In the office, they hang on every word he says while I'm invisible. My casserole is sitting here too, you know. Why does everyone always go for her stuff? My photograph isn't viral in the contest. Maybe I'm not cut out for this.
Now comparison words start slithering in.
I'm not as good as him. She's better than me.
Lovely words, if you're a mathematical equation. Horrible words, if you're a person.
In my own struggle, I could feel my heart starting to sink.
"Bag it. I'll NEVER be as good as him. Why try? And then there are her posts. Her stuff is shared whenever a crumb drops from her mouth. "
Yep, writers have our own version of comparison.
If we let it.
And I knew better. I recognized I needed to give this to God.
"Father, please give your thoughts about this." Not really believing He'd show up and do so, I went to scroll on Facebook and bemoan the fact that maybe this whole writing gig was a mistake. What in the world was I thinking anyway?
And in flies the monster of comparison - the Flying Purple Opinion Eater.
He was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple opinion eater. Sure looks good to me.
But does it look good to me?
Does envy, one fruit of the flesh, really look good?
Does it feel good?
Sitting down at my computer to begin writing, I noticed a small, lone sticky note with only a Bible reference - Galatians 1:10. Was that there before?
Curious, I looked it up.
"Ah, Father," I chuckled. "The verse I asked for. Once again, you've shown yourself to me. And, of course, you do. I'm your daughter."
So, of whom will we eat to nourish ourselves today? Other people's opinions? The approval of others? Or is it God's approval we are really after?
Are we putting stock in the opinion of others over resting in Christ’s view of us?
But what do we do when we feel rejected? Unworthy? Passed over? Eaten up and spitted out by other people?
We remember... I am already approved by God!
I particularly love Ephesians 1:5-6 in the KJV. "Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."
Since I am already approved by God, I do not need to succumb to a popularity contest to find acceptance.
In Him I find my worth, my value, and my courage to keep doing what He has put inside of me. I drink in only His opinion of me. Living water is only found in Christ. If we drink of Him, we will never thirst.
Slurping in the water of the Flying Purple Opinion Eater will only leave us parched and panting for a more and more that will never satisfy. It's like swallowing salt water for hydration. It will only eventually kill us. It will never satisfy.
Sorry, Mr. Flying Purple Opinion Eater. I'm not drinking of your poison today. I'm not chugging your message of pleasing man and washing it down with an extra swig of comparison.
I only want to please my God and guess what? He says that is already pleased with me. So, take that!
So what if I'm ignored in the office? So what if my casserole has leftovers? So what if my photograph doesn't win any votes? So what if he's a better writer than I? So what if people share all of her stuff on social media?
I do not bow before the "great god of opinion."
So, Mr. One Eared, One Horned, Flying Purple Opinion Eater— Go take a flying leap.
Sure, looks horrible to me.