They Do Exist.

She’s Too Beautiful To Be My Friend: On Jealousy And Comparison.

Editor’s Note: I cannot tell you how many times in my life I’ve kept girls off my potential friend list just by seeing their picture. Even today, I struggle. Comparison is real, and a deadly weapon that we often wield against ourselves. Today’s post is written by Kacie Lynn Lester. She blogs at colormecaptivated.com and tweets at @klynnlest. I’m so grateful for her willingness to be SO honest about this. – Lauren

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, turn-a-shade-of-fire-engine-red-when-I’m-embarrassed face, and alarmingly loud laugh aren’t just beautiful in theory. They’re actually stunning.

And I had to learn this all while living with a beautiful woman who is in every way my physical opposite.

I was particularly upset one day early in the Race as I watched my beautiful teammate go about her day flawlessly – even her messy crying fits and bouts of insecurity were beautiful – and I often wondered how it could be possible at all that I could also be beautiful with my pale skin and boring hair and short (and admittedly thicker) frame.

I’m so different – I speak and think and act and look so vastly differently than this girl who is, in every sense of the word, beautiful.

I would ask myself constantly, how can I also be beautiful when I’m nothing like this girl who embodies the word?

I actually sat Stephanie down the week we met and I told her to her face that I probably wasn’t going to like her. She was too perfect and I was sure she knew it, and I cannot get along with conceited girls (which I figured she was, without a doubt).

Then I learned that she wanted to write, I wanted to write – she wanted to sing, I do sing – she used to dance, I used to dance – I paint, she likes to paint – I play guitar, she wanted to learn. Initially, I just saw my obvious inferiority to her,  so I saw everything we had in common as threatened. She obviously looked better doing it, so I had to prove that I actually did it better. Competition got stacked on top of comparison, and everything got bitter.

That battle with comparison wasn’t just a battle over me. The spirit that was bringing up fear and judgement towards her wasn’t just attacking me, 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 did not love her.

In fact, there was a night in Romania that I and my blonde, beautiful roommate walked up to our leader separately, without having discussed it, and calmly informed them that our team simply would not work because we could not live together, and they need to change it. Please and thank you.

Our eloquent and tall leader had a brilliant miserable sounding idea:

“Seeing as how you certainly aren’t being separated, you need to decide to love each other. Really love each other. Like, put effort into loving each other.” 

I won’t pretend that I didn’t begin that endeavor with a “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” justification, but motivation being 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 have each just kept our own coffee, but giving and receiving it every morning meant sacrificing our treasures and our pride. And, slowly but surely, we learned to love each other over these tiny gifts.

Gift-giving turned into praying for each other. As a 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.”

Praying for each other turned into delivering one another’s notes after we’d prayed, including a word of encouragement. And then? 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 two months later, she is my roommate.

Now that I know her heart, I see how often the enemy tries to tell her she’s ugly and awkward looking.  The fact that she can look in the mirror as often as she does and see imperfection and ugliness in herself proves to me more than anything that the enemy exists. I ended up teaching her to play guitar and now we worship together in our adorable little Georgia apartment when the enemy tries to get in our business.

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 change that reality.

Love intentionally. Pray. Encourage one another. And if you aren’t sure where to start, it might be time to start buying some instant coffee packets!

 


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45 Responses

  1. anibea

    So good!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:20 am

  2. Ha! Been there. Thanks for sharing!

    October 26, 2012 at 3:55 am

  3. anon

    Not to contradict the message of the post, but I actually find both girls equally attractive. Just sayin…

    October 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

  4. Kathy

    This may sound twisted, but I've often been jealous of friends that I believed had a more beautiful SPIRIT than mine. I feel like I'm not good enough or kind or pure enough to be friends with them.

    October 26, 2012 at 7:04 am

  5. Katie

    Thank you Kacie!!!! This is wonderful =]

    October 26, 2012 at 9:21 am

  6. Sarah

    3-in-one Nescafe packets are a beautiful way to start a sisterhood :) This was utterly moving.

    October 26, 2012 at 9:44 am

  7. DejaLenae

    This is beautiful.

    October 26, 2012 at 9:44 am

  8. stephanielouisemay

    I love you Kacie. I'm so proud to be your sister. :-) I'll still buy you coffee packets if you want… :-)

    October 26, 2012 at 9:53 am

  9. Sarah

    Dealing with this in my life in so many ways. This has encouraged me beyond words. I'll be praying for a heart change today. Thank you for your words

    October 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

  10. This is a great post; lovely in so many ways.
    For me…envy, unfortunately, does not only come with physical beauty. I have a tendency to think that other women are "better at being women" than I am; that they are more feminine than me because they wear makeup and put a lot of effort into what they wear every day. That they are nicer than me, more likeable than me, and most importantly: they don't need me, because they already have their other girl friends.

    So…I end up not viewing them as equals; rather, they are better than me. I am inferior…and more often than not, I just give up. I don't fight with words or actions, I just think that I'm not as good as them, I'll never be as good as them.

