I believe that comparison can give me comfort! As a woman I come by comparison naturally. I compare myself or my situation to someone’s and end up feeling hopeless–too discouraged to even try.
So how can comparison give me comfort?
When I stop comparing my human abilities to other human abilities.
Scripture tells us to to stop leaning on our own understanding. Really, isn’t that what comparison is? Using our own human understanding of what we see to make assumptions and draw conclusions?
The Bible’s filled with stories that are meant to encourage us. When we feel the need to compare our situation to another’s, try looking at a human story that clearly shows us where God was leading all along.
I cannot compare my struggles to your victory. We need to compare apples to apples. I need to listen to the struggle it took to get to where you are. This gives me hope.
In His word I can compare my walk in the valley to David’s and find comfort that He was able to lie down and rest in peace (Psalm 4:8).
When I compare my worth as a scarred women, I can look to the women at the well. Her past, gender, and ethnic group would definitely not qualifier her to be the first person to whom Jesus openly reveals himself as Messiah.
As a writer I often compare the message that God gives me to share with what is already written. Reading other’s books and blogs often leaves me to believe that I am not saying anything new, it has already been said.
Well guess what? I am not saying anything new and neither are they.
There are four gospels for a reason. Each tells the same story, but each in a way that relates to the audience it was written for. The entire Bible has repeated messages. God is not asking or wanting me to say anything new, He wants me to spread the oldest message of hope and love to the audience right in front of me. Their audience is not my mission field. Those to whom I’m tempted to compare myself don’t have the same access to these ones he’s put in front of me.
When I compare myself to the stories in the Bible I replace the human voice with a divine one.
I can say, “See they felt the same way, they had the same doubts and God still used them for their audience.”
Knowing this and believing this are still hard. Sharing the message will come with criticism. It always has. Often it comes from your own community, your own family even.
I’ve been reading through John and started comparing the discussions that people were having about Jesus’ credibility. I wondered what “comments” might have been given if Jesus had been blogging.
● John 2:18 The Jews comment, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?”
In other words: “Who do you think you are?”
● John 6:50 His disciples comment, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”
Or, more commonly stated: “Keep your opinions to yourself!”
● John 7:5 tells us that, “For not even His brothers were believing in Him”.
Ouch. How about: “If you knew what we knew you would not believe him either!”
● John 8:48 The Jews comment, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?’
Or, as we’d put it, “Are you crazy?”
These are just a few of the comments that I think I would find on Jesus’s blog. They sound very similar to comments that could be made today when others criticize what we say.
When I compare myself and where I am at with insecurities in my life (be it body image, intellectual ability, my ministry, my parenting techniques, or even as a wife!) to those who struggled with those same issues in the Bible, I find comfort.
I see where God lead them and know that He leads me too.
I find comfort in comparing the unconditional love and grace that He so freely gave. Not one recipient deserved it. I can compare myself to those undeserving people and see that I to receive that love and grace daily. And that comparison gives me comfort.
Cheri Fletcher lives outside of Seattle WA with her husband Todd. She has 3 adult children and 2 dogs. She works with youth and women’s ministry. Preparing youth for the world of high school and beyond is a call she takes seriously.
Helping Women understand how much their image is detested and coveted by the serpent is a personal ministry for her. Follow her blog at: www.cherifletcher.com
Read Cheri’s other post about how she used Compared to Who (the book) to impact a group of girls at a boarding school, here.