The words connected like a cast-iron skillet to the head.
And just as painfully, it hurt.
I've been reading Wendi Lou Lee's book of devotional thoughts from her days on Little House on the Prairie.
In one day’s entry, she talked about comparisons and how detrimental they are.
Most people learn throughout life that comparing oneself to someone else simply ends in frustration and turmoil.
But we do it anyway.
Yet as I read, one sentence stopped me. Wendi wrote, “Instead of comparing and striving and proving we matter, we can use every gift He’s given us, revealing that God is the only One who matters.”
I sat with that sentence for several minutes. And here came the cast-iron skillet . . . comparisons are like calling God a liar.
Q: Why does God give us gifts?
A: According to Ephesians 2:10, in order to do what He planned.
Q: What does the devil want?
A: To get my eyes off of what God wants and keep them on myself and others.
Q: How does God help me in those plans?
A: By giving me the strength to do them and reminding me He’s always with me.
Q: How does the devil scheme?
A: He whispers the lie of comparison in my head and tempts me to look at what others are doing, then leads me to believe I can’t do anything well because I don’t measure up.
God says He created me with all I need to do His will. The devil says I am less than anyone else so why bother?
When I waste time comparing myself to other people, I am choosing to believe the devil and his scheming, coercive lies. And I believe the father of lies—the one who doesn’t want or have anything good for me. The devil is the biggest bully who screams words of doubt, hurt, and deceptiveness.
The doubts are planted and the whisper of the lies gets louder.
Has the same thing happened to you?
But here’s the thing: we can put a stop to it because Jesus already did.
I John 4:4b “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (New American Standard) Comparisons work for the devil because we believe he’s stronger than God.
Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (English Standard Version) See, God already gave you the armor you need.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (New King James Version) Comparisons make us think we’ve missed something when we look at what someone else is doing or has. The idea of missing out is the same lie the devil used in the garden with Eve.
Romans 8:37b “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (English Standard Version), and the New Living Translations states it this way: “Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” I love both of these translations because they shine the same truth from two angles. God knows we have victory through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. The devil wants to undermine that truth. One of his favorite tricks is to make a person think God’s truths apply to everyone else but not that individual.
I don’t like how I feel when I compare. Do you?
Let’s refocus. Quit comparisons. Use the gifts God’s given in the way He designed. And stop thinking about what might be missing.
Photo credit: Unsplash-Aliyah Jamous
After years of living under lies and fear, I have found truth and victory in God.