Monday, March 10, 2014

Can Comparisons Be Good? by Kacey Bess {Comparison Series}


I'm so happy to have Kacey Bess as my guest today in our "Comparing Ourselves to Others...and what it does to us" series. I first "met" Kacey last year through Holley Gerth's God-sized Dream Team before meeting her in person at the Jumping Tandem Retreat. Please welcome Kacey here by leaving a comment and visit her blog Next Level Mama. ~Laura

If theres one thing that has hindered me and hurt me over the years, it has been the comparison game. Whether comparing myself to the cool kids in junior high or the Betty Crocker moms at my childs school, this game of comparing has left me feeling inadequate more times than Id care to admit.

Up until a few weeks ago, Id planned to share about one of those moments, but then something happeneda moment that caused me to see comparisons as a good thing.

You see, a couple of weeks ago I attended the funeral of a high school class mate. Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease) about two years ago, life for my friend, his wife and two small boys would be forever changed. He went from a sprightly, athletic guy, to a man who had to depend on others for just about everything.

The beautiful thing is during this time, his joy never wavered. Even as his body deteriorated, he still proclaimed the goodness of God.

His wife told the story of how on one of their visits to an ALS Clinic, she urged her husband to declare the unfairness of their situation. She wanted him to unload his frustrations and disappointments at the cards theyd been dealt. And while no one would have begrudged him of this moment, he refused. He refused to let a disease get the best of his attitude or his life.

As his wife stood at the front of the sanctuary, beaming with joy and pride in her husbands unrelenting faith and standing strong in her own faith, I sank into the pew and began to stack my faith up against theirs.

I reminisced over the times in my life, Id been like a fair-weather fan, proclaiming how great God was during the good times but drawing away from him during the bad. I thought of the many times, when life hadnt turned out the way I wanted, Id shouted angrily at God

Where are you?

How could you let this be?

Do you even care about me?

In that moment of comparison, I saw my faith for what it had been at timesweak and questionable.

But in looking at this couple, I also saw my faith for what it could becomestrong and unshakeable like a mighty tree.

I left the sanctuary that day inspired and challenged to go deeper in my relationship with God.

And you know what, I imagine this type of comparison is what draws many of us to Christ (aside from Gods gentle nudging). We see something in others that we wantsomething we may not even be able to pinpoint or verbalize. Maybe its their joy in the midst of trying circumstances, a constant pep in their step, unexplainable favor over their lives or their unselfish giving to others. Whatever it is, comparing ourselves in this way shows us what is possible. It shows us theres still room to become a better person.

And when it comes to these kind of comparisons, I dont think theres anything wrong with that at all.


*****

By day, Kacey Bess is a budget analyst for a city; but after quitting time, youll find her wrangling three energetic busy bodies. She loves her kids to pieces and the many ways theyre refining her into a better personat least on most days. 

She picked up the blogging bug in 2011, and now writes about motherhood and parenting at Next Level Mama. This die-hard Texas girl is most comfortable when curled up in a big comfy chair with an iPad full of books and a plate full of desserts. You can find her tweeting away at @nextlevelmama.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you Kacey - such a blessing to have you guest post here today! And I really like how you're looking at comparisons in a different way. :)

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  2. Kacey, this left me thinking and questioning my own behaviour and attitudes as a person with long term chonic health problems. As I've sought the Lord over the love idols in my life He gently pointed His finger at (amongst other things) what I say about myself as a sick person who is also trying to overcome a painful past by His grace.
    It has shaken me considerably to see how far I've fallen from seeing and speaking about myself as already whole, healed, renewed and restored in Christ. Your thought-provoking post here has added to the unease and also given me fresh perspective on the overcoming of it.
    We all have much to learn from one another and can grow stronger in following the example of others on the journey. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story and the way it impacted you too. I'd never quite thought of comparisons in this way before! Blessings :)

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  3. Kacey, thanks for this sweet reminder that each day is a gift, and we are not to take it for granted. This is the day, and we shall rejoice in it -- because we are His.

    Lauara, thanks for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday! :)

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  4. Kacey, what a wonderful reminder and positive take away on comparison! Thank you Laura for the series and Kacey for reminding me of the me both God and I want me to be! Inspirational post!

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  5. LOVE the angle on this post, Kacey... It's like inspiring comparison! What a faith-fueler! Love it :-)

    PS: Thanks for linking up with #EverydayJesus, dear Laura. You rock my socks. Praying for you today.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!