I had a very interesting workout a couple of days ago. My normal routine is to take and listen to my bluetooth earplugs and my music from my iPhone. When I got to my workout place, I put my earplugs on, turned them on and was about to turn on the music when I realized something. I forgot my cell phone with my music. No Jason Mraz. No Beach Boys. No Kenny G. No Shania Twain. No Eagles. No Rippingtons. I was going have to workout on the elliptical without any music to help me get through the workout. I closed my eyes and began to step.
I began to hear two women on my right side talk about their bodies. I never opened my eyes so I had no idea what they looked like or how old they were. But I was drawn to their discussions. They were talking about a woman they both knew. They described this woman as a 54 year old tall, good looking, slender female who knew that she was attractive. As they described her, they began to compare themselves with this woman and came up deficient. They described her as someone who purported her beauty as she walked and caused these women to feel distain for their own bodies.
About this time a man came up and infused himself in the conversation. During this time I had my eyes closed so I didn’t get a visual of this person either. He made some flirtatious comments as well as remarks about other women who were working out in the gym. They bantered back and forth for a few minutes and he left. One woman said to the other woman, “He sure doesn’t know how to make a woman feel good, does he?” The other woman affirmed the remark and said her goodbyes.
I never got a picture of these women, but I heard the picture they were giving themselves as they compared themselves with another woman that wasn’t even there. They also took a comment by a man who dropped by and took it in a negative way about themselves. Words and comparisons can be false influencers in the way we look about ourselves. Words that have innocent connotations can be taken so wrong when our own perspective about ourselves is skewed. When we compare ourselves with others who we think are better than us or prettier than us, we will lose. These I call false influencers.
In II Cor. 10:12, Paul speaks to this issue and says that we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others because God is our judge. He is also our maker and made us exactly the way he wanted us to look and be and do (Psalms 139). When we see ourselves as God sees us, all the false influencers begin to fade away and we can start accepting ourselves as God wants us to.
On this journey, it might be helpful to identify those false influencers in your life and re-orient our thinking to a new way of looking at ourself.