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COSTA CALIDA ARTICLE - MAY 2014
We seem to be a world that is constantly comparing things. I mean, watch any television channel and during the adverts we are constantly encouraged, many times a day, to compare insurance prices and all sorts of other products on comparison websites etc.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that comparing things like products and services is a good thing and helps keep prices down in the market place. The ability to check out things that are to our advantage has to be a good thing.
The danger of comparing lies closer to home, when we take our comparing up to a more personal level; then it can become something that is very unhelpful to living a full and joyful life. We can find ourselves in a state of constant stress when we are looking over our shoulders at what others are doing, instead of getting on with what we have, or feel called to do ourselves.
Comparing what is really close to our hearts can cause us to feel negatively about ourselves, disappointment and envy then creep in, and before we know it we are on the downward spiral. When we are focused on what others are doing we start comparing their success to ours, their presumed joy and happiness to ours and if we are not careful we end up looking inwards and not outwards to what we can do, with the truly unique giftings that we have.
I recently read these words: “As long as you’re comparing yourself with others, you will never feel good about yourself. Run your own race”. These are very wise words in this performance based world that we live in. We cannot run in someone else’s shoes. They do not fit, were not made for us, do not suit us, and cause us to stumble and fall. If we persist in trying to wear those ill fitting shoes, they will ultimately cripple us.
In the Bible, King Saul equipped shepherd-boy David with his own armour when David was going out to fight the giant named Goliath. David knew immediately that this equipment would impede his progress and not help him in the least. Saul’s armour was made for Saul and worked for Saul; David had not needed armour to win his battles during his young life and his slingshot was perfectly adequate to dispatch the giant. David just needed to use his skills and win his own battles.
We can compare some crazy things and get really wound up about them; for example, how many Facebook friends we have, how many “likes” on our page, or maybe, how big another organization is compared with ours. Envy can then creep in when we consider that others are doing better than us. When we compare our lives with the lives of others, we tend only to compare where they are currently, and we do not check out how they got there. Usually, we will never get to know how much it cost them to get to the place they are at today.
God forgive us for comparing and envying other people when we do not know the costs involved. We have not walked in their boots, been where they have been or done what they have done, and are usually oblivious to the hurt, pain struggles and grief they have been through to get where they are today.
We have been born to live our own lives, take our own opportunities and risks, and suffer on occasions, our own failures… this is just part of living. None of us will find walking in someone else’s boots comfortable – they were not made for us!
So in this world of comparing, may I suggest that we be thankful for what we have, and for being who we are; we fit our own skin and our own shoes fit us perfectly. I read once that “the grass is always greener when we water it”- now that is good advice. Let’s start watering our own grass and take our gaze off our neighbour’s lawn.
I end with something to make you smile. Here is a recent quote I read. “I used to care what people thought about me, until one day, I tried to pay my bills with their opinions”.
Have a great month.