Flowers. Their beauty is unexplainable, especially during the seasons of summer and spring. There is nothing like driving down the road during the end of winter and seeing flowers everywhere: on trees, front porch steps, or growing from the ground up. They stand out above all else because winter gave the earth a feeling of gray coldness. The sight of the first flower blooming during the spring is like a breath of fresh air; it is as if the world starts to breathe again.
Do you think flowers in a field compare themselves to each other? Do you think the tallest one stands over them all and thinks that they are the best just because they have great height? Or does the one with the most petals think they have more to offer? …no. Of course not.
So… why do we as humans compare ourselves so often to the ones around us?
Personally, I find it so easy to look at someone and assume their life is perfect. Every single one of their Instagram pictures they post is beautiful and without flaw. They never have bad hair days and seem to not wear outfits more than once. Or maybe, they seem to have a perfect relationship with their boyfriend or girlfriend. I find myself tied in comparison all the time: “Oh, if only I worked out longer and harder, I would be happy with my body. Oh, if only I studied longer and harder, I would be pleased with my grades. Oh, if only I…”
If I am being honest, I have fallen into this trap more than once and it can become a vicious cycle. I start to believe the lies I tell myself: that I will never be as beautiful as the people around me. Pretty soon I begin to wish for their lives… but what good does this do for me? It only seems to leave my heart dry and empty.
Ever since I can remember, I have always wished for a smaller body. I ran cross-country growing up, and I have always had thick, muscular legs. Sometimes I envy girls that have smaller, more petite legs than I do because they can fit into mini-skirts and size two skinny jeans, while I cannot. It is easy to become a victim of the lies that are thrown at me daily from society: “the thinner you become, the more beautiful you are.”
But that statement is not true. That statement is not something God would say to my face, or to anyone. God tells me that He formed me in my mother’s womb- fearfully and wonderfully:
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written
in your book before one of them came to be.”
God tells me that He saw me before I breathed my first breath. God tells me that I am uniquely beautiful in my own skin, no matter what size I am. God also tells me that the size of my legs is not what makes me beautiful, it is the heart that true beauty flourishes from (1 Peter 3:3-4). He does not look at me and tell me I am not good enough or pretty enough because of the size of my pants. Instead, I am seen and known and unconditionally loved by the one true King of the world. Jesus looks at the heart, not outward appearance:
1 Samuel 16:7:
“But the Lord said to Samuel: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
How wonderful and refreshing it is to know that we are seen and loved by Someone who knows the depths of our souls, who looks at us deeper than the human eye is capable of seeing, who goes before us, behind us and still loves us the same. His love is unconditional.
Comparison is not what we are called to be a slave to in this life. We are called to be free.
Free from the lies, negativity, and brokenness this world throws at us daily. Free from the picture perfect person society tells us we should be. The truth is, no one is perfect. Behind the makeup, filters, and smiles, we all battle with things inside of us that are not seen from the outside, except through the eyes of Jesus. Jesus sees us for who we are, He sees more than our outward appearance, He looks deeper than the human eye can see and thinks: “You are so beautiful in my eyes because I see your heart, I know your heart, and this world has nothing on My love for you.”
If you saw yourself like Jesus sees you, imagine how different your outlook would be.
Please, embrace your differences because God made you original. There is no one exactly like you on this earth. He has given you talents and abilities that other people would die to have. Use the strengths and differences that God has given you because chances are, He will bring you to things in this life where your differences will need to be used. And if you do not value your uniqueness now, when the time comes for you to stand out, you will miss it. Your differences are what will make you pop with color in a room full of similarities.
I want to encourage you to pour water on the beautiful flowers the Lord has planted in your heart. God gives us all completely different flowers, for a purpose. Just as the budding trees spring up and grow uncontrollably, you too should let yourself bloom into who you were placed on this earth to be.
Notice the flowers Jesus plants on your heart, do not put them through a drought; instead, water them with His truth. Tend and care for them as if your only job in the world was to be a gardener. Remember that He plants flowers on your heart and it would be foolish to let them die because they were handpicked and planted by God for a purpose.
Do not be like the rest of the world: similar and indistinguishable. Do not be afraid to bloom into the uniquely colorful flower God has planned for you to be. If we all let ourselves bloom, imagine the vibrancy and pure beauty our world would explode with.