Every since I can remember, I have heard cliche’s that talk about our need to “keep up with the Jone’s.” You hear stories of families working their way deeper into debt and emotional and financial ruin because they are trying so hard to keep up with certain look, or a certain financial status. I know that bug has hit me before. In a world where skinny is healthy and long lashes and botox rule, it is so hard to be a woman these days, and it is especially hard when other women keep you wondering if you are good enough.
This battle isn’t just for the ladies. Men are under a severe pressure to be the best providers. If you are a two income family, it could very well be that someone has mentioned to you or your spouse that they don’t make enough to keep things going on their own. Not to mention the pressure to be good leaders in the home and in the church. No wonder our lives are filled with anxiety and stress. We are trying to keep up with an imaginary family that, depending on your imagination, has more money, time and patience than any of us real humans have.
Listen to me when I tell you this, we were not made to be under the addiction of comparison. Read that again.
You were not made to live in oppression caused by the addiction to comparison.-Tiarra Tompkins
Every single one of us has wanted to be more than we are now, or more like someone else and the blessings they have. Talk about a covetous culture! Houses, cars, phones, electronics. We are bombarded daily with the proof that this world wants to distract us with things and convince us we are not worthy of what God has for us. Galatians 5:25-26 says, “You are original.”
We are not better or worse than anyone else. Take that to heart. Each of us struggles.
God did not make you like anyone else. The addiction to comparison just robs us of what we could be right now. Learning more about who WE truly are in Christ, and who God made us to be. Instead, we spend our time wondering about the blessings and gifting of others. It is time to shake off the distraction and peace stealing addiction of comparison.
Each journey is different and each of us was created to be a different hand or foot of Christ. Bringing together into the body the gifts, insight and talents we have been uniquely equipped with.
When Saul was converted, it would have been easy for the other disciples and Christians to look at his old life and say, “He has nothing to bring to the table for us.” Instead, “They gave him the right hand of fellowship.” (Galatians 2:9) and he became one of the leaders that we look to when we think of New Testament teachings and wisdom.
We were meant to be different, we were meant to carry different gifts, skills and knowledge so that we can serve so many more people than if we were all the same. It is time for each of us to remember that we can help so many more people recognize the grace of God, the salvation of Christ Jesus, and the gift of peace and joy everlasting, when we stop comparing ourselves and our journey to others and instead look at how we can help.
At the end of the day, it isn’t about what we looked like, it isn’t about how many degrees we have, or the number of zeros in our bank account. It will be about whether or not we served those who needed us to be the light, to be the hands and feet of Jesus till He comes back.
When Paul and Peter met and agreed how they would both go out and preach to those they would reach best, Peter to the Jews (the circumcised) and Paul to the Gentiles (the uncircumcised) they made one request:
“All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” Galatians 2:10
This isn’t just those who are financially poor, but those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are without love and without joy. We are called to serve all. To bring light into the darkest places. It is time for us to step out, rebuke the spirit of addiction, in all areas, and instead take up the strength of Christ in us and move forward in a big way to helping everyone see that God’s love is for them.
Serve with an eagerness and with an un-extinguishable love, the same love that saved you on Calvary’s cross and brought you freedom. Put away comparison and instead be light and love! I choose to be a light and to be love and peace for others. It isn’t easy, but it is the right thing to do.