Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Comparisons

Thank you for visiting my blog today! If you are studying Renee Swope’s book A Confident Heart with me, we are on Chapter 8, “When Doubt Whispers ‘I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer’” this week.

Comparisons. I hate them, and yet, I can’t stop from making them.

We compare our looks, our skills, our jobs and careers, our families, and what we have or don’t have. They make us unhappy and discontent because something else looks better.

Comparisons lead to feelings of insecurity and depression, and feeling like we have to keep up with someone else to be as good as that person. Comparisons can make us judgmental and jealous, even causing us to not like someone we don’t even know.

Comparisons can be made quickly, often before I even realize I’m doing it, and just as quickly, I lose my focus. Instead of appreciating what God has blessed me with, I focus on what I don’t have.

Recently, I heard a breast cancer survivor speak. When her story had been told, there was not a dry eye in the room. I’m ashamed to admit that I walked away feeling sorry for myself. She described the incredible support she had as she went through her ordeal, and all I could think of was how little support I was convinced I’d have if it was me.

The feeling lasted as I left and drove home. But once home, I was convicted. I realized I was focused on what I thought I didn’t have, in a situation I wasn’t in! Even more ridiculous, was that I had forgotten how blessed I was.

Earlier in the year, I had my annual mammogram and was stunned when I received a call that I needed another one. The x-ray showed an area that could be something, or could be nothing, but a more detailed mammogram was needed to find out. It was scheduled for the following morning and within an hour, it was confirmed that it was nothing.

As I compared myself to the speaker that day, I lost my focus. How could I worry about something that wasn’t happening to me, while forgetting how God had blessed me? Her journey was not the path I was on. God blessed her with a strong support system and survival. God blessed me by not taking me down that road at this time in my life.

Isn’t that what comparisons do? They make us focus on what we don’t have, instead of what we have been blessed with. They make us look at someone else and think that what we have isn’t good enough.

Comparisons…the enemy must love them. In fact, I wonder if he’s behind the comparisons we so easily make. Recognizing that, can we refuse to take the bait? When we start to compare ourselves to someone else, can we see what we’re allowing to happen to our thoughts, and turn our focus back to Jesus and all that we have been blessed with?

I’d love to say that since that day I don’t compare myself to others, but I can’t. It’s a daily struggle to not look at someone else and think…If I had that…If I was like her…If only my situation was different…you get the idea. But that’s not how God wants us to think. He has blessed each of us in different ways—ways only He knows fit into His plans for our lives.

We each have a different journey to take in this life, and yes, some seem much more difficult than others. But in each journey, God has a plan…and it is a plan for good, to give us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Have a blessed week!

In Christ,
Laura



8 comments:

  1. Hi Laura,

    I know what you mean about comparisons. Sometimes I can really beat myself up by making comparisons. I usually end up on the short end of the comparison. Maybe that's why Renee's description of Jesus with the Samaritan woman is still having a big impact on me. It may end up to be my favorite part of the whole book. "Sam" probably didn't end up high on the comparison chart if she compared herself to other women in the area. Yet she is the one that Jesus chose to speak to and show his love for. So when I'm feeling down, lonely, and 'less than', I try to remember the most important thing. Jesus loves me!

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful song, "Mighty to Save", last week.

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  2. I hadn't thought about "Sam" comparing herself to the other women, but I think you're right. As humans, it is so hard not to look at what others have and make comparisons!

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  3. Oh, this is so true. When we make comparisons, we shift our focus from what truly matters.

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  4. Thank you for sharing so honestly what many of us with a 'boring' testimony feel. Praise God He uses whatever we allow Him to in our lives. He is using you!

    Thanks for linking up today!

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  5. Denise, Amen!

    Stacey, thank you for your sweet words and encouragement!

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  6. As soon as we start looking around instead of up {at Christ}, we become very focused on ourselves and our feelings of not measuring up. I thought the point that we are measuring our insides to others' outsides was quite pertinent - we only see the masks others wear, not their hearts, yet we judge our hearts against their masks. May we all learn to view ourselves as God sees us - hidden with Christ on high!

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  7. Laura,
    You've put my same thoughts into words! I keep thinking of Jesus' answer to Peter's question about a fellow disciple: "...what is that to you? You follow me."
    No two of our paths are alike. They aren't supposed to be. Now if I can just remember that...

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!