The title sounds a little dramatic, but if we stop to think about it, I think it honestly reflects what comparing does to our lives. We’ve been studying Matthew and in chapter 25 in the parable of the talents something really stuck out to me. I’ve always read that chapter and associated it with doing the best with what God has given me. I still think that’s a HUGE part of this parable, but this time I saw even more and that’s what I want to share with you.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.Then he went away.”
Matthew 25:14-15 ESV
I have to be honest and tell you that at times this parable has overwhelmed me a little. I am a recovering perfectionist, I read a parable like this one and I don’t want to be the person who just doubled the two talents, I sure don’t want to be the one who buried it! I’m the person who wants to be like the man with the five who doubled the master’s talents and made ten! I’ve read it and never really considered striving to be like the man with the two who doubled it and made four, but why?
Well I know for me, I’m my own worst critic. If there’s a best I want to be it. I’ve never thought of it as a bad thing, till I fall short. And I want to be clear, me doing my best is a standard that I have for myself because I want to be the best me for God that I can be. I don’t hold others to that same expectation. But for me, I always want to give God my all.
But back to the parable, the part that stuck out to me the most in this study of it was that the master gave to each according to their ability. I felt like light bulbs went off in my head. God knows each of us in ways that no one else does. What He is calling me to, He hasn’t called everyone to, and that works in my favor. I think sometimes we can feel frustrated by what God has called us to do when we compare it to what He has called someone else to. But the great news is that no matter who around us is doing something amazing, its not what God has called us to do. And that’s where the freedom comes in, the freedom to fully embrace what He has called us to do, freedom to pursue it with no reserve and no comparison. I have freedom in following His calling for our life, His calling for our family, and His plan for us. Let that sink in for a second. The God of the universe has given you the talents, the wisdom, the patience, the grace, and the provision for what He has called you to. He has not however given you the talents to do what He has called someone else to do. The best past is He is happy with you for simply doing what He has called you to do!
Comparison will cost you the joy of your journey and can lead to the death of your vision. I think sometimes it’s so easy to get distracted by those around us or what they’re doing. When the master returned he was not disappointed with the man who had the two and made four. He didn’t look at him and say why didn’t you make ten. He was pleased because the man did exactly what he could. The man who turned the five to ten got the same response as the one who made four out of two. The only one the master wasn’t pleased with was the one who did nothing cause of fear.
I have lots of people who say all kinds of crazy things to me about my life. Some are in awe, some friends have even said they’re intimidated by what I’m doing, some have said they don’t like to talk to me about their struggles cause my life is harder?!?! I don’t ever think of it that way. God hasn’t asked all my friends to foster, adopt, or have 12 kids. I have some amazing friends who love Jesus and are changing this world, if I thought about how many people they have gotten saved or how well they run their ministry it would suck the joy out of my today and what God has before me to do today. I want to encourage you to not let the devil use others good deeds to intimidate you. Whatever He has called you to do is no more important to Him than what He’s called your friend to do. I always say ‘Jesus has enough work for everyone and enough ideas to keep us all busy serving Him’. We never need to be envious or struggle with comparison. God loves you, He believes in the visions He’s given you. If you are seeking, serving, following, and loving Him there is nothing else you could do to bring a smile to God’s face. It’s funny cause if we focus on what He’s called us to do, we don’t have time to compare ourselves. I think the devil loves to use other people’s accomplishments or shortcomings to distract us, don’t let him. Be confident in God’s plan and love for you. He is more than able to complete what He started in you.
Here’s a few things to do when comparison tries to distract!
- Remember that you are loved and cared about so much so that God created you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139:13-14)
- God has a plan for you and its one for GOOD! Be confident in His plan for YOU. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Draw near to God and KNOW His plan for you and keep it before you! It will help to keep you focused on your race! (James 4:8)
- He will finish what He has started in you! He is faithful! (Philippians 1:6)