Welcome to my very first Guest Post! This is something that my roommate Kacie wrote about our friendship, and the comparison that nearly ruined it. It’s a story that brings tears to my eyes every time because of how good and faithful God was to mend something that was so quickly headed for something much much uglier. I hope that our story brings you hope and encouragement- just like it continues to do for us every day. You can check out Kacie’s blog here.
I learned a lot about comparison last year while I was on The World Race – mainly that I needed to wage war against it, and that my short-ish, rounder-than-victoria’s-secret-model-shaped figure, tendency to turn a stark shade of fire-engine when I’m embarrassed, and alarmingly loud laugh aren’t just beautiful in theory
–but are actually stunning–
all while living with a woman who is in every way my physical opposite (with the exception of an equally obnoxious laugh).
That battle with comparison wasn’t just a battle over me.
That spirit bringing up fear and judgment between myself and this girl wasn’t just attacking me; it was attacking unity – the body – the Bride of Christ.
It didn’t want me to feel equal to her, and it certainly didn’t want me to love her.
Envy, absolutely, but not love.
And I didn’t love her.
In fact, there was a night in Romania that myself and my blonde, beautiful teammate both walked up to our leadership separately, without having discussed it, and calmly informed them that our team simply would not do because she and I just could not live with one another and they needed to change it, please and thank you.
We left Romania on the very same team we’d been on when we had arrived…and eloquent, tall teammate lady had a brilliant (miserable sounding) idea:
Seeing as how we certainly weren’t being separated, she decided we needed to love each other…really love each other. Like, put effort into loving each other.
I wont pretend that I didn’t begin that endeavor with a “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” justification, but motivation right or wrong, every other morning for a month, I gave her a Nescafe 3-in-1 instant coffee packet.
The mornings I didn’t give her one, she gave one to me. There wasn’t coffee where we were living, so these coveted gifts were delicacies. We could’ve each kept our own coffee, but giving it or receiving it each morning meant sacrificing either our treasures or our pride – and slowly but surely – we learned to love each other over these tiny gifts.
Gift-giving turned into praying for each other, for the Lord’s eyes for one another, because as this wise woman once said to me: “It’s impossible to not be on the same team as someone else when you’re praying for them.”
Quickly, praying for each other turned into delivering each other notes after we’d prayed, often including a word of encouragement that the Lord had given us for each other…
and then we were loving each other – and loving each other well – as sisters and as friends.
Two months later, we were granted our long-gone wish and were put on separate teams to travel and serve with, and we didn’t have a chance to live together again for the remaining 8 of our 11 months abroad. We arrived back in America in late July…
And another two months later, this is my roommate:
Comparison almost robbed me of one of my very dearest friends simply because I didn’t know she was my very dear friend, yet.
All I saw was all the ways we were starkly different, the ways I wanted to be like her and wasn’t, and the very few ways she wanted to be like me and didn’t yet know how to be.
But the Lord calls us sisters, He calls us united by one body, one spirit, one hope (Eph. 4:4).
He sees her as flawless – and He sees me as flawless.
My flawlessness doesn’t give her flaws, nor does her flawlessness negate mine. They don’t look the same – but that isn’t a truth that limits the definition of “flawless,” rather it infinitely expands the capacity and depth of the perfection of God.
Redemption is perfect in Christ
I am perfect in Christ | She is perfect in Christ
Who are you competing with? Who do you feel is beneath you? Who are you trying to out-rank?
He or she could be your best friend – your next roommate – the loudest voice of truth in your life – or your very biggest fan,
you just might not know it yet because an enemy who hates you is actively trying to distort that reality.
Love him or her intentionally, pray, encourage one another…
And if you aren’t sure where to start, it may be time to start buying some instant-coffee packets!