I have this not so great ability of looking at others and thinking they have it all together. I then proceed to look at my life and start to question “why God?” Why am I here when they are there? Why can’t I do something great like that! Then come the insecurities of: well if they are doing that then maybe I am not where I am supposed to be. Or they think I am strange because I am doing it this way. All the while I know that truth that God has chosen me for a purpose that only I can fulfill.
One morning I was a little down and was praying that God would just show me what I am supposed to do. I didn’t get that clear answer that I was praying for, but I did get a strong feeling that I am supposed to stop all the comparing and worrying about what others think. Comparing has always been a weakness for me. In 2 Corinthians 10:12 it says “…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Then in Ephesians 5:17 it says “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Reading those two verses really convicted me and got me thinking. If I am comparing myself to others, that makes me unwise, then if I turn around and ask God what his will is for my life, will I miss it because I am being unwise in comparing? So I started turning over in my mind the process I go through to get to the point where I am thinking very unwise thoughts! Here is the process I cam up with:
Doing something. It doesn’t matter if it is big or small. It could be buying shirt that is very unique and different. Or it could be something big like praying and praying about a decision, finding peace about it, and then deciding to do it.
This is the excitement stage where you are expecting something great to happen. And it very well could, which if it does you might not go through the next phases. If it doesn’t, if no one compliments your shirt, or nothing awesome is coming from your decision like you thought it would, the excitement begins to wear off.
You begin doubting. Well since no one complimented my shirt maybe it is ugly. Maybe I should have just bought a normal one like so and so. Or your big decision doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. You may start to think you were wrong and if you would have picked a different path like so and so everything would be ok. You start to think people are looking at you thinking she does not know what she is doing.
You are distraught. You begin praying about the situation again, this time because you are insecure and afraid that maybe you were wrong in your first decision. Only this time peace seems to evade you and you can’t figure out why. You continue to go round and round frantically trying to figure out the perfect answer.
I have never really taken the time to think in detail about what happens when comparing. Maybe only I go through this process. But by thinking about how it snowballs, helped me to realize I may be missing that peace, and even an answer because I am so immersed in what others think, and if only I was like them. By stopping and analyzing this I can instead fill my mind with things that will hopefully help me get off the track of being unwise.
I saw a quote the other day that said “If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner.” James Frey. Instead of worrying of what others think, we need to worry about what God thinks. If we are so focused on pleasing others we may have missed what pleases God.
Ephesians 4:4: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” God has called each one of us for a special purpose only you can fulfill. So to read this it just reassures me that we are not going to be like someone else. So why even try? We may miss out on a blessing because we are striving for something that will bring no peace or fulfillment. Like the old saying, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. On the flip side however, their grass may be green for them because they are following God’s will, but if we try so hard to get that grass, it may be brown for us if its not where God wants us. In 1 Corinthians 12 it talks about the body of Christ. Everyone has their role in the body and we can’t neglect it because a body would not be a whole without a foot or an eye. If we were the foot and said, “man my job is stinky and I am always being stepped on and I just wish I has a more glamorous job like the brain…The brain just has the best job, it operates the whole body!” The brain may think “Man I have way to much responsibility, I am responsible for any mistakes and there is way to much expected of me, I wish I was the finger, they don’t have as much responsibility.” We can see how dysfunctional the body would become. So instead of comparing ourselves with others it is important to be thankful for their role in the body while focusing on all the positives of your role. We are the body of Christ and want it to be functional.
The last thing that has helped me is saying “Here I am Lord, send me!” In Isaiah 6:8 it says, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Wherever God sends you and I, it will be good. We will be blessed for it. I used to be scared to say that, but I know that whatever life brings, if God is on my side, I can handle it.
So just rest assured that God has called you for a specific purpose, and just because he hasn’t called someone else also, does not mean at all that they are better than you, or that you should do what they are doing.