“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
“A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.” Shannon L. Alder
- Dear, sweet Mama, God created you wonderfully unique! Today’s study is about how to accept yourself fully the way God created you. He made you so beautiful and has a life-giving plan all mapped out, but you cannot walk in that plan when you compare yourself with others. Jesus helps you shine and love yourself!
- Read Psalms 139:14-18, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. As you read, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the gifts He’s given to you and others. Embrace them both.
Comparing Ourselves With Our Friends
I believe we all agree: comparing ourselves with our friends or others sucks the life right out of us. As women, we are all guilty of it. We find ourselves comparing our parenting methods, our homes, children, jobs, husbands, shoes, personalities, cooking and even our dress sizes. It’s so sad because, like a thief, it robs us from living a life of joy! Comparison either promotes pride or breeds jealousy and destroys our vision. Just like Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan convinces us that God is withholding something good from us. This is a lie!
According to the 2 Corinthians 10:12, wisdom begins when comparison ends: “…but they measuring themselves among themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.”
Over the years, I have been tremendously blessed with gifted friends and family members in my life. I see God’s hand; some of them are my best friends today. However, when I compare my gifts with my talented friends, I become blinded to the path in front of me. My mind confuses lies for truth, and I wonder if His will for my life is “less-than” what He has for others. Isn’t that how Satan works? He is The Father of lies who understands God’s abundant life is our BEST life. He finds great pleasure in thwarting God’s plan to get us off-track, and you know what? He becomes successful when we meditate on the seeds he plants in our minds because they sprout and grow there!
A few years ago, a dear friend of mine flew across the ocean with her husband to adopt a baby girl from China. They lovingly brought her home, integrating her sweet personality into their family. I read their blog and followed their story. I found myself greatly admiring this couple’s selfless life; it looked so attractive to me. I even allowed thoughts to come in that maybe we were less spiritual and selfish not to adopt as they had. As I sought God, I realized something: He had a completely different route paved out for our family. My husband and I have received the mandate to raise our seven children for God’s glory, and it’s totally okay! Though our friends’ story is beautiful and different than our own, we both are fulfilling God’s plan.
Tremendous peace comes when we understand we don’t need to be like others. We can learn to love and have the freedom to encourage our friends in our differences. God created diversity for the sake of beauty!
It’s hard not to compare, though. No one understands our own weaknesses or failures like we do, and often we focus on them until they become our identity. Instead, we should magnify God (make Him bigger), so He can become our identity. Think about it! Over and over in the Scriptures, we see a beautiful thread woven throughout Biblical History, and it is still true today: It’s really not about us, but about a BIG God. He loves to take our meager gifts and multiply them for His glory. We might see lack, but He sees potential, and as we worship, His Might becomes our strength!
Remember this: The size of your gift or talent compared to someone else’ is not what’s important to God. The important thing is that you KNOW Him and become who you were created to be. Abiding in Him brings true contentment. The quality of the fruit coming out of your relationship with Him is like icing on the cake! The small things you accomplish in obedience are equivalent to the larger things others are called to do. Both are equal in value.
In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Comparing puts a cover over your God-given light, snuffing it out. God wants you to shine because it brings glory (or praise) to Him as your Creator. When you Fellowship (talk, share your weaknesses, praise, pray, worship, put your trust) with Him, He births His genius plan: You become the person you were meant to be!
How humdrum or boring it would be if every note in the musical world carried the same sound and every beat the same tempo! God made us different for a reason, and when we simply choose to play our small, unique part, something wonderful happens! Our ears open up to the beautiful orchestra around us, setting us free from any feelings of inferiority or insecurity. What a melodious symphony! By appreciating the diversity in each other, we make heavenly music.
Friend, God brings true contentment, and He made you beautiful in every way! Believe it! Let Jesus ignite your true purpose because He is the True Light that lights every man who comes into the world (John 1:9). Rest in Him, stop comparing and shine: Be confident, bold in your identity; begin to enjoy life, minus the comparing!
Questions to Ponder
- Are you ensnared by the comparison trap? If so, ask God why; ask Him to set you free.
- Do you understand God is the spiritual gift-giver and are you trusting Him? Why or why not? (Often feelings of inadequacy come because we don’t believe God is good).
- Ask God to reveal the path He has for you.
- Draw near and fellowship with Him as you would with a friend.
- Do you appreciate the gifts in others? Why or why not?
- When feelings of jealousy and envy arise, repent and humbly compliment your friends. Praise the Lord above your circumstances. King David says in Psalms 100:4-5, “Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Practice this until you believe it and feel victory in your soul.
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Mari Jo had an encounter with the living God in 2000, and was freed from the bondage of legalism. She is passionate about Jesus and his love, and desires for everyone to know He is alive!