Measuring Lines

Comparison Trap 2If you were to open our pantry door you might be surprised to see the inside of it is covered with marks, dash lines, dates and names. Each of these lines represent our kids. We have measured their heights at regular intervals since we moved into our house 9 years ago. Nine years is a long time to see how they grow and the differences between each of them. We even caught the year Russel grew over 9 inches. That was a shocker and a tax on our budget!

It is great fun to keep track, but the fun ends quickly when the kids start comparing who was the tallest at a certain age, who they think will be the tallest once they all grow up. I always have to remind my kids that in the end it doesn’t matter who’s the tallest. And when the topic comes up in other areas I tell them we aren’t going to try to figure out who’s the smartest, or the funniest, or the most gifted in any area. We are going to simply celebrate each new adventure, new area of growth, and each furthering of the unique traits God placed in each of them.

The comparison trap leads to challenges in our family. It also leads to challenges in the grown up world around me. I’m always amazed to hear women talk about how they compare themselves to women around them. While I can attest to many areas of struggle in my life, this has not been one of them. I can feel fearful, I can have moments of doubt that God will show up and do what he says he will do, but I don’t really compare myself to others. I hope my kids grow up free of this struggle as well.

The thing is, God has graced each of us with gifts and talents and no one thing is more important than the other and everything has it’s place in His kingdom. We are all uniquely crafted to carry out our role in His amazing story!! When we look at others and what they have been given and compare that with what we have, we will always come up feeling either greater than or less than in the equation, neither of which are good. God didn’t make us greater than or less than others. We are all made in His image and we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.

Remember the words of Paul, who said in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”

Rather than focus on what others have around us, it’s far wiser to ask God how we can best glorify him with what he’s placed in us, and then keep our eyes on him, train hard, and run our race in our lane until we reach the finish line.

Amy O’Donnell

© Copyright March 12th, 2014

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