The Trojan Horse
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]A[/mk_dropcaps] gift is defined as a thing willingly given someone without payment, present, or a notable capacity. We each have been given a number of gifts from our Heavenly Father. One of the most miraculous is the gift of life. I find it interesting how we are so hesitant to use our gifts and so critical of how others use theirs. More often than I’d like to admit, I have found myself caught in the trap of comparison - judging another for what makes them unique. Watching someone who is confident enough to show their true self can be shocking. It breaks the mold that most believe we must live in. I believe comparison is like a Trojan horse: a gift that many of us preoccupy our energy and focus with but in reality is no gift at all, but a trap or prison for our creativity. It uses up the invaluable real estate of our minds that would go to do the good work we have been called to do, and instead we are consumed with creating an arbitrary ranking system: a comparison tool with which we elevate or demean ourselves by elevating or demeaning each other. There is an appeal to this as it convinces us we know our strengths and weaknesses. The reality is that comparison is not a gift and certainly does not help you to grow. Rather, you will simply end up with proud or insecure about yourself or your life. With the mindset of an athlete, comparison is engrained in my pattern of thinking. A lot of it is self comparison (Am I better or worse than I used to be?), but it easily extends to others. It is so easy to do. But is it really a trap?
To answer that, let's read this scripture:
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG[/mk_blockquote]
Comparison is a "Trojan horse" gift because it shifts our focus from the "good work He has gotten ready for us to do" to the works of others. Our gifts are strengthened and clarified in use, not by analysis. God did not create us to be the peanut gallery and to make critiques on the sidelines. Rather, we're called to get in the game and do the job that only we were designed to do. My friend, let's make a commitment today to return that Trojan horse of comparison. This will only require you to confess it is an issue, and ask the Lord to lead you in catching your thoughts when that horse tries to sneak back in. I believe over a short time, it will be second nature for us to live free from comparison. In the process we will have far more energy, joy, and excitement about the work we're meant to do. We don't have to be perfect, but merely aware of comparison's presence and have a plan in place to address it when it sneaks back in.