When It’s Okay to Compare

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Recently I jumped on the train of what seems to be millions of women to read Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Wash Your Face. My expectations were high as I’ve heard and read amazing reviews on it. It’s been promoted by Christian blogs and writers, so I was anxious to get my hands on a copy.

Immediately, the humor of the author was captivating, but as I got further along I noticed the consistent, underlying tone of the book was one of being your own hero and being in complete control of your life. This rubbed against what I hold to be Biblical truth. Even so, I did finish it and am honestly grateful I did because my take-aways, like many people, were life changing.

The book had some great reminders to me such as not comparing myself to others. Comparisons seem to be a common topic especially among women. We have all battled against it at some point and I’ve always viewed it as something negative I should attempt to avoid.

Until now.

This book showed me that sometimes comparison IS warranted. Comparing the statements in this book to my belief system was critical for me to discern opinion from fact.

Like Hollis stated, comparing myself to others isn’t healthy, but it’s not merely something to avoid for my own mental health. Comparing myself to another broken, mortal man is futile. Instead, my only comparison should be to the perfect model, Jesus. He is who I am to look to imitate and model my life after.

Comparing everything, every written or spoken word, up to the authority of my beliefs is necessary. I learned that just because a book is published by Christian publishers and backed by Christian authors doesn’t mean it’s accurate or safe for me to ingest. This book made me cross reference my Bible to check scripture quoted and thoughts expressed.

I compared the broad and narrow paths in life and was reminded that while the majority of women may use this book as their life mantra, I already had a book that does that. My Bible tells me who God is because He really is the center, not me. Unlike what I read, I don’t need to ‘decide who I am’ because He has told me who I am.

I compared the author’s constant mention of ‘happiness’ with my Author’s constant mention of joy. They are very different and unlike what is preached in this book, my happiness is not the core of what is of importance. My happiness is fickle. It shifts based on so many varying circumstances and is concentrated on me and, again, it is not all about me. 

I’ve always considered comparisons a dangerous thing to engage in, but, in this case, it was essential. Comparing someone’s opinion and advice with the unwavering truth of God made me realize how easily I can feed myself untruth and ultimately alter my beliefs.

A book that says “the driving force of this book is to remind you that you’re in control of yourself“ actually grew my faith in a sovereign God much bigger than myself.

Discerning fact from opinion reminded me who the true hero is and it is absolutely not me, thank goodness! I was reminded that I don’t deserve an ounce of praise for anything in my life because all the glory is His. Contrasting all of these views, reminded me to be humble and gracious for all that has been granted to me because He is the giver. No longer do I view comparison as necessarily a negative behavior, but sometimes it is eye opening and revealing. 

Yes, I will wash my face, but instead of then looking in the mirror, I will look to my Creator.

Have you read Girl Wash Your Face? What are your thoughts on the book?

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Missey Calcutt is a follower of Jesus and wife to her best friend for 16 years. Together they have five amazing kids who range in age from one to 13 years of age. Born and raised in Columbia, she earned a BA in Speech Language Pathology from Columbia College. She then attended USC where she earned a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. After working in a variety of settings for eleven years, she became a stay-at-home mom to her growing family. Now, she juggles hectic schedules, carpool lines and nonstop meal preparation. In addition to her love for writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, serving in her church, reading, and exercising. She hopes her posts bring encouragement to other women in the trenches of motherhood.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I read part of the book! After half way through I got the feeling something was wrong. It felt forced and pushy so I let it go. I haven’t finished it and prob won’t. I instead joined a bible study and find more joy and faith in that. I wanted my time to count for something good and to grow my testimony and Heart. Not give me thought to make my own happiness. When I am engaged in he word I am happy and surrounding myself with like minded friends.

    • Erica, yes yes yes!!! I love that you were discerning enough to plug into a study that will grow you in the Lord. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful insight! I am listening to the book, and when certain statements were made I thought, “Whoa, hold your horses!” While we don’t want to judge others, as the Bible has told us “judge not that we be not judged”, we must be discerning and when we engage with people of other faiths always do so in a loving and kind way. We can inquire about their beliefs but to understand where they come from to enable us to introduce them to Jesus, who, though it’s not politically correct to say there is only one way, in this case He is the only way to our Father in Heaven. This fact is black and white, no ifs and or buts.

    I do think that this book could engage some women in discussion that might not have been open to a Bible Study or might have been intimidated by one. It is my prayer that women reading this book that do not have a background of biblical knowledge to make comparisons, will have mature believers that can dialogue with them and gently bring up those points. while we “Wash our Faces”, may we be drawn to the one who washed others feet.

    • Beth, I couldn’t agree with you more! My prayer is that Christians dig deeper into the Word after reading this book and that it peaks an interest for non-Christians. Thank you!

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