By Sandy Kirby Quandt
I have a problem, and I don’t believe I’m the only one who has struggled with it. The problem is comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we don’t measure up. It’s easy to do, but I don’t believe it is emotionally healthy to do it.
Each of us has been made by a God who loves to be creative. He doesn’t punch us out of a plastic mold. We are uniquely and wonderfully made. We have different abilities. Different strengths. Different weaknesses. Different purposes for being.
It’s taken me a very long time to understand this truth. I’ve suffered through many years of comparing myself to others and coming up short in my mind more times than not.
For example, there was my friend, Cindy. A married banking professional who had no children.
How insignificant I felt compared to her. I did not rule the board room like she did. I felt dismissed because I was just a stay-at-home-mom who spent her days baking cupcakes for Pie’s school, and corralling his Cub Scout den every Wednesday afternoon.
I didn’t attend exclusive weekend getaways like Cindy did. I spent my Saturdays finding containers to accommodate the various critters Pie inevitably found which needed a home. Or nursing one more sick hamster back to health. Or trying to convince him the snake he had backed into the corner of the fence was a water moccasin, not one he should keep as a pet.
I didn’t dress in the latest fashions like Cindy did. More times than not, I was in shorts and a tee shirt shooting hoops or tossing a football in the back yard with Pie, cheering on his sports efforts from the stands, or riding bikes with him through the park.
When conversations with Cindy turned to the world of banking, I felt totally undereducated. But if the conversation centered around Pie’s plastic G.I. Joe figures Duke, Snake Eyes or Scarlet…
I’m a slow learner. That’s a true fact. I take my time cogitating. What I’m learning is we all need to embrace where God has put us at each particular moment in time. We need to stop yearning to be someone or something we aren’t. God put the things in us he wants in, and left the things out he wants out. We should follow where he leads us, however that manifests itself.
When others say we don’t measure up, Jesus says we matter to him. A lot. Enough to die for us. When we allow deceiving voices to condemn, criticize, say we aren’t enough — whatever enough means — we need to listen to Jesus’ voice of truth. He says there is no condemnation to those who belong to him. We are precious. We are loved.
We need to realize we were made for a purpose. We need to do our best to accomplish that purpose. God’s plans and purposes do not call us to compare ourselves with the standard others have set for themselves. His plans and purposes call us to compare ourselves with the standard he has set for our lives.
Am I the only one who has struggled with this problem of comparing myself and abilities to those of others?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.
Men have different gifts, but it is the same Spirit who gives them. There are different ways of serving God, but it is the same Lord who is served. God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purposes through them all. Each man is given his gift by the Spirit that he may make the most of it. 1 Corinthians12:4-6 (Phillips)
I wish you well.
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