One of my favorite things to do is to go shelling along the beach. I am always amazed as I look at the beauty in each shell. Even if I pick up five of the same shells, not one of them is identical. It’s in that moment that I am so in awe of God, the Creator of the universe. If He made each shell in its own species so different, why wouldn’t I believe that I was created to be unique – different from every other human?
Do you compare yourself with others and believe what the world tells you or do you believe what your Heavenly Father says about you? What you believe matters! How do you see yourself – – through the world’s eyes or through God’s eyes?
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt uncomfortable, not sure of yourself, and utterly amazed at the talents and gifts of others surrounding you? What happens in those moments? Sometimes you begin to look at how good they are at something, how successful that person is and you begin to think less about yourself. Comparisons are dangerous, and the enemy knows it. He will point out every great quality of that person, and then point out your failures and shortcomings. It is a tactic to hinder us from stepping into the destiny that God has for us.
There’s a story in Genesis 16:1-16 about Hagar and Sarai. Both of these women had great destinies, yet both of them had insecurities of their own. Hagar was an Egyptian maidservant to Sarai, a slave if you will. Hagar was reminded every day that she was a servant to Sarai and to the wealth that surrounded her. She no longer lived in the land of Egypt where the Israelites were once the slaves. I would imagine she felt alone in the wilderness surrounded by Jewish people and very few of her own people. In her eyes, she had nothing compared to Sarai.
On the other hand, Sarai had everything. She had all that she needed or even wanted – all except for children. Sarai was barren. I believe Sarah carried the shame that she couldn’t bear Abram a child. As the story goes, Abram and Sarai had been promised a child, and told that through him his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Sarai thought maybe the answer to her problem was to have Hagar have a child with Abram. Culturally, if a woman was barren, she could choose one of her maid servants to birth a child for her, but legally the child would be hers, not the servant’s. Hagar got pregnant the first time she was with Abram. The Bible says that when Hagar knew she was pregnant she despised Sarai. She began to look at Sarai a different way. Now, she had something that Sarai didn’t – she was pregnant with Abram’s child. This decision that Sarai made actually created dissension in the house, so much so that Sarai began abusing Hagar. Hagar finally ran away to get away from Sarai.
As always, the Lord showed up and made a covenant with Hagar. The condition of the covenant was to go back to her masters and be obedient, and name her son Ishmael. Then God promised He would make her descendants countless through her son. Amazing! That’s very close to the promise that God made with Abram and Sarai.
Sarai and Hagar both had destinies that would impact us to this day. The comparisons of what one person had that the other did not almost destroyed their destinies.
When we compare ourselves with others, especially when the comparison is unrealistic for us, dissatisfaction, discouragement and thoughts or feelings of failure appear in our heart and mind. Then what happens? You hear these thoughts that say, you’ll never be as good as her. You’re really not good enough. You shouldn’t be here.
There have been moments in my life when I’ve been around other women and I began to see them through the world’s eyes. I watched as they seemed to effortlessly work in an industry, calling and/or business. At times, when I focused on that, I would begin to feel insecure about my abilities. I started comparing my abilities with theirs; I had an unrealistic expectation of me being able to do what that person was doing.
It is a fruitless exercise to compare ourselves with others, because we walk away feeling less than and not good enough.
I remember a specific moment that these thoughts came to me: “You’ll never be able to do that. You’re not good enough.” As I heard those words, I instantly asked the Lord if that was true and what He wanted me to know about those statements. As soon as the Lord spoke to those lies, I immediately was peaceful and joyful in my circumstances. The Lord knows me; He knows what I am capable of even if I don’t know.
My value does not come from others; it comes from my Heavenly Father. My identity does not rest in the world’s view of me, but rather in what my Daddy, Abba Father, says about me. What my Father says is important!
So the next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to someone else, ask the Lord what He wants you to know about the comparisons that have come to your mind. Ask God what He thinks of you. Ask your Daddy who you are in Him. Ask – you may be surprised at His response.
Just in case no one has told you today: You are Amazing! No one compares to you! You are Unique! He only created one of you! Even if you are a twin, you are Unique! He called you to fulfill your destiny – no one else! You are a Daughter/Son of the Most High God! You are Heir to His Throne! You are loved! You are the apple of His eye and He loves you so much!!!