I am the world’s worst about falling into the comparison trap. I don’t know about any of you, but I constantly compare myself to others, neglecting the beauty of who I am and how God created me.
I have a friend who is great at public speaking. And I mean great. She doesn’t know it, but I love to hear her talk in public, and many people do too. I could literally listen to her talk about Jesus all the time. She has such a love for Christ, and her passion shows when she speaks. I, on the other hand, get really nervous when I get in front of people, sometimes stuttering and rambling. I wouldn’t say I am terrible at public speaking, but I do not have the talent for it like she does. Sometimes I think and pray, “God, why can’t you make me like her? I want to do what she does. Why can’t I be like her?” And every time, no matter how many times I compare and pray, he gives me the same answer:
Because I created you differently than her.
We are all created differently than one another, each wonderful and unique and empowered with different gifts and talents to be used for God’s glory. Her gifts and talents are different than mine, just like mine are different than hers.
For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body
. — 1 Corinthians 12:12-20
But what happens when you’re an arm who wants to be a leg? Or an eye that wants to be an ear? Here are a few tips on how to either avoid falling prey to the comparison trap or to learn to get out of the trap:
- Pray. Yes, prayer is the answer to everything. Being honest with the Lord about what I am feeling has helped me so much not only with this issue, but also with my spiritual walk in general. If you are like me and compare yourself to others, pray about it. Pray that God would remove the envy from your heart. Pray that he will humble you. Pray that he will remind you of how beautiful and unique he has made you. And pray that God will show you how to use your own spiritual gifts to better his Kingdom.
- Learn about your spiritual gifts and your talents. It is easy to compare yourself to others, especially when you forget that God has created you with unique gifts too. Everyone is given gifts and talents by God for the advancing of his Kingdom, and it’s important to know what they are. If you don’t know what you’re gifts are, I have pinned a few great ones on my Pinterest page. You can take one here. Ask family and friends to tell you what they think you are good at. Yes, it might be awkward, and some people might laugh at you at first, but when they give you an answer, it is very beneficial, and sometimes even surprising. But don’t just limit yourself to taking assessments. Learn more about your gifts and how they can be used to benefit God’s Kingdom.
- Work out your spiritual gifts. A.K.A. DO SOMETHING!!! When I was comparing myself to my friend, I realized that one reason I was so jealous of her gifts was because I was neglecting mine. She was doing something for the Kingdom and me, well I was sitting on my hands. We are all one body of Christ. Each of us has been empowered by the Holy Spirit and can make an impact for the Kingdom. It is important to not only find out our gifts and talents, but to also do something with them. One great way to do this is to serve through a local church. Find where there is a need at your church and community, and how you can help meet that need. It is a good way to learn more about the gifts and talents God has given you and to show you that you too can bear fruit for the Kingdom. For example, one of my spiritual gifts is teaching, and some things I do are: bible studies, Vacation Bible School classes, and devotionals. This doesn’t mean that God will never call me to do something outside of my gift and skillset, but that I thrive best in discipleship type activities.
- Encourage others with their gifts and talents. Instead of being jealous, pray that God will continue to bless others with their ministries. Because we are one Church, one body of Christ, we need to encourage each other. We need to encourage others to use their talents and gifts for the Church. Our gifts and talents are not for ourselves, but for God. I think that if we remember that each of us have a purpose in God’s mission and have been equipped in certain and unique ways to fulfill it, we wouldn’t always be comparing ourselves to others.
A body was not meant to be all arms, all legs, just like the Church isn’t meant to be made up with people of all the same gifts and talents. We are all different. Unique. And all of us, with our different gifts and different talents, make up the beautiful Kingdom of God.
I might be an arm, but I am an awesome arm.
I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. –Psalm 139:14
Are you an arm who wants to be a leg? Do you struggle with falling into the comparison trap? What are ways you try to avoid it? What are your spiritual gifts? And how do you use those gifts for Jesus? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!:) Make sure to follow or subscribe for updates on more posts like this one!!