We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” (Numbers 13:33)
I am sitting here with my tea (of course) trying to think of a witty way to broach today’s subject of comparison and living content. And I know I have examples…..I was a master “comparer.” I didn’t have a stellar childhood, and it left scars. I grew up insecure and ALWAYS comparing. So…the witty examples I am thinking of….well, not so witty. Just sad. So we will skip the witty intro today…..
Compare: To estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between. Comparing is okay when you are trying to decide which car to buy or which dress to try on. It’s not so okay when you compare yourself to others……and I think deep down, most people do it at some point. We compare houses, cars, kids, parenting styles…..and the list could go on and on. As Christians, we can even tend to compare gifts and callings. “If only I could play the guitar and sing like Mikel, THEN I would be happy.”
Comparing will steal your contentment in the blink of an eye. That fast. It can steal your joy, bring in fear, and just make you plain insecure. And who wants to live like that? Everyone say “yuck” three times. Yuck. Yuck! YUCK!
The problem with comparison is that somehow we always end up on the “not good enough” side of whoever or whatever we compare our life to. Moses sent 12 spies in on a reconnaissance mission to the Promised Land, “Bring me a report of what we are facing here.” And that is exactly what they did. But the children of Israel compared themselves to the giants in the land, and they came up short in their own eyes. They even read the giant’s minds….”They think we are grasshoppers.” And their fear and doubt and unbelief kept them out of God’s promise for them. Sad.
If you read over in Joshua when he sent 2 spies in to spy it out again 40 years later, the truth comes out. Rahab tells the spies, “Since we have heard what your God did for you in Egypt, our heart have melted in fear. Who can stand up against you and your God?”
What the Israelites thought the giants thought: They are grasshoppers and we are going to crush them.
What the giants really thought: Their God is amazing and He is going to crush us!
Hmmmmm…..not the same thing at all. We tend to compare. We just do. It’s human nature. But it’s twisted and rarely accurate. We tend to compare the other person’s Facebook profile” to our “dirty laundry.” Everyone is wonderful on Facebook. Everyone has it all together on Facebook. Everyone’s kids are angels and prodigies on Facebook, right? You don’t put the real life drama on Facebook! (Well…some people do. But that is for another story.)
The point is….when we compare, we are not comparing reality to reality. We are comparing our PERCEPTION of their life to our intimate knowledge of our real life drama….our dirty laundry….and we COME UP SHORT IN OUR OWN EYES EVERY TIME. And we let it keep us in this low-level plane of living in discontentment and insecurity and fear! Sad….because everyone has dirty laundry!
We can change this though. Who’s with me? We don’t have to stay there. It takes work….hard work. Especially if you have been in the comparing business a LONG time. But it is a habit that’s worth breaking.
Let what God has said about you soak in. You are His masterpiece. You are the apple of His eye. He sings over you with joy. He has designed a beautiful plan for your life. You are beautiful. You are lovable. You are completely and utterly loved. He thinks about you and smiles. Yes, He does!
Living content is within your grasp. Reach out and take hold of it….take hold of Him. Let Him change your thinking and bring you into that place of peace and rest and contentment that can only be found in Him. He will fully satisfy your heart.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139)