Scripture of the Day:
2 Corinthians 5:12
“We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.”
Comparison labels us as a misfit and attempts to steal our real identity that is never defined by life’s mishaps.
Our identity is in Christ, not in our appearance. No one could ever steal our worth. Sometimes life gets messy.
Judging by appearance alone does not reveal the goodness inside.
Driving to the University of Maryland to take an exam in Chemistry after having missed a month of school due to mono, I stuffed a cookie in my mouth (the breakfast of champions) and sped down Good Luck Road (which was never good luck for me, by the way – car accidents, speeding tickets, getting stuck in a colossal snow storm all happened on Good Luck Rd.) But I digress . . .
It did not help matters that my car horn was sticking and honking at other vehicles. Especially the police officer who pulled alongside me. “Honk, honk!” I waved and smiled, hoping a little charm and a sense of humor would deliver me from the shame of the moment, but no.
Pulled over to get a ticket, I was going to be even more late for this chemistry exam. Ugh. Nervously eating cookies, I did not realize that the chocolate chips cookie crumbles were slipping underneath my derriere . . . and I had white pants on.
When I made it to class, I quickly ran into the bathroom to assess the damage the chocolate chip cookies had done to my fashion. Great. It looked like I had pooped in my pants. No matter. I would tie my jacket around my waist.
If I had one word to describe the first year of college, it would be accident prone. Wait – that’s two words. When I compared myself to others, they seemed to have their act together. Me? I was huffing and puffing and lugging a mini-tuba across campus with chocolate on my back pocket.
As I tried to recover any dignity I had left, I went into the bathroom at Tawes Fine Arts building and took off my pants to try and clean them in the sink. My desperation to not be seen with chocolate on my pants caused me to sink to new levels. Scrubbing the pants with my jacket tied around my waist, people coming into the bathroom gave me interesting stares. Finally, someone had compassion on me. “I can get you some clothes from the drama department if you want.” “Really? That would be great.” “Sure. I will take your pants down there and clean them for you and come back with something else for you to wear”.
Yeah, sure. Let’s just say that it was the longest wait in my life for clothing as I stood in the bathroom scantily clothed. Someone did eventually come – with an atrocious outfit for me to wear – a Spanish outfit.
Why did I care so much about a stain on my pants in an embarrassing spot? Shame. Comparison.
Shame is formed in the space of comparison. It says we are not enough when we consider others who we esteem as more than ourselves.
This shame birthed in comparison is performance-based and a stealer of our joy. It labels us as a misfit and attempts to steal our real identity that is never defined by life’s mishaps. We are daughters of the King of kings. Our identity is in Christ, not in our appearance. No one could ever steal our worth.
Come join the conversation in the Shame Off You group: www.facebook.com/groups/shameoffyou