Comparison is the death of joy. -- Mark Twain

Yesterday we all agreed that contrary to popular belief (especially our own) we can’t do it all.  If we want to maintain a shred of sanity, healthy relationships, and abide in the Lord we have to kill the obscene to-do list.  Many friends commented that they’re skipping Christmas cards or whatever and it feels great.  Go girls. 

In addition to that, let’s all agree to not compare ourselves to one another, okay?  Great.  “Comparison is the death of joy” -- Mark Twain said so.  

Over the holidays and for the rest of our lives let’s murder the thoughts in our heads that sound like this: “She is way slimmer than me,” “Her kids are better behaved than mine,” “Their house looks better than ours,” “Her clothes are cuter than mine,” and on and on and on.  Yeesh, why do we do that?  Ugh!  I’m so sick of it. 

Not only do we (or at least I) do this over superficial, silly issues, but we (anyone?) also compare our husbands, our callings, the skills and talents God has given us, and other, more important God-ordained stuff.  Let’s run our own race.  Who cares what her race looks like--it’s not the race God registered us for.  Let’s just run ours to the best of our ability with the strength He provides. 

God is sovereign and has designed our lives to look just the way they do.  According to Psalm 139, He knit us together and made us to look the way He wants us to look (big hips and all).  Acts 17:26 says He appointed when and where we would live (even Okinawa or wherever the military/ministry/career/family takes you).  The Lord knows what the future holds (Isaiah 42:9) and Jesus says He even knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7).  God makes no mistakes--His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5).  

I’ll just be brutally honest and confess that comparison thoughts run through my mind all the time.  I compare myself to others in the area of healthful living, fitness, body type and weight (she looks so good, she’s so fit, she works out so often), stewardship (oooh, it’d be fun to spend money like that), where another’s husband is called to serve (how come they get to live in Denver?), family size (can’t I have more kids too?), spiritual vitality of extended families (how come you gave them Christian parents, siblings, cousins, everyone!?), and then just down-right mean thoughts too, “Yeah, well, I’d do XYZ better too if I had ABC like she does.”  None of those thoughts bless me.  They really do kill my joy; Mark Twain was right. 

Like a horse wearing blinders, let’s stop checking out each other’s races and run our own.  Let’s praise the One who makes no mistakes, fix our eyes on Jesus, and run the race that He marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1-2).  Not only would it honor the Lord if we embraced the good gifts He’s given to just us, but it would nourish our own souls, as well. 

Put your blinders on! 

Put your blinders on!