Stop Comparing

Parent/teacher conferences are going on. What are the odds that there would be parents who meet with a teacher and ask, "How is my kid doing?" and have the teacher say, "I'd say about average. Your kid is right in the middle of the pack."

Then they go to their kid's soccer coach. "How's my kid doing?" "Your kid is average. I'd say half are better, half are worse."

Then they go to their kid's tutor who specializes in preparing for the SATs. "How's my kid doing?" "I think you can expect right about the 50th percentile."

What are the odds those parents respond to that by saying, "That's great!  I have a normal kid. My kid is average - right in the sweet spot of God's bell curve!"?

Not likely.

It turns out when we ask the question, "How's my kid doing?" there's always a little qualifier attached: the phrase, "Compared to the other kids." We have a way of measuring our performance, our identity, even our value and self-worth compared to the others. We need to stop doing that.

Here are some questions for you to consider:

First, "Who are you comparing yourself to?" I invite you to think about this one for a bit. I probably wouldn't compare myself financially to Bill Gates or somebody like that. More likely it'd be a person down the hall or down the street - somebody close by. Just be really honest about this question with yourself.

Next, ask yourself "Why am I angry?", "What is it I really want?", "Who would my best self be?". 

Then, ask yourself these questions that go a different direction:

"What is the joy God has for me?", "What are the gifts God has given to me?", "What is the task God has assigned me?"

God hasn't asked you to be somebody else. You don't have to be like Bill Gates, or a celebrity, or the neighbors. God is calling you to be you.

I promise you there's joy in loving the people around you and doing the things God has called you to do and giving the gifts God has called you to give and stretching the gifts God has given you to stretch. I promise you there's joy. That's what we are talking about today.