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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Comparing problems and blessings

The word of the day:  Don't compare.

One of the things that will wear you out is comparing both your problems and your blessings with others.

It will exhaust you mentally and emotionally to think if not say:

"Why do I have the problems I have - look at them over there - they don't have half the problems I do."

"Why are they blessed so much and I am not?  I am much more godly than they are!"

It is a challenge as old as mankind.


After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Jesus is conversing with Peter.  Peter looks at John and says basically, "Lord, what are you going to do with John?  How are you going to use John?  What will John be going through?"

Jesus turns around and says and I quote from John 21:22, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?  You must follow me."

In other words, to put it bluntly, mind your own business.  Keep your focus on me.

Don't compare.

Don't compare sufferings.  Your pain is your pain.  It is unique to you.

"Well, I shouldn't feel this way because there are people in the world who are far worse off than I am."

I get that - but your pain is your pain.  Your feelings are your feelings.  God wants to help you on the level of your pain and your feelings within the confines of that pain.

The opposite is true as well.  If we are not careful, our suffering can be a source of pride or resentment.  We like the attention we receive from others while we suffer.

I would suggest that no matter how badly someone else is suffering we always want to think that we are suffering worse than they are. 

Yup.  It's true.  It is just the opposite of feeling guilty over our feelings during our pain - because there are others suffering much worse. 

We can feel superior in the sense that we are suffering in a way that is much worse than others.

It is a lie of the enemy in both scenarios.

The devil says, "How can you feel depressed over what you are going through - think of all of the people who are suffering much worse than you."

Or, "You have it much worse than anybody else.  You must be doing something wrong.  You are the scum of the earth."

All lies.

The Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:8,9, "...the enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.  Withstand him; be firm in the faith (against his onset - rooted, established, strong, immovable and determined), knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christ) throughout the world."

God would say to you today - don't compare your pain (or your blessings) with others.  Rejoice in what you do have and not in what you don't have.

Forget about what others are doing or going through.  Follow Christ.  Keep your eyes on him.

Don't let yourself feel sorry for yourself. 

And if you do this - it will help you to stay strong and not become weary and faint.

Just a thought for a Thursday.

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