“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 6:4-5
When I was 6 years old, my favorite thing to do was compare and categorize. Nothing was safe from my scrutiny: books, stuffed animals, toys, animals, food, you name it. I compared it all and relished in the act of categorization. To me, it was necessary that every item around me had a specific place based on my own criteria.
As a 26-year-old, I notice that this comparison and organization has shifted from teddy bears and Dr. Seuss books to people and lifestyles. We are surrounded by stimuli that tell us what we should be doing with our lives, who we should surround ourselves with, how much money we should have, what products we must have, what beauty looks like, and on and on and on. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? We scroll through feeds and obsess over all the things we wish we had, all the ways we wish we lived, all the people we wish we could be. And we lose our perspective.
When we compare ourselves to others, we try to control things. We isolate ourselves and manifest fear. We develop a sense of entitlement, leading us towards pride and envy. We allow feelings of inadequacy and insecurity to cloud our hearts, which lowers our self-esteem. How does God fit into our heart if it’s clouded by the qualities that create a formidable barrier? How can we stay close to Him if we are immersed in fear, pride, and doubt?
Beloved, in order to break through the barriers of comparison, we have to shift our perspective and focus on the truths.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”We live in a “me generation,” and instead of valuing others above ourselves we compare ourselves to them and pinpoint their faults. We view others as competition and bring them down in the process. Instead, Scripture instructs us to regard others highly, encourage them, build them up, and promote unity. Spread His grace and saturate others with His love as we further His Kingdom.
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
God loves you.
Every single one of you is so precious in the eyes of the Lord. He knitted you with precision and care; He knows you and He loves you. He doesn’t desire for you to feel inadequate in relation to another. He desires for you to feel love, compassion, and worth and to know how cherished you are.
God has graciously given gifts to each of us that we are called to use to serve others. The gifts that we are given are due to God’s grace. This leaves no room for pride. Do not despise others’ gifts and do not neglect using your own gifts. The very definition of gift is “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone,” That is some serious grace and extraordinary love.
What we should be asking ourselves is how we compare to what God wants and how we compare to Jesus.
God has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role is to BE-LOVED – be esteemed, be dear, be adored, and be worthy of love.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”Isaiah 55:8
God doesn’t think like us and that’s a good thing. He has a view of time, space and history that surpasses our imagination. He knows more than we know and has a better idea of what’s going on in our lives, in the world, and in our future. We are comforted knowing God is in control, and instead of anxiously stressing about the way we feel our lives should be, we can rest in His grace and sovereignty. We can find peace knowing how special we are to Him. Don’t try to categorize yourself based on the world’s standards or your own skewed criteria of worth. Unite yourself with others, unite yourself with the truth, and unite yourself with the Lord.
You, darling, are so very special just as you are.