"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."
- Colossians 3:23 NJV
Comparison is the enemy of progress. While many of us have bold dreams and huge goals for our lives, we allow comparison to plague us along the journey. Whether we use it as a gauge to measure where we are, or to reassure us we are doing well, comparison can cloud the purpose behind your pursuit. Many times we don’t even realize the power comparison has over our thoughts until they have already crept into our mind. The danger with comparison is it can be a gateway for envy. It can be as simple as scrolling through Instagram, and suddenly seeing a post that makes your entire mood change. Why is that? Could it be we unknowingly seek the approval of man above God? Social media, while it is an amazing tool, causes many of us to play the comparison game. An array of thoughts begin to plague your mind, until you walk away feeling frustrated and inferior. God forbid someone may be a few steps ahead of where you perceived yourself to be at this current stage.
Our generation is constantly in grind mode. We are highly ambitious and have been given the tools through social media and the internet to maximize our potential for success.
We are reaching notoriety quicker than the generations before us, and the face of “success” has changed drastically. Goals are great, but they must be tempered by your passion, your calling, and staying true to yourself. Forcing ourselves to fit into a mold that God didn't call us to, can either prolong the fruition of our goals, or catapult us to a level we are not equipped to sustain. You don’t want anything before it is time. Meals that take the longest to prepare, are often the most nourishing, aromatic, and delicious ones. Food served too early is not properly prepared, and has the potential to make you ill. We cannot allow comparison to take the lead. We have to work unto the Lord, which majority of the time means waiting. (Of course there are times where God moves swiftly, but most success stories take time).
This goes back to a post I wrote a few weeks about learning to embrace God’s timing. While God’s timing can be frustrating to endure, it is ultimately for our development. The time we are in our waiting season equips us for what we need in the next season. We rarely take time to appreciate where we are because we are so anxious to get to the next level. Your journey is uniquely yours, and the lessons you learn can assist the next person. If you can’t celebrate for others when they hit milestones or accomplishments, maybe it’s time to take a fast from social media, or do some devotionals tailored to that specific area. The BibleApp has hundreds, if not thousands of free devotionals that can help you in a variety of areas. Additionally, pray to God and ask for a new perspective so you can avoid comparison.
This week, Pastor Steven Furtick, from Elevation Church gave a sermon about the dangers of measuring yourself based on a measuring stick instead of by God’s scale. Like the Bible verse says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) The measuring stick we use - nine times out of ten - is based on earthly measurements. We do not take into account our weight in heavenly measurements. God’s thoughts are higher than ours, meaning He sees the entire picture, while we only see a fracture. It is human nature to assess yourself against your peers as you grow, but it becomes an issue when you allow that to be the driving force behind your goals. We have to make sure we keep God as the focus, and not man. We shouldn’t pursue something solely to receive man’s glory. Naturally, we want to attain some level of earthly success, but this should not be our measuring stick.
Maya Angelou said, “Success is liking yourself. Liking what you do, and how you do it.” Success is not comparing yourself to others and allowing that to monitor your progress. Find out what sphere God wants to use you in, and the steps needed to climb in order to reach your version of success. I truly believe that God has a purpose for each and every one of us, and the key to sustaining is keeping Him first, staying true to ourselves, and taking Maya’s sage advice of liking what we do and how we do it.
We are all apart of God’s body. Stop working against each other, and play your part. There is enough room for everyone at the table. We have to be patient with ourselves, especially if things seems to be taking longer than we expected. Keep at it, and stay in your lane. Also just because something seems like it came easy for someone, does not mean that is the case. Like T.D. Jake’s said in a previous sermon (I’m paraphrasing), “do not covet what someone else has, because you don’t know what they sacrificed to get there.” Success requires you to sacrifice something for it. Whether that’s time, relationships, jobs, family, friends, your home, your car, being broke for a season - success has a price. People can fight the worst storms silently, while publicly putting on a smile. Wish them well, and keep going. You will win if you don’t quit.
God is with you, and He sees you.
Have a blessed week!
Connect with me on Instagram at @assuredlyashore!