DISCLAIMER: I received this book from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. Want to be a B&H/LifeWay blogger too? Apply at bhbloggers.com.
IF SUCCESS IS DEFINED IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, WHO ARE YOU LETTING BEHOLD YOUR SUCCESS?
Nicki Koziarz is confronting the comparison question: Why her?
Through two striving sisters in the Bible, Nicki uncovers six truths we need to hear when trying to measure up leaves you falling behind.
THESE SIX TRUTHS WILL HELP YOU:
STOP staring at her success and find satisfaction in yours
FIND contentment with your life without being complacent in who you are becoming
GAIN godly wisdom to answer the Why Her? silent question of your soul
Someone will always be ahead. But that doesn’t mean you’re behind. Because Truth, like always, will set us free. And free women don’t have to measure up to anybody. Not even her.
“What am I doing wrong?”. “Why does she have all this success and not me?”. “What does she have that I don’t?”. Do any of these phrases sound familiar? Did you maybe cringe a little when you read them? If so, you’re in good company. As women, we have this never-ending battle with comparison. We compare our bodies, our clothes, our jobs, our finances. Literally every single thing that could be compared, we compare what we have or don’t have to others without even realizing it sometimes because it’s become our “normal”. Except, it isn’t really normal at all. It is crippling and downright paralyzing. Instead of looking at other women and being thankful for their uniqueness and their gifts, we compare the things they have to ourselves and view ourselves through broken lenses without a second thought saying that we are just as worthy and valuable as they are.
In the book “Why Her?”, Nicki Koziarz talks about her own personal struggles with comparison and identity. Through the story of Rachel and Leah in the Bible, Nicki paints a picture of the roads comparison can lead us down, but also talks about how God can restore and use us through our identity struggles.
In my own personal story, I can relate to this “Why Her?” Thought process. As an entrepreneur, it is all too easy to compare ourselves with others who are more successful than we are and feel so far behind that we can’t catch up. I used to ask the question all the time of “Why Her?” to myself because I had all these goals that I wanted to accomplish and felt like I was not making any progress. In the Bible, the story of Rachel and Leah– two sisters who were married to the same guy by fault of their own father–struggled daily with comparison and feeling defeated and unloved. Leah was able to conceive and have children quickly, and Rachel was not. Rachel was the husband’s favored wife, and he made sure she knew it. Leah on the other hand, he pretty much neglected. So these sisters took matters into their own hands. It gets pretty ugly, but God’s love and redemption is evident throughout the whole story. I encourage you to read it if you haven’t.
Throughout the whole book, I was saying to myself “this girl gets me. She understands. I am so glad I’m not alone in this struggle”. As women, we often don’t talk about this big struggle of ours with comparison out of fear or shame because we are Christian women. Here’s the thing though, just because we are saved by God’s grace, doesn’t mean that we are perfect. We are still human. All of us struggle with our identity and the tendency to compare ourselves to someone else. And here’s another fact, because we don’t openly talk about our struggles with one another, we falsely assume that someone “has it all together” because we are comparing what we physically see, and not what is actually true. That saying that says “a picture is worth a thousand words” I believe applies to our lives too. We can only compare what we see, when in reality, the people we are comparing ourselves and our lives to are struggling just as much as we are and we just don’t know it. The struggle is internal, and one we can’t easily see.
Nicki’s book is packed to the brim with truth bombs, and I could never write them all here. But, there are quite a few that have struck a cord with me. She says that “Comparison is a battle to see whose truth–ours or God’s–we’ll allow to rule our thoughts and actions”. When push comes to shove, this gets right to the heart of the matter with comparison. We compare ourselves with others because we are allowing the thoughts and opinions of others to dictate our thoughts and opinions of ourselves instead of letting God do that. There is never going to be anything good that will come from us comparing ourselves with others. Nicki puts it this way: ” Staring too long at the success of someone else can make us miss our own satisfaction with life. And there’s simply too much that’s beautiful about you and me to lose it all on her“.
We’ve all heard the saying from Theodore Roosevelt that says “comparison is the thief of joy”. Don’t be so consumed by comparing yourself to others that it steals your joy. Better yet, let your joy–pure, true joy–come from Christ instead of from others. When we stop letting the thoughts and opinions, successes and failures of others dictate our joy and our self-worth, we will only then be content in who we are. “We need to remember, when looking at people’s lives that appear perfect to us, there’s probably a not-so-perfect story happening there that’s never going to be told”. It’s easy to look at other’s lives and assume that they have it all together. It’s easy to look at perfectly curated Instagram feeds and think someone has the perfect life. When really, behind closed doors, someone’s life could be coming apart at the seams and they’d never show it.
“Comparison brings out our competitive streak, which eats away at our contentment, which then starts to destroy our confidence, until we’re fighting to keep up with an unrealistic standard”.
If you’ve ever felt like you just don’t measure up, then this book is one you’ll want to pick up. Nicki does such a wonderful job weaving the stories of Leah and Rachel together with her own personal stories of comparison. Not only does she beautifully weave the stories together, but she applies honest, Biblical, and applicable truth on top of it all. This book is your one stop shop for vulnerability, honesty, wisdom, and all sorts of truth packed into one small book. I am thankful for Nicki’s honesty and encouragement in this book and especially for all the applicable ways I can actively fight the comparison battle. I am learning how to see myself the way that God does and to not so readily compare myself with others. We are all on different journeys, in one big story written by God and we can’t compare what He is personally doing in, through, and with us to someone else whose journey is different than ours. If you are interested in reading this book, you can find one here or wherever books are sold. I am thankful for this book and for all of the wisdom that Nicki instills in it and for the ability to read her heart on comparison. I am hopeful that all of us will be able to openly talk with each other about our struggles just as candidly as she did.