I often find myself saying it to others, “Comparison is the thief of all joy!” And it’s so very, very true.
And yet, I still find myself all too often imbibing in comparing my life, my possessions, my haves and have-nots, and ultimately my story to those of others.
I was in one of those moods earlier this week, and I was elbow deep in comparison. And then I read this blog post from Nicki Koriarz on Proverbs 31. And she writes…
“The world loves to shout about success, but we seldom speak of our secret sorrows… And comparison is often a quiet, sorrowful place we don’t invite others into.”
And I so identified with those 2 lines.
Perhaps you too?!?
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)
“Have you ever had a situation that ended up not being anything like it appeared to be?
I was off on an adventure with my friend Amy. A “junking” adventure. You know, sorting through what some consider trash and turning it into home décor treasure.
But our adventure on an old farm led me in a completely different decorating direction. Because somehow, a sweet baby donkey ended up coming home with me.
Only problem was, I discovered donkeys can’t live alone. So, I did some negotiating and ended up with not one, but TWO donkeys. And according to the man selling me these donkeys, the girl was pregnant.
Basically, it was a BOGO (Buy One-Get One) deal, and I was thrilled.
Since my husband and I are first-generation farmers (read: we have no idea what we’re doing), surprisingly we found out donkeys are pregnant for 11 to 14 months!
And so began: Baby Donkey Watch.
For months, I went outside each day to love on Helen and her ever-growing belly. I posted pictures on social media and everyone became excited about this coming baby donkey.
But 11 months went by, then 12, 13, 14 months … and still no baby donkey. Yet Helen kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Puzzled, I called the donkey expert to come figure out this situation. I explained things and he gave Helen a quick once-over. Then he said to me (in his deep southern accent), “Ma’am, I’m sorry to tell you this, but that donkey isn’t pregnant.”
Oh. My. Word.
I could not believe it. I mean, I had felt Helen’s stomach move! And why was she getting wider and wider?
Things are not always as they seem.
Honestly, when I think about one of the greatest struggles of my life, comparison, this is a truth I’ve had to pour into my heart over and over.
Comparison tricks me into looking at what others have and who they are and I wonder if somehow, they measure higher in God’s eyes than I do. When I look at others’ success, it’s easy to fall into a destructive mindset. And as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:12, comparison actually makes us unwise.
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Wisdom helps us see beyond every seemingly perfect situation and know there’s usually another story being written. That story is rarely told.
The world loves to shout about success, but we seldom speak of our secret sorrows.
And comparison is often a quiet, sorrowful place we don’t invite others into.
Helen’s stomach grew and grew because she was just … well, eating a lot. Her new home is a pasture with maybe too much grass to feed on. So, dreadfully, I had to pop open my phone and craft a social media post to fill in the entire baby-donkey-watch fan base on this outcome.
People were disappointed, but mostly just laughing with us, not at us.
And I know it’s a super trivial example, but each time I look at Helen I remember, things aren’t always as they seem. And I want to be wise when I look at the world around me so comparison doesn’t compromise the unique story God is writing through my life.”
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (NIV)