There is only one mouse welcome in every house: Mickey Mouse. Several years ago we had a mouse guest that went by another name. This varmint was tricky, but I was smarter. I bought a mousetrap! Mousetraps ought to carry a Surgeon General’s warning. Setting one is like defusing a bomb. Be very careful!
Getting a finger caught in a mousetrap is bad; getting snared in the comparison trap is worse. Have you ever been caught? I have! I catch myself comparing:
- Abilities: “He’s a better teacher than I am …”
- Appearances: “I have fewer gray hairs than he does …”
- Possessions: “That’s a nicer car than mine …”
- Achievements: “Our church is a little bigger than theirs …”
- Troubles: “You think you’ve got it bad …”
Every comparison is a setup for frustration! Why? Because there is always someone better, younger looking, more accomplished, worse off … you get the picture! Paul knew the danger of comparison. Writing to the church in Galatia, he had some words for those caught in the trap.
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (Galatians 6:1-5 The Message)
Celebration is one of God’s ways to set us free from the comparison trap. Celebrate the achievements of others. Celebrate your friend’s good health, new car, promotion, or even surprise inheritance. Celebration is an act of faith. It is acknowledging that God is in control even when his good gift does not land on your doorstep. When he blesses others it does not mean he has forgotten you. So celebrate the goodness of God in the lives of others.
FOCAL POINT: Today, rather than compare—celebrate! Look for things to celebrate in the lives of others.