    So…thank you for showing me the truth. This was really encouraging to me; it helped me realize that I actually do have envy lurking around; it just functions a lot differently for me. I'm feeling a lot more confident and loved in this journey of finding some girl friends for myself :)

    October 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

  11. lumilarose

    I've been the victim of this kind of envy and it made my day to read you. Anyway judging from the picture you are beautiful too, but I understand your insecurities. Being the victim of envy may not make you doubt your appearance (though I had other reasons to), but it makes doubt your personality and such because if people are put of by your appearance and don't want to be your friends for that you must not have any value that would make them stay. And it makes you envy those who appear to have value and people who want to stay.

    October 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  12. Kacie, thanks for sharing! You both are sooo cute!

    October 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

  13. Ciera

    WOW! very true and tough to own up to in life. I'm so glad you posted this, it's wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I definitely needed to read that!

    October 27, 2012 at 12:06 am

  14. Catherine

    I'm struggling with this same scenario right now with one of my house-mates. Not only is it making it difficult (to say the least) for me to love her, but it's making it next to impossible for me to see myself in a healthy way because all I can see are the ways that I don't measure up. Thanks for sharing! It's nice to see a friendship that has overcome.

    October 27, 2012 at 12:19 am

  15. This is just a great post, Kacie! Beautiful.
    Acting in love and receiving love builds a powerful bond. You are right. The comparison game is not rooted in love of the other.
    Your story is probably like a story all of us have known for ourselves. You wrote this so well! Thank you!

    October 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

  16. great post! my friend says the same thing as the wise woman and prays for whoever she cannot get along with

    October 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

  17. Thanks for being real! This is so good and a battle all of us face.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  18. I just read this out loud from my month two debrief in South Africa in a room with 4 other racers!! This is the first time I've had reliable internet since I left and I was so pleasantly surprised to find a RACER on one of my favorite blogs. Thank you so much for your transparency and I will for sure be sharing this with the girls of iSquad (2 gen). Way to represent! #11n11

    October 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm

  19. SarahElizabeth

    I was really able to relate to this post and I appreciate the honesty! In my experience I can also say that this affects me in the form of "he's too good to be my friend/boyfriend." I think women also sell themselves short when it comes to relationships with men because they think they have to be perfect already for him to fall in love. When he will fall in love with all the perfections AND imperfections that make her beautiful!

    October 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm

  20. Such a great blog of truth. Comparison destroys community while love unites. Comparison is something us guys struggle with a lot too, I know I do! Such great words to hear. Thank you for eloquent words of truth!

    November 1, 2012 at 4:54 am

  21. Lauren Delker

    I think it also goes the other way as well. Looking at someone else and thinking you are better than them. Better looking, better spirit, etc. Whatever it is. Obviously, there is a lot of pride attached to this but in reality, it's just another form of comparison. We simply cannot compare our walk with God, our looks, or any other thing to someone else. There's no validity there and all it does is discourage yourself and others. I appreciate you speaking up about something like this. We all need to hear it. God bless you:)

    November 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

  22. Pingback: When Your Pain Comes From Someone Else's Sin - Good Women Project

  23. Guys definitely struggle with this too: looks, personality differences, whether or not he has a girlfriend or wife; education, popularity…it's all there. Some of us guys even struggle with envy/jealousy of women too.

    March 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm

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  25. So…I end up not viewing them as equals; rather, they are better than me. I am inferior…and more often than not, I just give up. I don't fight with words or actions, I just think that I'm not as good as them, I'll never be as good as them.

    August 4, 2013 at 7:13 am

  26. Being the victim of envy may not make you doubt your appearance (though I had other reasons to), but it makes doubt your personality.Nice post i like this post very much

    September 16, 2013 at 2:02 am

  27. If you’re feeling especially tricks, you may want to do your own form of “nail polish” coding; post something in the middle of your profile that guys should mention specifically if they want to hear from you.

    September 16, 2013 at 8:11 am

  28. adam

    I was particularly upset one day early in the Race as I watched my beautiful teammate go about her day flawlessly – even her messy crying fits and bouts of insecurity were beautiful http://www.theslimmingsupermarket.co.uk

    November 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

  29. aebl

    That battle with comparison wasn’t just a battle over me. The spirit that was bringing up fear and judgement towards her wasn’t just attacking me, was attacking unity. The body, the bride of Christ .www.theslimmingsupermarket.co.uk

    November 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm

  30. That's cool. I really like it.

    February 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm

  31. There are plenty of organizations these days that do this especially here in US. Great thing that Indian is now competitive in this area these days.

    May 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm

  32. 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

    July 4, 2014 at 5:18 am

  33. I'm struggling with this same scenario right now with one of my house-mates. Not only is it making it difficult (to say the least) for me to love her, but it's making it next to impossible for me to see myself in a healthy way

    July 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

  34. AKk

    Double standards are alive and well. If a beautiful girl had said that she sat you down and told you that she probably wouldn't like you because of your lack of attractiveness and assumed you were insecure she would have gotten so much hate. Why is everyone supporting you? I don't agree with double standards, if its mean and immature one way, its mean and immature the other way.

    September 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm

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    December 29, 2014 at 6:16 am

  36. Great information. We can use this for reference. Thanks

    January 8, 2015 at 3:35 am

  37. If you’re feeling especially tricks, you may want to do your own form of “nail polish” coding; post something in the middle of your profile that guys should mention specifically if they want to hear from you.

    July 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm

  38. I do agree. She is beautiful

    April 6, 2017 at 7:22 pm

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