By Chelsea Burks
To Compare: to look at (two or more things) closely in order to see what is similar or different about them or in order to decide which one is better (Merriam-Webster.com)
As I was praying about what it was God wanted me to share with y’all this morning this topic kept coming to my mind.
Its a topic that has been coming up in conversations and teachings I’ve been a part of over the last few months. Even last night at The Bridge Madison, Pastor Josh touched on it in his sermon about our motives behind doing the things we do.
Mulling over that definition this morning I began to wrestle with the fact that there are two sides to this comparison coin: A Productive side and a horribly destructive side.
Sometimes comparison is a nice tool to help us grow. I would say I am thinking of this more in a school/program/event context. When we can look at what worked or didn’t work in the past or for others, we have a better idea of the direction we need to go.
And then comes the flip side… (and oh so quickly can it flip!)
When we look at what others are doing, what they look like, what their relationship with God is and compare it to our journey then this little tool can turn into a sledge hammer to our souls.
In an online article by Relevant Magazine contributor Janelle Paule on Avoiding the Comparison Trap Paule lists a couple ways that comparison is destructive: 1) It can feed pride, 2) It can make us forget who we were created to be and 3) It can Steal our Joy. The article is a great one so I will not repeat what she says, but rather just recommend it to add to your reading list and mention something else Comparison does.
Comparison takes away the enjoyment we can have in celebrating and utilizing the differences that are in our community. A secret that we often forget is there doesn’t have to be a “Best at ____” in the kingdom, and actually we are stronger and able to reach further if we have several people who are pretty good at something. As we continue to grow in number we will receive people with similar skill-sets as well as those who have completely different life experiences that allow them to do something well that many of us find challenging.
As YWAMmers we hold valuing the individual, championing young people and being relationship oriented very highly. As we begin to truly celebrate the successes of others, we not only live up to these values but we become better leaders and better friends. I want to encourage us as a community to decide now to receive each other in a spirit of discovery and celebration at what God is doing in the individual.
Begin to cultivate your strengths and talents because they are valuable to our community. God has placed you where you are in this season for a purpose and we LOVE that you are here! I’m so excited for the retreat this weekend because its a perfect time to discover new things about each other!
As you read this this quote from beloved Dr. Seuss, commit to be you and celebrate others who are doing the same!
Until Next Week!