Comparison is an ugly trap when fed. It can strangle the life from a wonderful blessing. It doesn’t matter whether the comparison is done by you or by others. It creates a death hold on beauty.
In the previous blogs, Leah sees her ugliness. A comparison between her and the beautiful sister Rachel lead Labon to deceive Jacob. Leah deals with pain.
Does comparison stump you from delighting in life?
What do these delights have in common? Obviously they are fantastic chocolate treats.
Let your mind soar to other delicious mouthwatering goodies such as organic dark chocolate candy bars when eaten in moderation are not bad for you. The antioxidants of the dark chocolate make it a healthy snack.
Now, picture God making an interesting request. Fast from ALL chocolate for forty days.
Fasting is a discipline used to eliminate something in your everyday lifestyle to connect with God. He has something deep to share.
A contemporary definition of fasting would be:
“The self-denial of normal necessities in order to intentionally attend to God in prayer. Usually associated with food, but it could be from people, the media, phone, sleep, or even shopping.” – Steve Sonderman (in sermon “Becoming a Person of Prayer”)
My Church was walking through forty days of fasting while seeking God’s heart for certain needs. God asked me to fast from all types of chocolate for 40 days. My job was to be obedient to this request!
What does this have to do with comparison?
The fast exposed something difficult and wonderful.
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.
I was not impressed. I was completely the opposite. Depressed.
I compared my fasting from chocolates to people fasting from two meals a day. I did not see my fasting as an act of obedience. I saw their actions as ones of giants. I saw mine as being wimpy.
“my heart and kidneys are fighting each other;Call a truce to this civil war”. – Ps 25:17 MSG .
Leah’s heart was in desperate pain calling out for the love of Jacob. She saw his delight for beautiful Rachel. Leah could not find joy even in the birth of her first three sons.
God lovingly revealed I too was painfully stuck. I compared myself to others.
I could not look forward in my offering because I was using a yardstick measuring and comparing. How could I be at peace?
If I continually looked at my fast offering with a measuring stick and compare, how do I respond in the other offerings I bring to the table?
My Writing, My Photography, My Life?
God does not compare obedience. He gives special unique gifts . As I grow in those gifts, it will bless Him and I will be fulfilled.
Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple’ 2 Timothy 2 :15 MSG
Nature worships in it’s own individual beauty. She doesn’t compare one season’s beauty with another. She blooms, grows, turn different colors as God ordained.
Can we live in a world without comparing? The following suggestions are based on AVOIDING THE COMPARISON TRAP ( the message given at our church on the weekend of 4/2 &3/16 by Pastor Geno Olison).
- Comparison will be around til we die. Sounds terrible doesn’t it but someone will always be younger, older, thinner, have more blog readers, photograph more creatively, yada- yada. Jesus was the only perfect one who lived. He did not compare Himself. Comparison does not have to define you.
- If you’re working in the realm you were created for, living in the wonder of God’s plans for you and focusing on that, where is the time for needless comparing? If you don’t know what the plan is, ask God. Remember He has something for you and really LOVES you.
- God does not want you to have any idols. When you compare and live a life in that comparison, you are building idols out of what God has given to others. Leah built Jacob’s love for Rachel into an idol. Comparing, putting so much attention into another person’s gift, negating your life in Jesus is making their gift an idol. Rather, look to God and your relationship with Him.
Leah turned to God “I WILL PRAISE YOU”.
Chocolate is simple but God used it to show the trap I was in.
Think it over. How freely do you live in Jesus? Does your life reflect a deep peace and satisfaction? Are you willing to take His hand to drop comparing?
I am always here to read your comments, discussion, even pray . Enjoy the gift of you God made!
Thanks so much to Geno Oilson from South Suburban Vineyard in Chicago, and his message AVOIDING THE COMPARISON TRAP. The points to help eliminate comparison from our lives partially came from that teaching. If you would like to listen to Geno’s whole message here it is.