A couple of weekends ago, we had the awesome opportunity to speak at a marriage event in Hampton, VA. We're scheduled to speak at an event in Richmond, VA in February, so the couple organizing the Richmond event decided to come hear us speak to get a feel for who we are and what they'd like to hear more of in February. Beverly and I spoke to the women during a session, and we could see the wife from Richmond taking notes the whole time. After the talk, Beverly made her way back to talk with her to find out what she was writing. She saw our names at the top of the page and lists underneath. The wife said, "You and Sherry are like salt and pepper!"
She went on to describe what she meant by that and what she saw in us, that I'm soft spoken, engaging and beautiful, in contrast to Beverly who is outspoken, dynamic and the "wild child". Bev and I stood there in the midst of the comparison, feeling the enemy tell us that we don't measure up to the other. We had a choice in that moment, and all the moments ahead, to see our differences as strengths that compliment each other and to avoid the trap of COMPARISON.
- DISTRACTION: The enemy loves it when we spin our wheels comparing ourselves to others. We spend so much time comparing that we don't accomplish the things God has called us to do, we're taken totally off task. What a waste of precious time! “In all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.” 2 Corinthians 10:12b (Msg) We can be a powerful tool for God when we refuse to be distracted from our purpose by comparing ourselves with others.
- DISCONTENTMENT: Comparing undermines your ability to be grateful for what God has given you. When we compare, we live in a mindset where we’ll never measure up to whomever/whatever we are comparing ourselves to! And we miss the opportunity to be THANKFUL and JOYFILLED for the intentionally and wonderfully way we’ve been made. The words from our friend in Richmond were a rich compliment- revealing to us that together, Bev and I will reach women we couldn't necessarily individually.
- ENVY: Lastly, comparing ourselves with others can lead to jealousy and envy--two attitudes that are detestable in God's sight. “Let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.” (Romans 12:6 MSG) If we will concentrate on becoming who GOD created us to be, utilizing the gifts He's given us--instead of who we think we ought to be or who someone else wants us to be --we will experience a sense of peace and empowerment that will enable us to resist focusing on what those around us are doing.
You are unique! God created and equipped you for a purpose like no one else's. You were created to be the perfect gift to your spouse, to compliment your spouse and strengthen him/her so that together you are greater that you could ever be individually. Walk boldly with God and in His plans for you, and you can powerfully declare as David did--“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me”! (Psalm 138:8 NIV) God will fulfill His purpose for you as an individual AND as a couple!
“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.” Galatians 6:4 (CEV) So all you have to do is focus on doing what God has called you to do, be the person and spouse God created you to be, and focus on doing it well!