Apples & Oranges

ApplesWe all have struggles and we all have weaknesses. I have always been very open and clear about mine because I know that I am probably not the only one dealing with these issues. One thing in particular I have always dealt with is the struggle of comparison.

I did not notice that I struggled with this problem until maybe mid-way through high school. I would constantly compare myself to others and their success, looks, career choice, intelligence, etc. I would always wind up feeling bad about myself and that resulted battling low self-confidence.

Satan has a wide range of tools in his arsenal and I strongly believe comparison is one of them. When we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, it becomes a distraction from the path the Lord has us on. Comparison turns to doubt and doubt turns to low self-confidence which then can turn to depression, anxiety, settling for less than we deserve, etc. Comparison can become an addiction of sorts. Comparison is a form of coveting which God covers in the 10th commandment. The Lord knew we would struggle with this, I think that’s why “You shall not covet” was included in the 10 commandments.

Over the past few months, my life has changed a good bit. I have moved into some new seasons of life and it’s exciting. I am beginning to see some of the fruits of my labor and it is encouraging. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go but having success in some sort of fashion feels good. But it doesn’t just make me feel good, I feel like I have taken a leap in maturity in some ways and have new insight regarding things I struggle with.

I believe (And the Bible tells us) the Lord created every person on this earth for a specific purpose (“For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” -Colossians 1:16 (NIV). He does not make mistakes and He does not forget the people whom He has created (“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” -Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV). For people to reach that specific purpose God created for them, they must follow a path throughout their life that the Lord planned for them (“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”- Ephesians 2:10 (NLT).

If no two people are alike, then logically no two paths are alike either. I believe that key aspect is something that I have been missing. I compared my success in my path to other’s success on their path. I now see how ridiculous that is because we are different people. They can never fill my role on this earth nor can I carry out theirs. Otherwise the Lord would have made me or them, not both.

Many seasons of life are times of preparation. They may not be extremely exciting, but are absolutely necessary. During these times is when Satan drops in the seed of comparison. We are not necessarily doing something that is extremely exciting, but we see someone else who is doing something exciting. We see them moving off to a new place, or starting a new career, or dating a new boy or girl and then we look at our lives and begin to think. We begin to doubt the Lord even has a purpose for us, we begin to think He has forgotten us, and we begin to sink into a state of feeling like we are no longer worth anything.

There are certain aspects of social media that I love. I love how easy it is to stay in touch with far off friends and family or how easy it is to promote business etc. But there are many things I hate about social media. Social media is a way for Satan to directly feed us seeds of comparison. I see constant snapshots of other people’s lives that look really exciting and then I look at my feed and it’s all pictures of coffee and my cats. We forget that pictures on social media are snapshots of people’s lives. Their posts are maybe 10% of what their lives actually look like. We show our success in posts, not all the work it took to get there. Success is much more exciting to post rather than hours upon hours of sweat and hard work. And let’s be honest, slap a filter on a picture of literally anything and you can make it look vintage-y and exciting. Magic.

I am sharing this topic and this struggle because it took me a long time to understand why there is no need to compare my looks or success or intelligence to others. That will literally do nothing to further my career or aspirations. Comparison is only a distraction to where the Lord has me going.

I want to encourage you to stop looking at other people’s lives. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. If they succeed, hey, good for them. A win for one is a win for all. If they fail, be right there to help pick them back up. But do not ever measure your abilities and talents by other people’s abilities and talents. It’s apples and oranges.

Instead, focus on your life. Focus on what passions the Lord has instilled in you. Decide now that it doesn’t matter what others do or where others go, it only matters that you are continually following God’s plan for your life. He has not forgotten about you and He has not forsaken you, some plans just take time and some paths go on longer.

Keep your head down, but keep up the good work. Stay focused on what has been put before you and your time will come. Much easier said than done, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the Lord is working on your behalf for those things to come to pass.

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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