I know this amazing woman. She is kind and gentle. She never has a bad thing to say about her husband, or anyone for that matter. She treats everyone like they’re worth a million bucks. She never loses her temper with her kids. She’s full of grace toward her husband. She serves the poor and needy. She has breakfast, lunch, and dinner cooked, all with a smile on her face. Her house is beautifully decorated for each holiday. You would never find dust anywhere in her house, even if you tried! She keeps up with the laundry and changes everyone’s sheets twice a week. She has a heart of gold. She works diligently during the day and turns in soon after her kids. She has the most rockin’ body but barely even has to work for it. Her clothes are trendy and she always has her makeup on. She memorizes scripture and knows the Bible better than any Gilmore Girls episode. She never compares herself to anyone, as she finds her worth in Jesus alone.
This woman I say I know is “Imaginary Andi Clem.” That’s the thing though, I only know her in my head. She’s for SURE not real! She’s quite remarkable though, and if I could live up to her, I think I could truly earn the title World’s Best Woman. Of course, I wouldn’t even know it because I would be SO HUMBLE (Hehe). Imaginary Andi is the woman I would like to be. However, in all my imperfections I’m usually the opposite of Imaginary Andi. And then the mental beating ensues because I don’t quite live up to my hopes and dreams.
Do y’all ever get into this game of comparison? Comparing yourself the “Imaginary You” or even another woman you know. We all seem to play this vicious game in our minds. If only I had THIS or THAT, I would be a much better person. If only I looked like THAT woman, my husband would desire me more. If only I could get the hot college guys attention like THAT girl does. If only I had the money to decorate my house like THAT lady. If only I could afford a house like THAT. If only I could love Jesus like THAT woman does. The longing for all the things we don’t have can be consuming and exhausting. The striving after being the best at everything is DAUNTING. We quickly realize that we can’t measure up and our hard work is in vain.
At a MOPS meeting last week I was reminded that comparing ourselves to everyone else is a dangerous, meaningless task. There’s no reason we can’t work hard to bring God glory in the tasks He’s given us and quit comparing ourselves to the next woman! So, all the women at the meeting received a ribbon that read “World’s Okayest Mom.” It didn’t read “World’s Best Mom” because that’s way too much pressure!!! I laughed at the ribbon, but I loved it!
The title “World’s Best Mom” is one I could never receive. But “World’s Okayest Mom…” that seems much more manageable. Just like every one of us, I long to be the best mom, wife, friend, woman in the world, but when that’s my goal in life, my focus is on pleasing man, not the Lord. My vision is very horizontal as I look to the thoughts and opinions of other people rather than having vertical vision of pleasing and glorifying God.
Galatians 1:10 says,“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Does that strike a chord with you as well?! I would not be a servant of Christ if I were looking for the approval of man! WOW.
As I was in the process of writing this post, we read Liam his “night-night” Bible story. It was from Genesis 29-30 about Jacob, Leah, and Rachel. Jacob wanted to marry the very beautiful Rachel, so her father told him to work for him for 7 whole years, and then he could marry her! He did this, then Laban (the dad) tricked Jacob and gave him the not-as-pretty Leah (whom no one wanted to marry), and they were married instead. So, Jacob had to work 7 more years because he STILL wanted Rachel. Poor Leah! Could you imagine the pain in her heart as she continually compared herself to her sister? She wasn’t as pretty or as desirable to Jacob, and he didn’t love her as much. BUT GOD CHOSE LEAH! He chose her to do a very important job. He was going to rescue the whole world by sending Jesus to the earth through Leah’s family line. Then Liam’s Bible says this, “Now when Leah knew God loved her, suddenly it didn’t matter anymore whether her husband loved her the best, or if she was the prettiest. Someone had chosen her, someone did love her—with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” She didn’t feel the pressure to be the BEST anymore. God chose her. God loved her. She could be the “Okayest” because her focus was on God!
God has given us all very real callings. Whether you are a student or a career woman or a mom or a wife or a working mom who does it just to pay the bills…we all have tasks before us. We all want to be GREAT! But we should all stop trying to be the very BEST! Satan can use our goals of being the best to get us to compare ourselves to others. When that happens, we get down on ourselves or we become prideful and neither is pleasing to God. Let’s put down the measuring sticks, love our jobs and families well, and stop trying to be the very BEST! Allow God to fill you up and be your strength today. When I’m working to be the BEST, I tend to rely on my strength alone and don’t allow the Lord to take over my life. Let’s quit worrying about those around us and have vertical vision! This isn’t an excuse for us to not try to do our jobs well. Not at all! We should always strive to do things well, however this IS a plea to do things well for Jesus, instead of looking for the approval of others…and the title of “THE BEST.” Do the best with what you have but quit trying to be the BEST over everyone else! So I see you out there “World’s Okayest Waitress.” I see you “World’s Okayest Businesswoman.” I see you “World’s Okayest College Student” and “World’s Okayest Friend.” YOU are OKAY! Let’s all go refocus on Jesus and be the “World’s Okayest _______”
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” Colossians 3:23