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 there’s 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 child’s school, this game of comparing has left me feeling inadequate more times than I’d care to admit.
Up until a few weeks ago, I’d planned to share about one of those moments, but then something happened…a 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 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 they’d 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 husband’s 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, I’d 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 hadn’t turned out the way I wanted, I’d 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 times—weak and questionable.
But in looking at this couple, I also saw my faith for what it could become—strong 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 God’s gentle nudging). We see something in others that we want—something we may not even be able to pinpoint or verbalize. Maybe it’s 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 there’s still room to become a better person.
And when it comes to these kind of comparisons, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all.
By day, Kacey Bess is a budget analyst for a city; but after quitting time, you’ll find her wrangling three energetic busy bodies. She loves her kids to pieces and the many ways they’re refining her into a better person…at least on most days.
She picked up the blogging bug in 2011, and now writes about motherhood and parenting at . 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 .