July 20, 2016
When Comparison Kills Confidence
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:13-14 emphasis added).
Friend to Friend
If there’s one thing I know it’s this: The measuring stick will get you stuck! Comparison is the devil’s tool that has stopped many of us gals from stepping into our God-given destinies…and it’s time to stop!
You know I’ve been camping out with Moses by the burning bush for over a year while writing Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. When we meet up with him in Exodus chapter 3, he is an insecure, stuttering recluse. He argued with God and told Him that he was not a good speaker.
But, Moses hadn’t always been so insecure. Look what Stephen said to the Sanhedrin: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22). He was powerful in speech? That’s what The Book says.
So what happened? Moses failed and bailed and ran away to Midian. Thought he deserved to be there. Got stuck there. He forgot his pre-ordained preparation and his God-given ability.
Oh, I wish I was sitting right there with you and we could just chat and throw around ideas. For now, I’ll just ask you this question and maybe one day we’ll sit and talk long.
How do you think that Moses came up with the idea that he was not a good speaker? Here’s what I think. I think that Moses came up with the idea by comparing himself to other people he thought were good speakers.
It’s the same way with you and me. Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence, stymie our courage, and stand in the way of our contentment. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance.
We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that we are perhaps fatally flawed as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity punctured and punctuated by comparison.
We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what? You were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He has called you to do. So get good at being you!
David wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Ps. 139:13-14 emphasis added).
He knew what full well? In these particular verses, David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis, or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well.
You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece—His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well? You are amazing!
Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (Gal. 6:4–5, MSG).
Listen; if God didn’t put it in you, then you don’t need it to do what He has called you to do.
If God didn’t make you eloquent, then you don’t need to be eloquent to do what He’s prepared for you to do.
If God didn’t make you a good speller, then you don’t need to be a good speller to do what He’s prepared for you to do.
If God didn’t place you in a home where you were the apple of your daddy’s eye, then you don’t need to be the apple of your daddy’s eye to be all God wants you to be and do all He has planned for you to do.
One pastor said: “One of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.” I promise to show you the film on the cutting room floor. See, I cut them out, but God picked them back up, brushed them off, and inserted them back into the reel. “These are some of my favorites,” He explained. “The scenes you would rather no one see are the very ones that will help women see Me.”
God knows your inadequacies and your insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you before you even had them. Yet He chose you before you were born for a purpose—to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26).
So let’s let go of comparison and take hold of our God-given uniqueness!
Lord, thank You for making me with unique gifts and talents. Thank You that there is no one else just like me, but I was created to Your specifications. Help me to stop comparing myself to others, but to be the best me I can be.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn.
One thing about doing ministry with Gwen and Mary is that we are all very different. Gwen is like Tigger on steroids. Mary is cuddly like Pooh. And I’m more like Owl with a little bit of Eeyore thown in.
This ministry would be a mess if we were all the same.
Think of your group of friends or the people you work with. How does each one being different make it all work together?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-30. What would the Body of Christ look like if we were all the same?
If you’re willing to let go of comparison to others, click over to my Facebook page and say, “I'm letting go of comparison and taking hold of my God-fashioned uniqueness!”
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion came from my latest book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. Just as a trapeze artist who grabs hold of a second bar, but refuses to let go of the first, we can get stuck in our faith when we refuse to let go of all that holds us back. It’s time to let go of all that holds us hostage to a “less than” life…and that includes comparing ourselves to others. Let’s take hold of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for us and placed in us! Check it out at www.takeholdthebook.com where you can download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide. Make sure and sign up for my weekly blog to learn when the free on-line Bible study will begin in the fall.
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Originally published Wednesday, 20 July 2016.