Our Struggle with Comparing our Weaknesses to Others' Strengths
As believers, we all know we are special creations, unique and precious to God. Yet why do we struggle with comparing our lives, our bodies, our talents (or lack of talents) with others? In reality, we need to look past who we "dream" to be and consider God's dreams instead.
In God’s word, we read: “God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaks: ‘Exactly as I planned, it will happen. Following my blueprints, it will take shape,” says Isaiah 14:24 (The Message).
The word “planned” here is translated “compare.” [i][i] It’s as if God has weighed the different possibilities, looked at them from all angles, and then chose the best way. He makes the blueprints . . . then He constructs them into our reality.
This is the life the Lord has constructed for us. Not the life, body, health, or circumstances we wished we’d had. Or the perfect life we can never attain. But the blueprints and the form He is forming into reality.
“Remember your history, your long and rich history. I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—from the beginning telling you what the ending will be, all along letting you in on what is going to happen, amazing you,” we read in Isaiah 46:10-11. “I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do.” (The Message)
It’s okay to have longings. But even before we worry about what we desire for our lives, the first step is to not let our dreams motivate us, but instead let His.
God has longings for us even greater than we imagine, and He’s willing to tell us these things as we seek Him out.
All of us have a problem with comparing. How do we deal with it? (Revised from Tricia’s book Generation NeXt Parenting.)
1. Discover your passion . . . and be okay with it.
“Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well,” says Galatians 6:4, “and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct” (NLT).
As long as I can stand before my Maker and see pleasure in His eyes, why do I wonder about what others think . . . or worry I don’t measure up? When I seek God, do what He asks, find joy where my passion lies, and feel His pleasure, then comparisons won’t matter.
2. Cultivate a Quiet Heart.
“God, I’m not trying to rule the roost, I don’t want to be king of the mountain. I haven’t meddled where I have no business or fantasized grandiose plans,” says Psalm 131:1-2. “I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content.” (The Message)
God’s arms are open to us, and He wants nothing more than for us to be content there. We don’t need to be king of the mountain, queen of the slim and beautiful, prince of the popular, or princess of grandiose plans. Through prayer and focus on God, our quiet hearts will remind us He is enough.
3. Conform to Christ.
“Conforming to the image of God is a long and steady process of internal change as we abide in Christ. People simply do not change overnight, nor can they be forced to do so,” write Neil Anderson and Robert Saucy, authors of The Common Made Holy. “Abiding in Christ is being yoked to the gentle Jesus (Matthew 11:29).” [ii][ii]
If we are connected with Jesus, have a quiet heart, and focused on our passions … what is there to compare? God has us just where He wants us … in His hands.
What can be better than that?