Gratitude Day 574
Psalm 40:5 – O Lord, our God, no one can compare with you. Such wonderful works and miracles are all found with you! And you think of us all the time with your countless expressions of love—far exceeding our expectations!
Comparing is a dangerous thing.
We may compare lots of different things: our bodies, financial status, education, jobs, homes, vehicles, families, to name a few.
Then there are the less tangible items we compare as well: success, wisdom, intelligence, potential, skill, knowledge, ability.
It doesn’t take long for kids to begin comparing themselves to others. They often observe this in their parents or other adults and continue the tradition.
We compare for a variety of reasons. We think it can be motivating, when sometimes, it has the opposite effect. We use comparison for “teachable moments,” hoping the situation can portray a life lesson. While comparison maybe intended for helpful purposes, it can quickly and easily be turned into a hurtful situation.
I know there have been too many times when I’ve thought I was using comparison for the right reasons … but it didn’t turn out this way. While good intentioned, comparison can quickly affect folks in a less than helpful way. We can lose confidence, stability, drive and determination when we feel “less than” because we’ve been compared to someone else.
The Bible makes it noticeably clear: if we’re going to do any comparing, there’s only one place we should compare: God. Rather than trying to one-up each other, we’re encouraged to use God as the ultimate example and role model.
I know it’s not nearly as fun to compare we to God as it is to the person down the road. Or the person whose status we aspire. Maybe it’s because we know achieving God’s place is in impossible? And so, why even try?
This Lent as we try to find ways to draw ourselves closer to Jesus, this requires addressing comparison. Look at the questions below. Try to answer them honestly:
- Was comparison a significant part of your blueprint?
- Who do you compare yourself to? Why?
- Who might compare themselves to you? Why?
- Do you find comparing yourself to Jesus helpful or hurtful? Why?
Your challenge for today is to try and compare yourself less with those around you. Instead, use Jesus as the ultimate role model. We know we can’t achieve perfection in life, let alone comparison. Yet, we can aspire to get a little closer to Jesus.
Comparison will not disappear overnight. This is OK. Let’s just try to eliminate some. When we put ourselves down, we’re putting down God’s creation. God created you to be unique and special. Not acknowledging our special gifts and talents speaks down to God’s wonderful ability to make us special and unique. God created your specifically. I pray we’re discovering and hearing this Lent how God sees you as so incredibly special. Rather than comparing yourself to others, put your time and energy into how you can faithfully serve God with your special gifts and talents.
For the opportunity to see how God has created me wonderfully and uniquely, I am grateful.
Holy God – Rather than celebrating and honoring the special gifts and talents You have entrusted me with, I get caught up in comparing myself with others. Soon, I see myself as less than good enough. May I see that all of Your creation is more than enough, including me. Amen.
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