The temptation to compare ourselves to others goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were two people in the most perfect setting. No worries. All of their needs provided for. Satan came along and started feeding them lies about themselves and about God. They compared their situation to his lies and decided that life in the garden wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. They acted on impulse and broke the only rule God had given them—not to eat of just one tree in the garden.
Despite their perfect existence, Adam and Eve still felt the need for something else, something more. Their children carried on the comparison game when Cain killed Abel out of jealousy. And the saga continues: Story after story in the Bible illustrates that people have always played the comparison game.
So it’s human nature to compare, to be discontent, and to want something different from what we have. . . . Unconsciously, we long for our skin to look like the model in that commercial we just watched. Instinctively, we long for a pretty house with flowers on the counter and no toys strewn across the floor. Our expectations are fueled by a constant barrage of “perfect” scenes and images we see in our media-saturated society.
Not only does this increase our desire for a perfect house, perfect kids, a perfect body, and a perfect husband, it actually causes us to be discontent with our real houses, our real kids, our real bodies, and our real husbands. Even worse, most of the time we don’t even realize that’s what we are doing. It’s a subtle erosion of our satisfaction. If we don’t recognize it, the discontentment can turn into disappointment, and then the disappointment can eventually turn into disillusionment. However, the disillusionment cannot really be resolved because what you are longing for—the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect husband—simply does not exist.
We may be contaminated with the Perfection Infection, but it’s not without an antidote! Over the next 6 days, we’re going to leave perfectionism behind and find freedom in authenticity!