Thursday, November 20, 2014

One uppers

I've never really understood the desire within people to "one up" others. I do it myself even. It all starts when we are kids, "My daddy is stronger than your daddy!" Then as we get older we reverse it. We try to one up who has it harder in life. "I'm so tired from all this homework." "Oh yeah? Try getting sleep with a newborn baby!"

This is so silly. And I'm convicted because I say or think these things all. the. time.

I've seen articles SO MUCH lately posted on facebook about things like, "What NOT to say to a ___." Fill in that blank with pregnant woman, foster mom, mom with special needs child, stay at home mom, working mom, etc.

I believe that these articles were originally intended to be helpful and informative. And they are! I want to know how I can be more sensitive to others. But I fear that the people who write them and post them might have motives that are wanting to "one up" others. It's like we post these articles with the intention of rubbing it in other peoples faces that we live a life that they will NEVER understand.

What is the point in that kind of attitude? It fosters bitterness against people who did nothing to you and pushes away people who may WANT to understand.

I could tell you all kinds of struggles about being a working mom, being a ministers wife, being a foster mom, growing up with a special needs sibling, losing a sibling... And I think you can learn from my life experiences. I LOVE to share what God has done and is doing through those life situations with those that haven't lived what I have lived.

BUT I also LOVE to learn from OTHER peoples testimonies who have lived through things I can't imagine ever living through.

I think God would be way more honored if we invited people to go through our specific life journeys with us instead of pushing them away. He'd be more honored if we didn't get ticked off that "people just don't understand." He'd be more honored if we took the focus off ourselves and back on to Jesus Christ. He'd be more honored if we chose to ask other people to share their story instead of only thinking about our own.

Most importantly, I fear that "one uppers" have made their life situations their badge...their identity. Your identity lies in what Jesus did for you on the cross. Not what you have endured. My life and what I've been through belongs to God. Not me.

This is not a competition, people. God created us to have community with eachother and that can't happen with a bunch of one uppers. Let's "rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12:15)