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Compared to…

February 22, 2011

In his outstanding book about his journey with grief, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, Jerry Sittser observes that you cannot win if you try to compare your grief to someone else. If they have had what you judge to be a more traumatic loss, then you feel you shouldn’t need to grieve since you don’t have it as bad. Or if they have had a lesser loss, you stir up a good dose of self pity and get drawn into a deeper pit of despair because no one has it as bad as you do. 

Compared to… – These can be two of the most useless words in our vocabulary. They work in most areas like they do in grief. If we say compared to so and so I’m not that bad, we are justifying our ‘sin’. Whether we dabble in comparative morality, truth, or gossip, if our goal is only to be ‘not as bad’ as someone else, we will manage to find someone we deem to be ‘worse’. As long as someone else is worse, we think of ourselves as good enough. 

M A D E   I N

If we say compared to so and so, I’m not that good, we are devaluing out talents. I can’t sing as good as Taylor Swift. I can’t be as generous as Bill Gates. I’m not as good of host as Mary. I can’t coach like Tim does. When we devalue our talents, we tend to withdraw and not engage our gifts or develop our talents. If we can’t find someone who can do it better that we do, our problem is likely pride or arrogance! 

A N   A M A Z I N G   A N D

‘Compared to’ is a pointless game that will leave us feeling self righteous or worth less. Neither is a good place to be. Fortunately, grace delivers us from ‘compared to’ into the realm of ‘because of.’ In Christ, our worth is found because of what God has done for us. While we were worth less (or feeling quite valuable in our self absorbed world), God gave us the gift of grace to give us infinite worth. Our life is not built ‘compared to’ anyone else; our life has importance ‘because of’ God’s gracious gift of a Savior. 

W O N D E R F U L   W A Y

How are you living your life today? If you are comparing your appearance, your talents, your faith, or any other aspect of your life to someone else, let it go. Significance, meaning, and value come into our life because of Someone else. He’ll never ask you to be as good as or better than anyone else. He only wants us each to be what He has created us from the beginning to be. May you have a prayer of thanksgiving that is shared with the song writer, “I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well.” Psalm 139:14 New Century Version
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