How Do YOU Define ‘Middle?’
In a family with four kids, I consider the second and third children to be ‘middle’ children. I don’t know if birth-order gurus would agree or not, but in my mind, how else could it work?
So that makes me a middle child. It also makes me super-competitive. The problem with the super-competitive-middle-child syndrome is that as I grew older it turned into the super-comparative syndrome.
The act of comparison always leaves someone feeling little or less-than—just like a middle child. When I let my mind wander down the comparison path, I feel discouraged because I don’t have what Soandso has. To compensate, my mind quickly points out an area where I excel more than Whatshisname.
The cycle can get out of control when I start analyzing my performance in comparison with everyone else’s and realize that I don’t measure up—again. And so I do what all middle children do—I whine to my friends and family.
Of course, I try to make it sound like a compliment (no one likes hanging out with whiners). “You’re so good at quilting, I’ll never be able to quilt like you.”
I didn’t realize how deeply I had fallen into the trap until a friend gently pointed out to me that a compliment with a comparison is no compliment at all.A compliment with a comparison is no compliment at all. #fmfparty #BGBG2 Click To Tweet
Hunger for Less Comparison
This year, I want to make a habit of hungering for God. I want to replace my wanting and whining with wanting and praying. Life is more of a messy middle than anything else—so I want to make the most of my middle times.
When I feel a compliment/comparison coming on, I’ll make a habit of praising God for what I do have. I’ll thank God for the changes he has made in me. And I’ll try to let my compliments stand alone without a slimy side of self-pity. I think my friends will appreciate it.I want to let my compliments stand alone without a slimy side of self-pity. #BGBG2 Click To Tweet
I will rejoice with those who rejoice; and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15)
After all, we are all unfinished projects, and God hasn’t perfected us yet.
Q4U: What do you struggle with?