The One Where I Cheated


We shouldn't get distracted by noticing worldly pleasures or by comparing ourselves to others; instead, we should set our minds on the things above.

I finished the test and sat back feeling relief.  I had studied so hard.  It was my "One Hundred Question Constitution Test" in fifth grade.  I knew that I had aced it.

Oh, wait.  I happened to glace at Jimmy’s paper next to me.  I really wasn’t meaning to look at it, but I did.  And I noticed he wrote John Adams on number three.  John Adams?  I put Thomas Jefferson down for that one.  It had to be Thomas Jefferson.  But Jimmy is one of the smartest kids in our class.  I questioned myself. He must be right.  So, guess what I did.  I changed my answer.

And I got it wrong!

Besides this being an awesome story to teach why cheating is never good to do,  it is a story that recently has been coming up in my mind because it so clearly demonstrates how girls, and even moms, can fall into the comparison game.

I happened to glance.

Just one glance at what your friend is wearing is fine.  Of course, you will notice her new phone with the super cute bling-bling case.  And, it is silly to think I will not notice my friend’s new decked out sports utility car when I am still driving a van where the bumper might or might not fall off if I start highway driving.  But that should be where it stops.  Rejoice with those who are rejoicing.  That is the command.  It is not an option, not a suggestion, it is a command.  We need to stop at the glance.

I noticed.

This is where it gets tricky.  This is where the first, “Oh, that’s cute,” turns to, “Why does she get that and why don’t I?”  This is where the world tells us we need more, need newer, need different…no matter what it is describing.  This can be material things or even comparing yourself to other moms by looking on Pinterest.  We need to remember to not get distracted by noticing worldly pleasures or by comparing ourselves to others, but instead, set our minds on things above.

I questioned myself.

As soon as we continue to look and continue to long for something that someone else has, we become discontent. As mothers, we need to be not only pouring God’s truth into our daughters’ lives, but in our own as well.  We need to have our hearts filled with the Truth that we are more than the sum of our parts.  Who we are is not connected to what we own.  Living within the boundaries that God has established really does bring you joy here on earth.

I changed my answer.

This is where action demands a consequence.  In my test, I got that answer wrong and had to live with the fact that had I not changed the answer, I could have had 100%. Instead, I changed my answer.  Daily, we need to be praying that our girls will not change their answers but that they will remain strong in the hope that God is faithful and true.  They can stick to knowing who they are in Christ no matter what they own. We can stick to knowing who we are in Christ no matter if we are Pinterest failures. One thing that I like to do is to choose one verse for the summer or for the school year to pray for my daughter: one very specific thing that I can consistently take to the Lord with the desire that He will move in her soul and spirit.  He is the changer of hearts.  He is the changer of death into life.  And as much as I wish He would have changed my answer on that test, I now know that for Him to change my heart is more important than any 100%!

Written by Angie Ryg

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