Scanning the incredible landscape autumn provides through the luster of many different colored leaves this time of year I’m struck by how each one serves to bring brilliance to the entire scene. If every tree turned the same color we would be left with a decent but predictable view for the months seeking to impede the unapologetic advancement of winter’s ravenous cold temperatures. But nature refuses to be boring illuminating a piece of the heart desire of Father God.
God was not satisfied with one type of tree of one color...
Instead He has made many different kinds of trees with numerous color variations seemingly just for the love of it. That same heart for creativity and uniqueness can be seen in His creation of us. No two human beings are perfectly alike – each of us displays a uniqueness which contributes to the palette of the whole.
Unfortunately, it’s in this “difference” we stumble upon one of our trickiest opponents.
A story in the bible narrates a young man named Gideon struggling with this enemy. One day God sends a messenger to get a message to Gideon and He addresses Gideon with a stunning title.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, Oh mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12 ESV). Gideon, however, had a different idea of himself which he relays in his response to God’s message, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my Father’s house” (vs 15).
Gideon had formed his identity and opinion of himself around how he thought he measured up to others.
According to him, he was part of a “clan” not as strong as others and out of the bunch, he was the weakest. Because of comparison he skipped right over the identity God wanted to give him, “mighty man of valor” and instead repeated the one the culture around him communicated.
“Comparison causes us to lose sight of who we are and what God has spoken over us.
Ever experienced a scenario where you were feeling quite good about something you did until another person did it seemingly better than you and you began to feel like quitting? I have. Father God through scripture speaks to this problem:
“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Galatians 6:4
When we compare ourselves to others we only have two options: we either come up better or worse than them, and it’s exhausting.
It steals creativity and keeps us out of healthy community.
God has something better in mind for us.
He wants us each to find our identity, value and worth in Him so that we can be free to live out who He has made us to be and celebrate His design of others. Getting rid of the trap of comparison makes it possible for us to champion each other and maybe even effectively “encourage one another daily”!
The goal is for us to grow in security in the One who made us and truly knows us to free ourselves and those around us. I pray you come to know your own uniqueness and value to both God and the world around you. We need you to be you and let what God has put inside you come out to change the world.
“We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse…Each of us is an original.” Galatians 5:26 (MSG)
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