Who hasn’t heard the idiom regarding keeping up with the Joneses? One would be hard-pressed to find that person, right? Why is that? Making comparisons, an insidious byproduct of our flesh, is fueled by the world system, our nefarious enemy, and his malevolent cohorts to their advantage and to our detriment. Remember, there’s nothing new under the sun. From pre-school through retirement, we all struggle with and fall prey to the “comparison trap” at various times.
Now it’s one thing to be encouraged, blessed, and spurred on to greater and higher heights by someone’s gifting, skills, talents, and testimony or to strive by God’s grace for His glory to meet some necessary objective or goal, but ungodly comparisons spawn two polarized, yet equally destructive and self-focused outcomes: haughtiness or self-deprecation. These are two sides of the same coin as both objectify others, focus on self, preclude intimacy, dishonor God, and take our eyes off of where they should be: on Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I am usually most blessed by those who don’t do things flawlessly and effortlessly, but by those who sincerely, yet imperfectly, desire to humbly bless God and others in His Name. As containers of His life, we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us (2 Corinthians 4:7, ESV). So whatever God has for you, His clay, to do today, let Him have full sway in you as you manifest Christ through your life as no one else can or will. Whether clumsily or impeccably, your Audience of One will be well pleased, whether or not the peanut gallery agrees!
Melissa Smith is the Women’s Enrich Counselor at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the colony men’s wives and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and some women from the community who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 18 years, have four adopted children ages 17 to 24. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.