I recently posed this question to some of my friends & family regarding high maintenance vs. vanity; what is the difference? I just wanted to know their opinions. I have been called high maintenance several times and there is no doubt about it; I am. First, let me give you the Webster's dictionary definition of both. High maintenance is not defined in Webster's but when I looked up high maintenance as a whole word it brought me to high mindedness which is elevated principles and feelings. Then I decided to break down high maintenance. High can mean a lot of things depending on how you use it but relating to what I am talking about; rich in quality, exalted in character, of greater degree, amount, cost, value, or content than average, usual, or expected, etc. Maintenance is defined as the upkeep of property or equipment. Vanity is inflated pride in oneself or one's appearance.
Here are some of the comments I received from my friends regarding the difference between the two:
- High maintenance is an accomplished standard or level that is reached and maintained with the expectation of excellence in all things.
- High Maintenance is just the fact that you like nice things, very very expensive things; and expects them from others. You don’t appreciate what someone buys you if it is not up to par with what you would buy for yourself. But at the same time you will help others if need be. In other words it’s not all about you but you like and won’t except anything but the best
- Vanity, in my opinion, is where you are stuck on yourself for no apparent reason. Thinking you are superior to others without any credentials.
- Vanity - Excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of
being vain; conceit:
So when someone calls me high maintenance I am definitely owning up to the definition of one who enjoys rich quality and I am especially interested in my daily upkeep and I do have elevated principles and feelings. So is there anything wrong with that? I don't think so. Just because I like the finer things in life and expect the finer things in life doesn't mean that I am better than anyone else. As women of God, we all should expect God's favor on our life and expect to be treated with a matter of respect. High maintenance is just a greater hope of things to come, almost like faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. So if we don't anticipate anything good to come into our lives then where does that leave us? Just hopelessly caught up in a rut not believing for anything superior to happen to us. No, that is not what God wants us to do. He wants us to look forward to the goodness that He is giving us and be grateful for what He has already done and what He is going to do. He wants us to be elevated in our thinking and doing for His greater purpose. So, is high maintenance really that bad or has it been given a bad name?
Vanity is just the opposite of high maintenance in my opinion. As stated above, it is being stuck on yourself or having inflated pride. Vanity is the result of your own desire. Vanity is choosing to focus on yourself rather than focus on many of God's great gifts. Yes it is true that the beauty that each one of us has is one of God's gifts but it is all in how you use it. God's gifts to us are more than just a pretty face and body. He has adorned us with His image, love, and to be enveloped in all His glory is a gift in itself. Being vain will only cause women to miss out on the presence of God by concentrating on things that will come to an end one day. Vanity robs you of portraying the spirit of God while helping others get to the kingdom. The bible mentions many beautiful women who we can admire because of their appearance but their beauty is complimenting their inner spirit that shows God's love. Remember that it is not about the outer beauty but how the inner beauty reflects God's love, grace, and mercy. It is God's spirit that we want to personify and teach others to dwell in. So, do you know a person who is vain or are they just hiding their insecurities?
1 Peter 3:3-4 "Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."