The Comparison Trap



A few days ago, my daughter decided that she would like to lead her siblings in a a little friendly competition. The game chose was "Red Rover." All the children quickly (and excitedly, I might add) inhaled their dinner and headed out to the back yard to begin. Everything began wonderfully. Giggles and joyful conversations could be heard coming through the open windows.

And then...someone said something that hurt someone else and before long, the joyful sounds had deteriorated to sibling squabbles and a game of "he said/she said" that didn't look or sound anything like "Red Rover."

As they came to me to tell their tales of woe, I realized that the kitchen clean up would have to wait and, if this game was going to happen, I would need to go an "referee." So, I took a deep breath, set down the dirty plates, and headed outside to do what I do most of the time - mediate and keep the peace.

I am happy to report the game continued and was successful. By the end, everyone was laughing again and the drama of the beginning had bene all but forgotten. But as I sat out there watching my children and making sure no one punched anybody or picked another fight - I had to laugh to myself.

Earlier in the day, someone had told me how "angelic" she thought my children were. She called me a Saint. A saint! As I yelled for one of my daughters to take her brother out of a headlock, I thought, "If she could only see us now."

The Homans are FAR from perfect.

No pedestals necessary here.

We are flawed...and messy...and in need of God's grace just as much as anybody.

Daily, we do the wrong things, say the wrong things, hurt each other.

We are so incredibly...normal.

And there is joy in embracing that fact.

As I get older, I discover more and more that we humans have a way of magnifying others and diminishing ourselves. We compare, we rank, we compete. we assume that everyone must have it together; that we are the only ones feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and inept.

All of this comparison steals our joy.

It takes our eyes off of what is right in front of us - the land we have been planted on to cultivate, the relationships we have been given to invest in.

The insecurity that too often follows our comparisons can be crippling.

It can hold us back from doing what we are called to do, our thoughts continually consumed by how much "less" we bring to the table than she does or he does.

It can even make us hide.

It's easier to close up, not let people in - than to let them see the areas we feel we "fall short" by comparison.

In our busyness building pedestals, we stop focusing on what God has placed within our own hands. We lose the delight in it. We stop embracing it.

I can't tell you how many times I have been there.

I have looked at other mothers and thought, "If I was just a little more like her, than I could..."

or

"My kids would be so much happier if I was just a little more like..."

Thankfully, God has reminded again and again when I get caught in the "Comparison Trap" that the Bible says we "ALL" fall short of His glory (Rom. 3:23) and we ALL need a Savior. He reminds me that the goal - HIS goal for my life - is that I would grow into the "full stature of Christ" not another person (Eph. 4). He reminds me that when He fashioned me, He made me "wonderfully" (Psalm 139) which means I am "unique, distinct, and rare." I will never be like everybody else. I'm one-of-a-kind. So are you.

TODAY, REFOCUS ON WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT YOU.

STOP LOOKING OUTWARD AND START LOOKING UPWARD.

The only one WORTHY of a pedestal is our KING JESUS!