Comparison is a killer! It is a slow-eating cancer that will rob you of energy, joy, and focus!
- Comparing appearances
- Comparing experiences
- Comparing friends
- Comparing gifts
- Comparing homes
- Comparing children
- Comparing achievements
You get the picture.
Any of us can fall into this trap. I sure have. I remember meeting with a pastor friend. This guy is "knocking the ball out of the park!" He is strong in an area where I am weak, which left me feeling a little underachieving. No sooner did we part ways than I started to compare his work and mine. Not good!
A few days later, reading John's gospel, I saw myself in a conversation Jesus had with Peter. The Master and his disciple were walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee:
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!" So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" John 21:20-23 ESV
Jesus' words to Peter have been a welcome echo in my mind. Here's my paraphrase,
Peter, I have an assignment for John and I have an assignment for you. Stop comparing!
The assignments and gifts God gives to his children are, at times, as different as apples and oranges. What is that to you?
When I remember that these are God's gifts, it frees me:
- To stop comparing myself to others.
- To start celebrating God's work in others.
- To stop being intimidated by others.
- To start learning more from others.
- To stop complaining about what I don't have.
- To start celebrating what I do have.
Are you caught in the comparison trap? You don't need to stay there. God loves you and has an assignment for you. Focusing on both can set you free.