With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I know this blog post is going to seem cliche.
So, before you tune me out or read this blog post half-hazzardly, I want to challenge you to do something.
Take out a piece of paper and write down the last time you compared yourself to another person.
When was it? Why did you do it?! What were you comparing?
If your answer does not include within the past week, email me. I need your secret/ don’t email me actually cause I will then compare myself to you and it will defeat the whole purpose anyway…
But seriously– we are constantly comparing ourselves, our possessions, our lifestyles, our financial status, our appearance, our dreams, our failures etc.
I think Jesus intended community for encouragement.
But in classic form, man screws it up and uses community for envy.
We are TERRIBLE at rejoicing with others when they succeed.
Instead of congratulating others, we seek to either belittle them or belittle ourselves.
Our friend tells us he/she landed a new job and it’s either…
“I suck. I have interviewed at 7 different places and this is her first one. Might as well call it quits.”
“SERIOUSLY!? Her!? For real?! I am WAY more qualified than her and I can’t find a job!”
Like why not, “that’s awesome for her! I hope she rocks it. Jesus, thank You for placing each of us where you need us and for both closed and open doors. I know Your plan supersedes my desires!”
Oh no, we let our flesh react rather than letting the spirit respond.
We focus on “me” rather than “He” and we start thinking for a hot second that this life is about us, our pleasures, our desires, our purpose, forgetting that Jesus made EACH & every single person with a unique build, a unique make- ONE thumbprint!
As I started reflecting on this tendency to compare in my own life, I realized how often I let the stories of others paralyze me in my own story.
In other words, I become consumed with their plot, confused why mine isn’t as exciting and my gauge is no longer how Jesus sees me.
My self-worth becomes dangerously vulnerable as it tinkers on the brim of how I compare.
Do I measure up?
Well, long story short, the answer is usually no.
You know why?
Because when I am evaluating myself and another person is the determinant, I will never be them.
My story isn’t theirs. My body isn’t theirs. My struggles aren’t theirs. My failures aren’t theirs. My dreams aren’t theirs. My life isn’t theirs.
I am me.
I can’t be the same.
I wasn’t created to be.
And guess what?
They can’t be me.
Cause they are them.
And you know what happens when you realize how incredibly INSANE it is to ever let another person be the gauge of who you should be or what your life should look like?
Freedom to be you.
And Satan totally hates that!!!!!!!!!
Because he loves for us to focus on who we aren’t, what we lack, what we wish that we had.
BUT when we wake up and realize everything we already are, how much we already have and that we have everything we need, we are dangerous.
Dangerously awesome and unique and courageous and unstoppable and adventurous and…more like Jesus.
Don’t compare you to someone that is not you.
It’s like comparing apples to oranges and we all know apples are WAY better.
Wait- did I just compare!?!
See what I mean, it’s way too easy
Apples aren’t supposed to look, feel, taste like, provide the same nutrients as or BE oranges.
Because they’re apples.
Way off analogy? Maybe. But seriously, be you.
The cheesy saying, “it is better to be a first-rate version of you than a second-rate version of someone else” is very true.
My prayer for all of us this season is that we stop comparing our lifestyles and ourselves to those around us.
I pray we become so consumed in thankfulness, we don’t have time to wish we had something else or were someone else.
Thankfulness doesn’t allow you to compare because you realize Jesus made no mistakes when creating you–even in the hard times.
You are awesome.
Apples and oranges — they can’t be eachother or serve one another’s purpose because they were never designed to.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” , said Theodore Roosevelt.
And my response to Theodore: “Amen! And thankfulness if the giver of it.
Be thankful you are you and embrace your story this Holiday season, fully confident and aware that no one else can have your story.
“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.” -Galations 6:4-5 The Message