Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Comparing Ourselves

Hello Friends :)
So it's that time again when I say to myself, "Amy dear, you need to blog".
While there have been several things on my mind lately, I was moved to write about something that I think we all are caught up in: comparing ourselves.
I’ll admit that many times I’m caught in the vicious trap of comparing myself to others. I am tempted to measure my worth or value in terms of my accomplishments, or goals that I have achieved. When I haven’t met my goals, it’s funny how the first thing that comes to mind are all those people in my life who I feel are really successful, and have it all together. It’s at those times I pray, “Lord, …did I do something wrong? Are you putting my life on hold for some reason?”

I want to quickly turn to chapter 10 in II Corinthians. I actually want to start at the END of the chapter, with verses 17 and 18:

"But, 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord'. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends".

If you read Paul’s other letters, it is obvious that this man had an extremely busy schedule; a lot of responsibility. The kinds of dangers he lived through, and events he was exposed to would humble any man, and yet at the same time the greatness of his mission might fill a man’s ego. Paul understood his calling, as large as it was, and also recognized how easily Satan could cause him to shift the glory or focus. Paul is constantly pointing to the cross, to the Glory of God, realizing that the only true value he has comes from Jesus Christ.

In today’s society, people don’t usually prance around talking to co-workers in the office saying, “You did a really good job! It must be Jesus inside of you!” Ha. Sounds almost funny. But the opposite it also funny. Many people believe that they are superior or better than others based what they have accomplished, as if they got there all by themselves.

In I Corinthians 4:7 it says, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

The truth is, we really do believe that our own efforts and accomplishments are what define us. The man bringing home a salary of $400,000 each year may feel tempted to look at his friends with less than half that, and feel good about himself. The University students who pour all their sweat and blood into their studies with 95% averages will find confidence in their intellect. They begin to believe their worth is their GPA (grade point average). The skinny girl will pride herself in her weight. The funny guy will pride himself in the attention he gets from the laughter. At the end of the day, we all feel better about ourselves if we’re one up from the next guy.

But what about those who are the one down? What if we are the ones fighting to lose weight and never overcome? What if we are the ones without a job? Dealing with broken relationships? Struggling to find a life-partner? Failing in school? Feeling spiritually in a dessert?
And so that is the question. WHAT IF we are the ones who do not measure up?

Dear friend, do not be so naïve. I say this to myself. The truth is, there is no perfect scenario. I know a handful of rich people who have no time for their family and live lonely lives. I know a handful of good-looking Barbie and Kens who are past the honey-moon season and are really struggling in their marriages. We cannot judge books by their cover. The grass is usally the same colour wherever you go. The bottom line is that when God is not the centre, it is clear to see that our own efforts can only go so far.

God has a plan for EACH of us. You’re story is completely unique. Just because your friends are at a certain stage in life that you would like to be, doesn’t mean they are further ahead. God is doing something different with your life. We all need to experience dependence on God. As soon as we shift the focus on ourselves, or on others, our perception of life is so skewed. We get into the trap of looking to others for self affirmation. We try and fit ourselves in the puzzle of society, looking for belonging or a reference to how we measure up.

Reflect on Paul’s words in II Corinthians 10, verse 12:

“But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” It does us no good to compare ourselves. You cannot compare apples and oranges.
Live in the freedom of knowing your life is no accident. God has a purpose for the season you are in.  “To Everything there is a Season” (Ecc 3:1). I love that verse. Life is an adventure. Don’t waste your time wishing to be here or there. Enjoy the now. Enjoy the journey. One friend gave me those words a few years back, and they’ve stuck with me ever since. The time will come when you’ll find what you’re looking for. Until then, don’t look back. Soak up every moment of life. Life only happen once.

Anyways folks, that’s all I have for today. Thanks for reading. Pass this on to someone who you think it might encourage. I am saying a prayer for you today, for all those who are reading this. I know God is going to do great things in your life.



  1. Nice words Amy. A good reminder for all of us. May God bless you for your efforts in sharing for the good of others.


  2. Hi Bev! Thanks for taking the time to read. Glad it could speak to you in some small way :)