Some of you know this about me, but I have a degree in math. Yes, that’s right. A Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and no, I have no idea what I intend(ed) to do with it. It is what it is and I confess such to you knowing that my nerd status is now henceforth and forever established. No doubt about it.
Anyway, one thing I love about math, particularly the math where there are equations and numbers and answers as opposed to higher level math which is nothing but Greek letters and proofs and such, one thing I love is that it’s concrete. There’s a process. There’s an answer, a single answer. It’s black and white. Provable. Reasonable. Measurable.
I love what can be measured and reasoned and thus evaluated. I love figuring things out. The funny thing is, so does my husband and my boys, my oldest two especially. We will have some of the nerdiest conversations you can imagine in which we try to figure out such conundrums as “If 1/4 cup of powder makes one gallon of electrolyte drink, how much powder does it take for a 24 ounce water bottle.” Really. We do that. A family of nerds, that’s what we are, and we wear the label proudly.
But sometimes my love for quantitative measures has more personal ramifications. Take for example Facebook. There the number of friends one has, a quantitative measure, is easily compared to another’s, conveniently inviting a “” or “=” equation. In case you’re wondering, my friend count is generally on the left side of the “<" .
There are any number of measures we use to evaluate our worth and determine our significance. Our weight. Our income. Our sitemeter stats. Or take, for instance, the handy dandy “Blog follower” tool. Convenient, yes. Interesting to see who reads what, absolutely. A measure of popularity, perhaps. True confession: sometimes when I click on so-and-so’s blog and happen to note that a gazillion or so readers follow so-and-so’s blogworthy thoughts, I can’t help but sigh. See, I have, well,
slightly significantly less than a gazillion followers. (The few! The proud!)
Because I love a black and white, concrete measure, it is easy for me to conclude, for example, that because so and so has “x” number of women coming to her Bible study and I have “y” then she has the Lord’s favor. Or maybe she is the better, more gifted Bible teacher. I’m talking just as an example, hypothetically speaking of course.
Okay, sometimes I really am that insecure.
It’s the insecure heart that frantically looks to her left and her right to see where she measures up. Or where she doesn’t. Listen, there will always be someone thinner, someone with more facebook friends, someone who’s a better teacher, someone with the bigger house and someone with more obedient children. Comparing ourselves will never answer our gaping self esteem issues. Instead, comparison only invites discontent which will invite further comparison which brings greater discontent.
Let’s break out of the cycle. I’m not called to look like her, whoever she is. And neither are you. Our call is this: to serve the Lord Jesus, to exalt Him, to remember the grace He pours out on us just because He loves us, to affirm our unworthiness as we proclaim that while we were yet sinners Christ died so that we might live!
After all, the only measure worth measuring is immeasurable, that is, the “immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved…” (Eph. 2:7-8)