A thief named comparison [part 2]
PART 2: TRANSFORMATION
In Part 1, we talked about knowing and receiving what our heavenly Father has for us as well as different areas (appearance, personal holiness) where we are often tempted to compare ourselves to others. If you haven't read that article, you can access it here.
I want to offer a few suggestions on how we can take the ugly side of comparison and transform it into something more helpful and lovely. Here are some reminders I’ve found helpful:
The attribute of someone else that has caught my eye should not drive me to envy or self-pity. I should not allow myself to measure my worth through comparison. Rather, I should acknowledge what God has given to someone else and glorify Him. I can acknowledge the beauty of God's creation. I should thank God and tell the person what I admire about her or simply compliment her.
I can allow this acknowledgement of what God has given to someone else to draw me to an inward reflection that considers: What has God given to me and how can I receive what He gives to me in a daily way? I need to recognize the beautiful way in which God has created me and the gifts He has given to me. And most importantly I need to find my worth in being His daughter.
Sometimes our comparison to another can be the catalyst for the growth we need in that area of our life. The Lord intended women to have others in their life to call them on! Our sisters are there to encourage us, maybe even just by example of their prayer, hospitality, service or maybe their sense of style or their love for others. Instead of getting beat in the comparison game by saying "she has a much better prayer life than me" and pitying myself, I can tell her, "Wow, you have a strong relationship with the Lord!" And ask her, "How did you get to the place you are? I want to grow in my prayer life, can you give me some tips?" Or maybe she has great hair, tell her! Then ask her for help with yours! Maybe she has a great sense of style and you want to improve yours, tell her and ask her for help!
Comparison can drive a stake between relationships with our sisters, don't let it, instead let your attention be directed in positive way that brings you closer to your sisters.
Allow the beauty you see in your sister to strengthen your relationship, not tear you apart. Build her up and allow yourself to rely on her help. Allow her example to call you higher up, not in a competitive way, but in a way that builds you up and encourages you to try harder and to persevere.
Sometimes I look at a sister and I see all that she accomplishes and I wonder, why am I not doing that?Satan can really use this thought to distract us from what God has called us to do. Really, if we are so focused on what others are doing, how can we be focused on what God has called us to do? I need to evaluate and discern. Here are some questions that help me do that:
Have I taken time to discern what God has called me to do?
Is He asking more of me?
Is He asking something of me that is different?
Is He asking me to do less so I can focus on him?
Once I have evaluated and discerned, I can simply say to myself confidently, "THIS is what God has called me to, and I will rejoice in it". We need to recognize what God has called others to, be glad that God has given them the gifts to do it and then do what God has called us to do, faithfully and joyfully.
Want to change your habits of comparison? Here are some points to review and help you grow!
- Acknowledge the beauty of God's created human beings. Thank God and tell the person, give her a compliment.
- Acknowledge what God has given you and receive it. Know yourself! What gifts has He given you? Discover the unique woman He created you to be.
- Ask The Lord to help you grow and let yourself be called on by another's example. Resolve to keep working at prayer, hospitality etc. Ask her for help, since she appears to be good at it!
- Take time to discern! What is the Lord asking of you? Is the Lord calling you to do more? Is He calling you to do less? Are you using your gifts to upbuild the body? Are you using those gifts to build God's kingdom? Rejoice in what God has called you to do and be faithful to it. Do not allow comparison to distract you.
Lord, my identity is in you. I am your daughter, your creation. Help me to be the woman you have created me to be. Protect me Lord, do not let me be distracted from what you have called me to do. Help me to receive what you have given me. Protect me from the divisive nature of comparison. Help me to acknowledge your glory in others and rejoice in it! May I be encouraged by the beauty I see in my sisters. I want to live my whole life for the rest of my life, beginning with today, this hour, this minute, for your glory.