A 'Melissa' Matter: Throw the measuring stick away
by Melissa Snyder
Aug 15, 2010 | 2490 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print

When was it we started comparing ourselves to others? At what age?

I remember being in the third grade at Blue Springs Elementary School. When the teacher held up one of the female students’ colorings — bragging on how beautiful it was and how well she stayed in the lines, I can still vividly remember how it made me feel.

After working so hard to do a good job, I couldn’t understand why my friend’s was so much better than mine. Every single time we had a coloring activity I tried hard to be as good as the “best color-er” in the class. Many years later, the sight of a Crayola box of crayons can send me back to the little classroom where I longed to be recognized by the teacher and where I was measuring myself against the artistic one.

Typically, not long after toddlerhood, our culture teaches children at a very young age to compare themselves to others. If it’s not over a coloring sheet in the third grade, it may have something to do with sports, how fast a bike is, a test grade or even how many Bible verses one has memorized.

When little kids reach the “trying to discover ourselves” teenage years, movies, Hollywood stars, superheroes and magazine models have an enormous impact on how they compare themselves to others.

Many students equate their worth to the brand name of clothes, the cars their parents drive, even to the type of backpack they carry.

Sadly, from adolescence to adulthood many of us have a mental or imaginary measuring stick comparing everything from college degrees on the wall all the way to how well the neighbor’s lawn is manicured.

Where did we get the WRONG message that material “stuff” matters? For many, it has a harmful impact on self-esteem. I’m not a doctor but I would imagine this is why so many adults are insecure and why many surround themselves with material things. Comparison can lead to feelings of hopelessness and “not being good enough.”

The only thing we should be concerned about is how we measure up in God’s eyes. Think about it for a moment. Pause and reflect. Would God be pleased with how we are doing?

It’s time to stop placing value on things. It’s time to stop getting caught up in the labels, the work status or the house square footage and focus on the fact we are all created equal in God’s eyes and to Him we are all beautiful.