she played the Comparison Game at first, by understanding God’s love and acceptance she was able to connect with the girl she "judged."
"Then I decided to be really nice to her and show her love … so more than ever I prayed a lot … I told her she can always call me and we could talk."
What insecurities most often cause you to play the Comparison Game? What can you do this week to choose to hold on to the security found in God’s divine love?