Fighting the Pull of Comparison
"All of your friends can ride their bikes. Why don't you want to learn?"
I regretted the words the moment they escaped my lips. But the truth was, they were said, and there was nothing I could do to take them back.
Had I really just compared my child to others to his very face?
I had. And I felt horrible.
Not because I wasn't thinking it. I'm a mom. And as moms, isn't comparing our kids to those around us just what we do?
I readily admit it's one of my biggest struggles and most grave faults. So often, I find myself thinking...
"Why doesn't he eat as well as so-and-so's kid?"
"Why does he have such a hard time being brave? Her kid is brave all the time!"
"Is he being left behind? Is he too advanced?"
But until now, those shameful thoughts have stayed tucked away in my head.
My son is 5 and has little interest in learning to ride a bike. The moment the wheels start to wobble and his bike begins to sway, he throws his hands in the air and screams to be saved.
"Honey, you have training wheels for a reason," I say. "And I'm never so far away I won't catch you when you fall."
I wonder. How often has God said that very same thing to me?
Lord knows, I've put my hands up in the air and screamed for help more times than I can count. I've forgotten the training wheels that were just out of sight. I've doubted that God was going to catch me, even though he's never once let my body hit the ground.
Time and time again, He's used my mothering to remind me of His unending faithfulness.
But has He ever compared me to other moms?
Has He ever looked at me and said, "Why don't you love your children the way she loves hers? Why don't you do better? Be better?"
I don't think so.
Because when it comes to God, the only comparison he wants to see in us is Jesus.
He wants us to love our children the way Jesus does. Do better as Jesus does. Be better...like Jesus.
Consider me convicted. My heart forever changed.
Though I may struggle, I want to change. And anytime I feel the need to compare my son to another person...let it be Jesus.
Who, by the way, probably didn't ride a bike at 5, either.