Many of us have been taught that we are never supposed to compare ourselves to others nor are we to think more of ourselves than we should. However, we are insecure around wealthy people, popular people or those in authority over us. We all struggle with the “grass is greener” syndrome at some time in our life. Why can’t I have a wife or husband like them or, that person seems to have a perfect life. Why can’t I be as attractive as that person? In actuality this should never happen. We should acknowledge that people are just people! One day we will all stand before Jesus to give account of what we have done with what he has given us! If you’ve been blessed with the looks of Brad Pitt, what did you do with that gift? If you can sing like a song bird, who did impact with your voice? If you’ve been blessed with a spouse and kids, how did you help them grow in Christ?
Many of us also compare ourselves to ourselves. This was something I discovered today that I had never really thought about in this context. How many times have we felt guilty for something we have done in the past? The twist to this is how many times you have said, “I was a better person in the past and it seems like now I have fallen away and now I’m a lousy person.” Sometimes this comes with age saying; “I used to run 5 miles and now walking the dog is a struggle.” As illustrated above in the cartoon, do we see the truth or only what we believe to be the truth?
Comparing yourself to yourself can be dangerous. I’m not saying we shouldn’t aspire to do better or work harder. But, there are some things in life we have to accept as the past and we may never be able to do them again. Here’s the grace that God adds: there are new opportunities we need to be searching for. I love to go snow skiing, but I may never be able to do this again and I may have to accept this, I had to give up the desire to be an underwear model after my 20’s (just kidding) and give up being a gymnast when I turned 30. None of these things define who I am or the other things I can do.
Before my surgery I thought I was doing fairly well in many ways. Since then, I’ve struggled with feeling less than. I’ve been comparing myself to what I was rather than whose I am. I am a child of the Most High, a prince. There are several things I will have to learn to accept as time goes on. The one thing I have learned is all you and I have is the “NOW” our daily bread. What are you doing right now at this very moment? We can’t change the past and we do not know what lies ahead of us in the future. All we can do is hold on to the “now” and allow a sovereign God to lead our future.
We can think of the greener grass, waste time and hope the future we have in our mind exists. The truth is you still have to mow that grass too. We hope the; new job, new husband, new wife, new car or new whatever will finally give us that satisfaction we have always been looking for but the “best” is right in front of you.
It is not wise to compare ourselves against others or ourselves. We are “uniquely created”. Your story is not my story. My gifts are not your gifts. My talents are not your talents. Your purpose is not my purpose. Stop comparing!
This scripture says it all: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2Cor 10:12)