When I first met Christine Caine, slack-jawed might be the only word? When you witness someone astonishingly gifted for such a time as this, there are no words. I’ve listened to her speak countless times, talked Jesus with her over dinners, late through the night and over early breakfasts and this woman is called like no other, anointed like none before and she is an unstoppable global igniter of a whole generation. She says that she cannot remember a time in her young life when she didn’t feel like she should be something or someone other than who she was. The journey of truth, freedom, purpose, and destiny she has been on since childhood has been the greatest and most painful of her life, but as Christine says, “It’s been totally worth it!” Christine’s lived bound and she’s lived free, and she knows without a doubt which one she prefers and which one Jesus wants for you. Today, she shares to encourage you in the area of “comparisons” that so easily trap women everywhere, whether you are the most successful and high achieving woman or someone who is broken, abused, and downtrodden. It’s a deep & humbling grace to welcome a woman I so esteem and love to the farm’s front porch today to have her share what it looks like to sprint toward victory for the kingdom of Christ…
They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and whoever “they” are, I agree with them.
If we are always measuring ourselves against our neighbors, who are broadcasting their latest and greatest on Instagram or Facebook, how are we to be content with our own lives?
Everyone struggles with comparison, but I believe that perhaps the struggle is compounded for women.
As women, we tend to be more emotional by nature, and it’s easy to let comparisons—however minor they may be—turn into shame. And friends, if comparison is the thief of joy, shame is the prison that locks it away.
Comparison is an extremely destructive thing. It leads to self-depreciation, self-rejection and depression.
When we believe the lies of comparison, that’s where shame steps in—the fear of being unworthy.
Shame makes us feel small, unwanted and unloved.
And together, comparison and shame will keep us from living the full, happy lives we’re destined to live.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live a life full of joy. A life free of comparison and shame.
But in order to live that life, I have to consciously fight back against the comparison trap each and every day.
Here are some ways I’ve learned to fight back against comparison:
- Begin the day on a positive note. The way I begin my day typically sets the tone for how I operate the rest of the day. Am I frazzled and stressed? Or am I grounded and at peace? For me, starting my day reading the Bible—not work email or skimming social media—and in prayer prepares my mind and my heart to combat comparison.
- Value your uniqueness. The tendency that most of us face is to devalue our own uniqueness, and instead attempt to become a carbon copy of those we admire. Instead of thinking “I wish I was more ____ “ or “If only I could ____ “, remind yourself about what makes you, you. What makes you unique. There’s only one you on this planet, only one person who can do every single thing you do—and that’s the way it’s supposed to be! When you catch yourself in the comparison trap, remind yourself of your strengths, talents, gifts and abilities.
- Limit the time spent on social media. While social media certainly isn’t the cause of the comparison trap, it does seem to make us more susceptible to the trap! Social media is not real life, but rather a highlight reel that can make our minds run wild with comparisons. I suggest limiting the amount of time you spend online and instead filling your life with the good stuff—people and relationships.
The truth is, this is your one and only life and you should never squander it in the world of comparison.
It is great to be stirred and inspired by one another, but not to compete and compare with each other.
Let’s cheer each other on to live our best lives,
valuing our uniqueness and differences.
Christine Caine is an Australian born, Greek blooded, lover of Jesus, activist, author, and international speaker. Her primary passion is to make Jesus’ last command her first priority by giving her all to see the lost saved and to build the local church—globally. Christine also has a passion for justice, and together with her husband, founded the anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign. In 2015, they also founded Propel Women, an organization designed to honor the calling of every woman, empower her to lead, equip her for success and develop a sense of God-given purpose. Powered by hot, extra-dry, skinny cappuccinos, Christine is a lover of words who speaks too fast, talks too much, and also writes them down.
In Unashamed: Drop the Baggage, Pick up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny, Christine reveals the often-hidden consequences of shame—in her own life and the lives of so many women—and invites you to join her in moving from a shame-filled to a shame-free life. This book will help you learn, or relearn, how to define yourself by God’s truth, and your life will begin to take shape as it was designed to be. A life of freedom and strength. In addition to the book, there is also an Unashamed five-session DVD and study guide available.
[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]