Hi Ladies! I am so excited to share something with you today. I have heard the Lord speaking to me lately about comparison, so I set out to write a short blurb for my blog touching on comparison. Once I got started, He just kept giving me more. Well, my short little blurb turned into a monster of an article. So here’s what I am going to do…each day this week I will discuss one of the dangers of comparison. God has opened my eyes and heart to how comparison can put a road block in the way of the abundant life He has for us, and I can’t wait to share all that He has been teaching me. So let’s get started.
“Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
Do not turn to the right or the left, but stay on the path God has for you. Let’s break this verse down a bit. To stay on the path that God has for us, to keep our feet from evil, we have to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. When we look to the right or the left, often times we find ourselves comparing ourselves, our walk, or our lot to those around us. Comparison is a dangerous thing and can lead us down a path far away from the abundant living God has for us. Actually, comparison is not just dangerous, but deadly. It has the potential to kill our joy, gratitude and confidence. Join me each day as we take a closer look at each danger associated with making comparisons.
Day 1: Comparison leads to envy
Comparison, looking at what others have and comparing it to what we have, can lead to envy, and the Bible tells us that where you have envy and selfish ambition you will find disorder and every kind of evil practice. (James 3:16) This tells us that envy leads you down a slippery slope into even more actions and thoughts that are displeasing to God. Envy can lead to greed and leave you always wanting more. It can also lead to discontentment, ingratitude, insecurity, and pride.
Go with me here for a minute. It is easy to say in our heads that we won’t envy, but how hard is it really to discipline ourselves not to go there? It just takes a look. One look. One look to the right or left and our minds can begin the downward spiral with thoughts like, “Ooh, I love her purse. I wish I could afford a designer handbag but all of my money goes to feeding my children.” Or, “Look how straight and shiny her hair is. I hate my frizzy, curly mop. It’s so hard to tame.” How that must insult God when we criticize his creation; He did his best work on us.
Just the other night in church I found myself surrounded by people who had beautiful singing voices. I was not gifted in this area so I lowered my voice, and as I looked around my worship began to seem inadequate in my eyes. I even envied the beautiful voices I heard rising up above my own. I struggled to regain focus and an image flashed across my mind. The image was of the heavens opening up and God’s people ushering in the bridegroom, Jesus, with their worship. In this picture, I saw myself amidst the crowd of worshipers. Everyone had their hands raised high in worship and they were singing their hearts out. Then there was me, just standing there looking around. The Holy Spirit spoke to me in that moment and I realized what I was doing. The Spirit nudged me to look at the image further and I decided that when Jesus returns I want to be singing His praises and giving Him all the glory. I don’t want to be the one in the middle of the crowd looking at what everyone else is doing. Jesus deserves to have my attention, and I am going to do all that I can to give it to Him.
The possibilities are endless in terms of what we can envy. We can envy the stress-free life of our neighbor, the way they look, or even their closeness to God. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, he will show us the love and blessings He has lavished on us that should never leave us needing more.
Lord my God, forgive me for envying those around me. You deserve all that I have: my attention, my worship, my praise. But I can’t give you all that I have if I am distracted by my comparisons. Help me to keep my eyes on you and what you are doing in my life. I know that you are good and your plans for my life are good. I want to be able to reach out to those around me and encourage them without envying them, but I can’t do this without you, Lord. I need the help of your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your help, and thank you for all you are doing in my life. I love you. Amen.