Gambling with your identity

5 Apr

I’m not a gambling girl. However, my Grandpa used to take my brother and I to the penny arcades. We’d be given the grand sum of £1 and set loose to run wild with the 1p and 2p machines (we were big spenders). At the end, my brother would end up with a pocketful of pennies, and I’d end up with nothing.

He would feel pompous, bragging all the way home, whilst I was there throwing myself a little one-woman pity party.

Self-righteousness and self-pity are two states many of us know intimately. I’m talking about comparison my friends. And it’s a gamble.

Why? Because it’s dangerous and it’s dangerously addictive. Every time you compare yourself, you are spinning a wheel – you are either going to come up on top, or you are going to fall short. You are popping the penny in the machine and you will either end up with a pocket full of change and that oh so fleeting feeling of victory, or be left feeling empty and useless. Whether it’s intellect, looks, material possessions, boyfriends, marriages, grades – it doesn’t matter..

You are paving the way for self-destructive thoughts that challenge your self worth and your precious uniqueness to the very core. That bit of you that makes you – you, that bit of you so thoughtfully and skillfully knitted together by your God.

So if comparison is your struggle, let me encourage you.

I want to encourage you to capture those thoughts. Yes, grab them with both hands and look at them in the light of God, see them for what they really are.

Whenever you feel yourself reducing who you are to a series of tick boxes, seeking approving ticks or gut wrenching crosses, try one of my (tried and tested) tips:

  • Keep an eye on the areas that you find yourself comparing. Write down the fundamental, common lies. Bring them to God and ask him to reveal his truths to you
  • Arm yourself with truths. Read the word like your identity depends on it. Absorb it
  • Find some mantra verses that you can repeat, and ask God to inscribe them on your heart – Try Psalm 100:3, Isaiah 43:3, Matthew 10:29-31, John 15:14
  • Make yourself accountable to close friends. Let them know what your battle is
  • Realise that you emotions are fickle. You may feel great, you may feel rubbish, but the truths that your God speaks over you remain constant
  • Be reminded that it is not only yourself that you are putting down or elevating, because in comparison, you are also doing that to your Brother’s and Sisters
  • STOP that negative self-talk, whether done jokingly or in seriousness, publicly or under your breath. I can tell you one thing for sure – it breaks God’s heart to hear you speak of yourself like that

Investigate what it means to truly love yourself – because you are so ultimately, deeply and unconditionally loved. To be secure in this love is a journey and a challenge – one that I am pushing into myself.

So let’s dust off the crowns of our inheritance, of the unconditional love of a Father who sent his son so that we could live in freedom from the slave of comparison

“Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t”. Roman’s 12.6



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