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About the Writer:
Heather Cox - Writer

Heather Cox is a freelance mom who also doubles as a writer. She married a country boy and lives in a country home with her three country kids. Her family lives in Wisconsin. Heather's passion is to teach the Word of God in a spirit of love with her life and her words.



Do You Measure Up?

By Heather Cox

“Mom, I’ve grown up a whole pound – now I weigh 43 pounds,” my eldest daughter exclaimed as she stood on the white bathroom scale. As each successive child stepped up, personal growth was noted. My four year old daughter matter-of-factly commented, “I weigh 37 feet – is that big Mom?” All three children gathered around me and chorused in unison, “Your turn Mom – how big are you?” Oh my heavens – I don’t want to know how big I am. That’s a personal and private secret between me and God because I certainly don’t need someone else measuring me up.

Childish fascination with growth and measurement turns fatal when adults carry this burden of comparison to others and the consuming fear of not “measuring up.”

From a young age, I was taught to compare myself to others. I performed better than half the class in mathematics but worse than most of the students in kickball. The academic environment created in me an internal report card. Unlike the objective standards in the classroom, my personal scoring system depended upon how I compared to those around me. When I excelled in math, for example, my inner report card gave me an “A” mostly because so many other people struggle with that subject. However, I considered myself a failure in anything athletic since my abilities could never compare to those around me. Averaging out the scores I gave myself in every area of my life, I found my personal evaluation of myself to be a “C+”: better than many people, but not as good as others. Of course, this whole internal grading process was subconscious. I never meant to be pretentious or judgmental.

This weekend my scores plummeted from A’s to F’s and I felt myself descending into a spiral of self-pity and despondency. My ideas had been rejected and I believed that I had failed. Why do I depend so heavily upon how I compare to others to determine my worth?

Instead of constantly examining if I measure up to someone else’s abilities, I need to see how I measure U.P. to God. God doesn’t compare me to anyone else. He is not surprised by my failures (or successes for that matter). He is fully aware of my fallen humanity and my God-given potential. He sees me in light of redemption – realizing that I am not what I once was nor am I yet all that I will be. He wants me to keep my eyes on the goal, pressing onward and upward to be more like Him, not anyone else (see Philippians 3:7-16).

God’s concern is that I measure U.P. to my Unique Potential. He gave each one of us unique talents and abilities. This weekend I was freed from the desire to be someone I admire greatly. Mentors are helpful in my life only as they draw my eyes upward to the best mentor of all – Christ. I no longer want to be a certain famous woman of God. I don’t want her ministry or her books or her speaking engagements. I want to be ME and do what I can with what God has uniquely given me. I may not be the servant with ten talents, but that doesn’t give me the right to go hide my five-talent uniqueness away out of fear that I could never do it as well as someone else (see Luke 19:12-27).

I am weary of never measuring up to others. It’s time I started measuring up to my Unique Potential and investing my unique talents with a vision for great profit someday – to be called a “good and faithful servant” by the One I serve wholeheartedly.

Where will I be in ten years? Will I be a famous, published, “A+” very important type of person? Or more importantly, will I have measured U.P. to God’s plans for me in my Unique Potential, reaping the joy of living for His approval alone?

To whom have you been comparing yourself? Have you caught yourself recently feeling pretty good about yourself because you’re not like “those” people? Or have you felt woefully inadequate next to your spiritual giants? Ask God to free you from the stronghold of measuring up to others.

What is your unique potential? Is God calling you to do something specific for Him today to bring you closer to the goal? Let’s promise each other to live for Him alone and invest our uniqueness for His glory.





Copyright © June 2007 – Heather Cox. All rights reserved


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