Updated: Oct 22, 2022
January 17, 2022
Do you ever look around yourself and all you see is a sea of success and you seem to be the one little fish, floundering while everyone else succeeds? Do you feel that you lack gifts and abilities that other people have? Do you wonder how other people can accomplish specific tasks so easily while you struggle?
Many times I have felt like that little flounder, flopping around while others confidently pursued their passions. I have stood in awe of the quick, decisive action of some women as they took the next step in their lives.
Do you struggle with comparing yourself with others? I certainly do. I look at others and see what they have accomplished, and my accomplishments seem so small in comparison. My looks do not compare with other beautiful women. I cannot seem to “keep it together” like other women. The list of comparisons goes on and on.
To my shame, I have spent too much of my life looking around this sea of life at others and their talents instead of focusing on the abilities given to me by God. Instead of discovering to the fullest potential the strengths that God gave me, I wasted time fretting about different strengths and opportunities that God gave to others.
God gave each person unique gifts, abilities, and opportunities, and He did not give every person every talent and opportunity possible. In other words, we all have strengths and also weaknesses. No human has every possible talent instilled in his or her life. I believe God gives us strengths that we can use for Him, and He also allows weaknesses in our lives to keep us humble and dependent on Him.
“You will never be as great as other people, and other people will never be as great as you. Stop comparing yourself to others.”
Recently, my husband made this statement to me. I had been venting to my husband (or rather airing my pity-party), secretly hoping for some encouragement to bolster my sense of worth. He made this simple yet very profound statement which has been rolling around my mind for days. The more I have pondered this statement, the more the wisdom of this statement has warmed my heart and settled my mind.
My life will never match up to others. At first glance, this is a depressing statement. There is no possible way I can achieve every wonderful skill and talent I see in other’s lives. But when I realize that others will never match certain strengths and opportunities in my life, I am humbly encouraged. Others may see abilities and opportunities in my life that they admire and even secretly envy.
Scripture warns us that comparing ourselves against others is not wise (2 Cor. 10:12). Why is it unwise to compare my life with someone else’s life? When I compare my life with another’s life, I get my focus off of God’s plan and will for my life, and all I can see is what I do not have instead of seeing the glorious blessings God has showered on my life. By comparing my life with another, my perspective is skewed, and I can no longer see the goodness of God and His best plan for my life. I begin to pursue things outside of His will for my life, and not only do I displease God, but I am no longer happy.
When I compare my life with others, I waste precious time that I should be using to sharpen my God-given skills. The sooner I learn to embrace my talents and learn to rejoice with others in their talents, the happier I will be. There is great contentment in following God’s plan for my life and learning to be happy for others in their unique gifts and abilities.
God has been showing me to accept His hand of provision in my life and just rest in what He has done for me. In no way have I gained absolute victory over comparing myself with others, but God is settling me into His perfect will for my life and helping me learn to rejoice with others in their unique journeys of life.
We each have unique and different gifts as God reminds us in Romans 12:6, “Having then gifts differing according to the measure of faith.” The above verse is one that I am currently memorizing, and it has blessed my heart. God has given different gifts to every member of the body of Christ.
In a sermon recently preached at our church, it was wisely stated that every gift (ability) that we have is from God, and therefore we should not be proud of our gifts but humbly use them for God. The speaker also said that if we do not have a particular gift, then we do not have that gift! That may seem like a “duh” statement, but when I realize that some abilities are just simply not my gifts, I realize it is okay for me not to excel in certain areas.
When I began to think from the perspective that every ability that every person has is from God, I view myself and others with humility. If a lady is talented in decorating, her gift came from God! If a lady is talented in playing the piano, her gift is from God! Why should I be jealous of what God has given to others? Instead I should rejoice in the ways that God enables others and seek to encourage and strengthen them. Conversely, whatever gifts God has given me I need to use for His glory.
Encouraging Tips to Remember
1. Everybody has struggles, no matter how perfect an exterior image a person may present. Do not be deceived into thinking someone else’s life is perfect. The old adage, “The grass is not greener on the other side” is true in this context of comparing our lives with others. A person may have certain benefits in her life, but she also has her own struggles.
2. Every person has unique gifts, abilities, and opportunities from God. Every person is unique and special to God. No two people have the exact same gifts and abilities.
3. Discover and sharpen the unique gifts that God has given to you, and use those gifts for His glory and for the benefit of others.
4. Shore up weaknesses in your life. Seek wisdom from wise people regarding areas of struggle in your life. Read, listen to others, and grow in your areas of weakness.
5. God is always good. He loves you and has given you exactly what you need!
What are your gifts and abilities? How can you use your gifts to glorify God and encourage others? Stay encouraged and joyful in what God has done for you, friends.