We are Found: Leeds
I'm not sure a single one of us can say we've never struggled with comparison at one time or another. In her wonderful testimony, Hatty wrestles with how Jesus speaks into the comparison culture and radically transforms our identity. A x
My teenage years were dominated by constant comparison to friends.
Grades, sports teams, musicals, parties, holidays, fashion. What that meant was that I was never satisfied with what I had, what I’d done or who I was, because I was always chasing the next thing that would put me one step ahead. Sometimes I chased them at the expense of friends, family, even my own conscience.
“Imagine everything you’ve ever done, said and thought was projected on a screen… would you want anyone to see that?”
This was the question that made me stop and think about the way I was living. So far I’d put myself and my desires first. I didn’t much care for what other people thought and I definitely didn’t care for God. But somehow I couldn’t shake the belief that there is something beyond this life, because I saw deep unexplained injustice around me. Good, innocent people being oppressed and bad people getting away with it... Instead of diminishing my belief in a loving God, it enhanced it; there must be some sort of eternal justice delivered by the being who planted justice in us!
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart - 1 Samuel 16:7
I knew if God looked at my heart, he’d see some pretty hideous stuff. Selfish; judgemental; manipulative; impure. Words I don’t ever want people to know are hiding in my heart. But they are! These thoughts, that I can’t stop, made me scared of the punishment I knew they deserved.
If a thief was caught on CCTV, and brought in front of a judge, we would expect them to be punished for their wrongdoing. We would protest if the judge said ‘I don’t feel like punishing them today’, because that’s injustice. So it is with God. He sees the darkness in my heart and must punish it because he is just! But incredibly...
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life - John 3:16
Jesus did that for me... I can safely say I did nothing to deserve it! I went to Sunday school, and helped with the Christian meeting at school. But other than that I lived ignoring God. So when I started Leeds University and saw other people trying to know God better, I prayed that God would help me do the same. Gradually He has been helping me surrender all my life to him, not just parts. I heard about More Precious whilst at Leeds and love reading and sharing their wise words here. God is moving excitingly through campus and bringing new believers to the student community!
The comparison issues I struggled with at school didn’t just disappear immediately. It’s a continuous journey that started by reading a book on my gap year. Compared to Her (Sophie deWitt) completely changed my perspective. It freed me from finding my identity in everyone else except God, and opened my eyes to finding my identity in Christ alone. Some days I slip back into the traps of comparison- but I just have to remember this verse:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do - Ephesians 2:8-10
Hatty is the City Rep for Leeds this year, and is in her third year at university there. She loves how More Precious addresses lots of areas of life that affect all women, so that you can find an article for every passion and struggle. No topic is left out!