Younger, Cuter, Skinnier
Melanie Chitwood

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

While I waited in the carpool line to pick up my 10-year-old son Tyler, I watched the other moms coming and going with their kids. When Tyler got in the car, we talked about his day.

Abruptly changing subjects, I asked, "Tyler, do I look 46?"

He quickly answered, "No, mom, you look … 37."

I smiled, wondering how he came up with that number, but liking that it was much lower than my actual age.

I said, "Good answer!"

"Except for those wrinkles," he added as he studied my face.

"What?!"

"And …"

"Okay, we are finished with this conversation!"

As we drove back home, I wondered what prompted me to blurt out that question. Instantly, I knew the answer. While watching the other moms, I had started comparing myself. My comparison led me to think that the other moms were younger, cuter and skinnier.

Can you relate to these thoughts? We can fall into the comparison trap in an instant. For example, we flip through the pages of a magazine and compare our bodies to the images of skinny models. We go to a new Bible study and hesitate to speak up because we're sure the other women know more than we do.

Comparison usually leads us down a dangerous path of feeling insecure and "not enough," or else prideful and "better than." Neither path of thinking is one God wants us to take. God's Word tells us exactly what to do with faulty comparison thinking in 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (NIV).

What does this mean in practice? First, we have to become aware of our thoughts. Next, we clarify if our thoughts are God's truth or the enemy's lies. We can be sure that any condemning or prideful thoughts are not from God. Finally, when we recognize a thought which is a lie, we need to replace the lie with God's truth. The verse I memorized to combat the lies resulting from comparison is a personalized version of today's key verse in Ephesians 2:10: "For I am God's beautiful masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things He planned for me long ago."

Take time today to ask God to reveal to you any lies you believe about yourself. Confess pride or insecurity, and ask God to fill you with His truthful perspective.

And don't ask your child how old you look!

Dear Lord, keep my mind centered on the truth of who You say I am. Don't let my thoughts be tossed all over the place by the lies of the enemy. I know I am not defined by my circumstances, what I see in the mirror, or even what other people say about me. Let me rest in Your confidence as I acknowledge who You say I am, a masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Read similar encouragement at Everyday Life!

A Woman Who Fears the Lord (Proverbs 31:30) T-Shirt

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George

Chat more with Melanie on her blog – What Matters Most

Application Steps:
Memorize a verse, such as Ephesians 2:10, to fill your mind with God's truth.

Have an honest discussion with a close friend about any tendencies you have to compare yourself to others. How can you encourage one another and hold each other accountable to "whatever is true" (Philippians 4:8)?

Reflections:
In what areas of my life – appearance, weight, work, motherhood, marriage – do I feel inadequate?

In what areas of my life am I prideful?

Consider the answers to these questions, and ask for God's true perspective on these areas of your life.

Power Verses:
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)

Isaiah 26:3, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You." (NASB)

2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV)

© 2009 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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11 Comments:

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this devotion, Melanie! You spoke right to my heart on this one. Thanks for the fuel I needed today.

Alexis

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful devotion. I have a humble suggestion: Perhaps you could publish a devotion that helps women deal with the criticism from others (sometimes subtle, sometimes overtly hurtful and unkind).

Thank you for all you do through this ministry.

Blogger Eagles Wings said...

Too funny, a friend of mine and I were talking yesterday about our kids and comments like that.
I have had comments like - you have to ask mommy or grandma? which is it...It makes me so frustrated, I started late in life.
Thank you so much for this devotion!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Devotion truly hit home today! I am going to a job fair today and all morning I've been thinking, I'm too old, I'm this or that, comparing myself to the other job candidates. I just want to do God's will in my life and I know He will lead me to the right job! Thanks for the beautiful devotion today!! God bless you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning, I came to work and in reading the news I happened to read a story which eventually led me to one of the entertainment magazine websites! One girl in particular struck me and I've spent my morning thinking of how much weight I need to lose; how I need to get a facial; how I need to do something different with my hair... on and on and on! And I decide to go into my proverbs 31 folder to see what todays devotion is- and it's on exactly what I need! It's really amusing how God works! He gave me exactly what I needed this morning!

Thank God for P31 & for you Melanie! God has definitely used you to help me this morning.

Blogger Becca said...

Thank you for posting the prayer. That was the piece I am taking away with me.

Blogger Melanie said...

Thank you, ladies, for reading our P31 devos and for your comments today. Let's keep our eyes fixed on Him! I will think about how to handle cricicism from others, and how to respond to that - i'll also think about if someone has already written something i can refer to!
We are God's beautiful Masterpieces!
melanie

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am doing a Bible study at my church and we are currently talking about accepting who God made us to be. This is very timely. It is also a reminder not to ask questions for which we may not be ready to receive the honest answer.

Blogger sandi said...

This is what I needed. I've been listening to the lies, not good enough, terrible mom and wife, comparing myself to supermoms that can do everything. So when I was reminded that I am a masterpiece wonderully made; it brought tears because I had been accepting the lies and now I know I need to focus on the truth!. Thank you

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for being REAL! I really deal with this! Sometimes the reality isn't in who we need to be, think we are or try to be, it's in who HE say's we are! Thanks for the reminder I am who I am and I dont' have to be anyone eles! Thanks

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome wonderful helpful devotion. Thank you so much! Just recently started reading the devotions and blogs here, and I thank God for this ministry! :)

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