May 30, 2013
"If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load." Galatians 6:3-5 (NIV)
Comparisons stink. They do.
Just when I think I've gotten to a good place in some area of my life, along comes someone or something that seems better in comparison. And my confidence shrinks back, takes the hand of doubt, and starts ransacking the peace right out of my heart and mind.
I know deep down that God can and will use everything for good in my life, even my areas of vulnerability. But honest to goodness, it's hard on a girl's heart.
Not too long ago, I was in a situation where something I'm very self-conscious about was magnified when compared to others' near-perfection. I was at the beach with several friends who have dancer's legs. And by dancer, I mean like twenty-year-old, ballerina-perfection legs.
I guess you could say I have dancer legs too if you are referring to the dancing hippo from Madagascar.
Apparently, long, lean legs just aren't in my genetic makeup, even though I can eat healthy and exercise every bit as much as my ballerina-like friends.
So there I was on the beach. Comparing my vulnerable place to their perceived strength.
And in the private space of my most inner thoughts, I cried. I found myself feeling defeated and convinced that this area will always be a struggle for me.
Oh, I can make progress, for sure. Heaven knows, I do work on it. And most days, I see how God is using this all for good. But when comparison sneaks in, it can be hard. Worse than hard. It can just quite simply make me forget all the strengths I do have.
And when I forget, my heart shifts. I stop being thankful and instead become consumed by that thing I don't have.
Satan will always try to point out what's "wrong" to block out all that is right. And his whispers sound pretty convincing sometimes.
But that's a dangerous place to park your mind.
It's moments like these I find myself needing to soak in the truths of our key verses, Galatians 6:3-5, "If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load."
As I thought more about that day on the beach, I realized I wasn't prayed up. Knowing I might have some comparison issues, I should have asked God to help keep my focus on Him. Instead, I just found myself wallowing—and wallowing isn't of the Lord. Amen? Amen!
I share this because you need to know that we all struggle. I'm on a journey of learning. Just like you.
And I desperately need God's truth to bump into my weaknesses every single day. Only then can I get out of the shadow of doubt and into the life-giving reality of who God has made me to be. And see it as good. Not perfect. Not even close. But good. And good is good.
Dear Lord, forgive me for all of the times I've compared myself to others. I know that You have hand-picked all of my qualities. Help me to see these things as beautiful reminders of Your great love in creating me as Your daughter. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If this devotion resonated with you, Lysa TerKeurst's Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress is just for you! Click here to purchase your copy.
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Reflect and Respond:
Reflect on our key verse and power verse today. Then, think of an encouraging truth you can use to remind yourself of your own God-given talents and character traits. The next time you catch your mind swarming with comparisons, you'll have a plan to cling to!
Romans 12:6-8, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (NIV)
© 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 30 May 2013.