Comparisons and Contentment

masterpieceWe know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 9:28)

Ponder It.
What was the last “new” thing you were excited to have?
When was the last time you compared yourself to someone else?
How would you complete the statement, “God will use me more if only…”?

Receive It.
Remember the first day of school? You were so proud of your new box of crayons and other brand new school supplies. Everything was so clean and organized. You couldn’t wait to begin a new journey. Newness held hope and promise.

Or, maybe you didn’t have new supplies. You had to use the same broken crayons that you took home the year before, crayons your brother or sister had already used, or a box that held any crayons you could find.

Whether you had new or old supplies, you looked around the classroom and noticed the differences. Students had different sizes of boxes. There’s a big difference between a box of eight crayons and a box of 120. Some boxes had a crayon sharpener built in. Even the brands were different, and we all knew which brands colored well and which ones were too waxy to leave much color on the paper.

As we looked around, we became discontent, even if we were happy with what we had when we set out for the day. Comparisons rob us of contentment of where we are and what we have. Instead of trusting God will use us where we are, just as we are, we begin to question our worth. When we do, we question Him. He created you. He knows exactly where you are. He knows your weaknesses, brokenness, doubts, and baggage. He won’t use you in spite of it all. He uses you because of it. He wants to redeem you. Only you can be you. You don’t fall short in comparison to someone else. You fall short because He wants more for you. Set aside comparisons for contentment.

Live It.
Look around for one minute, taking inventory of all the things you want, even others’ characteristics, abilities, or experiences. At the end of one minute, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and try to get the images of comparisons out of your mind. Give yourself a full minute. Then, repeat the experience, except this time, take an inventory of yourself, of your blessings, joys, growth, healing…no matter how small each may seem. At the end of one minute, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let the images of contentment fill you as you pray with gratitude for God’s provision, grace, and investment in you.

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