by Jennifer Kirklin
Sophia is the Greek word for Wisdom, and Propel Sophia seeks out the voices of truly wise women and asks them to share worked examples of how they express faith in daily life. Pull up a chair at Sophia’s table, won’t you? There’s plenty of space.
Sitting on the sofa and thumbing through countless social media posts, I felt lonely, sad, and jealous. I wanted what they had; the smiling clan at the campout, collages of a night out with the husband, announcements of promotions, and ministry moments filled with praises. It was all perfect – too perfect.
Comparing ourselves to others doesn't make us happier, more confident, or more appreciative in life. Instead, comparing ourselves to others can feel horrible as we allow their groomed narrative to send us spiraling into despair. Comparing ourselves to friends, co-workers, and social posts pushes us into two attitudes that negatively affect our self-esteem by minimizing our worth and significance — feeling bad about who we are and judging others for who they are.
In 1 Corinthians 6:12, the Apostle Paul responds to a letter from a church struggling with comparisons: "I have the right to do anything," you say—but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"—but I will not be mastered by anything."
When we compare ourselves to others, we feel bad about who we are because we lose sight of our uniqueness, strengths, talents, beauty, and blessings. And, feeling bad about who we are invites invading thoughts to drag us further into despair. We begin to feel hopeless as if we will never be happy like they are. What a lie! One post or experience with someone does not define their level of happiness or yours. Don't allow a little glimpse into someone's life to become the master of your feelings. For all you know, they may be personally struggling with major adversities and masking it all with a smile.
If you find yourself struggling with bad feelings about yourself, try this as a way to spiritually detox and reset:
• Write a personal profile listing all your strengths, attributes, and likes.
• Thank God for each of them, and ask Him to show you how He is using them to bless you and others.
In Matthew 7:2, Jesus said "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Judging others is part of the destructive cycle of comparing. It is rooted in criticalness, pride, and assumptions that cause us to flip our narrative from feeling bad to feeling superior. Our pride tries to hide areas where we feel weak by overtly criticizing others' perceived strengths or attributes, and then we make false assumptions about them. For example, seeing someone’s selfies posted on a social platform might trigger negative self-evaluations; “I am too fat to wear that”, “no one ever likes my pictures’, “why doesn’t my husband love me like that’. These self-destructive thoughts then cause our defenses to rise as we seek to protect and hide our negative emotions by tearing down someone’s looks, relationships, or interests. We might criticize a friend's parenting because she is always doing activities with her children, wishing we could have that same fun with our children. We quickly end up judging our flaws as we judge others.
In Proverbs 27:19 we read, “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person”. Those destructive attitudes towards others often reveal the condition of our own heart. Our judgment of others will not fulfill our wish list. God’s love for you compels Him to draw near when we are struggling, eager to minister to our hurts and helps us to navigate those messy feelings.
• Be honest with God about your fears and feelings. He is leaning in and listening, willing to comfort you.
• Ask your Heavenly Father to heal and strengthen those places within your heart that need His assurance and support.
Being you is your greatest attribute. You can feel good about the person God created in you. Every part of you He made to glorify Him and release His abundant blessings in your life. As you see the reflection of yourself in His Word and through His Spirit, the transformation will flow through your heart and mind as hurt places are healed, pride becomes humility, and despair turns to hope.
Jennifer Kirklin loves guiding women through their healing journey leaning on her own life experiences. She is a pastor and founder of She is Significant, a social media platform, blog, and podcast. A leader, speaker, ministry developer, and mentor to many, Jennifer’s passion is to partner with women in difficult seasons of life by leading them to Jesus and encouraging them to discover their worth and purpose in Him. She and her husband live in Northern California and enjoy spending time with family and riding their Harley.