Friday, November 23, 2012

The Comparison Trap

It can be a real battle not to compare yourself to other people.  Comparing can happens in all sorts of ways:

- Comparing career achievements.  
- Comparing bodies.  
- Comparing social status.  
- Comparing number of Twitter followers. 
- Comparing cars.  
- Comparing children behavior.  
- Comparing consumer goods.  
- Comparing intellect.  

The list goes on and on.  And on.

At Thanksgiving I was struggling with comparing.  My brother in law is an awesome guy.  He's blessed with a job that he's been working for his whole life.  He'll own the company some day.  He's got a sweet Suburban, all kinds of nice things for his wife and kids, and the opportunity to travel and vacation and golf all over the US.  He can rewire your whole house or hang a picture frame level with his eyes closed.  He'e debating where to put the hot tub.

Then I look at myself.  My car is missing a back door handle and the passenger side mirror is broken off.  My dryer is unplugged and sitting in my kitchen because it makes a horrible noise.  The garage door doesn't work so my wife has to get out of the van to open the door by hand whenever she comes home.  I work 60 hours a week and get nothing out of it but a "thanks for the hard work."  All this to say, it can be a bit of a downer sometimes when I look around at the people around me.

Let me be clear, I'm in no way blaming my brother in law.  He's loving, generous, and willing to do anything to help anyone.  The problem is with me.  The problem is with my eyes.  I get so busy looking around that I stop looking above, or rather, inside, into the eyes of Jesus.  Looking around at the lives of others distracts me from looking at Christ and being grateful for the things that he has given me.  Looking at the things others have done, or own, takes my attention away from the things Jesus has done for and given to me.

I don't really have an income problem.  I have an interest problem.  And that problem is that I am interested in the wrong things.

I am most happy when I am interested in the things that matter most.

- Loving God.
- Loving my family.
- Serving others.
- Worshipping with my church.

These are the things that I want to be interested in.  And if I want to compare I should compare my love of Jesus today with my love of him yesterday, and challenge myself to grow more deeply in love with Him each day.
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