Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:26 (NIV)
Why do you compare yourself with others? Why is that a problem? You tell me. I’m not sure why comparing myself with others is a problem. Then let me ask you a few questions. Go ahead, I’m listening. What has happened to you when you have compared your gifts, talents, and abilities with others? You don’t really want to answer this question do you? No, not really. You are immediately beginning to see why it is a problem to compare yourself with others, aren’t you? Yes, I am. Tell me what you are thinking. When I compare my gifts, talents and abilities with others there are two negative results. What are they? I might either be proud because I will think I am superior to others or be depressed and filled with envy because I will think that I am inferior to others. Which one is more likely? That will vary from day to day and situation to situation. So, one day you might be conceited and proud and on another day you might be depressed and filled with envy, is that true? Yes, that’s true. What will you never be when you compare yourself to others? When I compare myself with others I will never be content or grateful for what I have been given. Let’s talk about not being content for a minute. Go ahead. What have you done when you have not been content with how I have made you? What have you done when you have not been content with the work that I have given you to do? Those are two tough questions. I’m not going to like my answers to your questions. I thought so; let me hear your answers anyhow. When I am not content with how you have made me, I have wanted to be someone else. When I am not content with what you have given me to do, I have wanted to do something else. Can you ever be someone else? No, I can never be someone else. Can anyone else ever be you? No, no one can ever be me. Is that a good or bad thing? I have wished I could be someone else. I have thought it was a bad thing that I couldn’t be someone else. What do you think now? I think it’s pretty incredible that you uniquely made me just as I am. Yes, I think so too. Do you believe that I have also given you unique assignments that I want you to accomplish? Yes, I do. Do you suppose that the person you have compared yourself with will be able to do what I have given you to do? No, probably not and it would be a mistake for them to try. Why is that? If they try to do what you have given me to do then they will not be doing what you have given them to do. That’s right. They will be wasting time on what they have not been gifted to do. They will be wasting time not working on the assignment that you have given to them. That’s also true. Now, lets go back to the other word that you uncovered in our discussion. What word was that? You mentioned the word grateful. Yes, I did. Can you be grateful for both how I have made you and for the assignments that I have given to you? Yes, I can. When will that be? I can only be grateful when I stop comparing myself with others. I can only be grateful when I give thanks to you for how you designed me to do the work that you have given me to do for you. Will you do that? Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, I don’t want to be conceited, nor do I want to provoke or envy others. Keep me from comparing what I have received or what I have accomplished with others. Help me to humbly walk with you so I will be thankful for all I have received. Amen
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