Comparison is a demon. One with claws and whose goal is to claim every ounce of joy and peace that Jesus offers so freely.
I have friends who are Democrats, and friends who are Republicans. I have friends who eat only organic and natural foods and some that couldn’t survive without fast food. I have friends that serve in the military and some who wouldn’t touch gun if WW3 happened. I have friends who live in RVs and friends who live in mansions. I have friends who are passionate about homeschool and friends who are passionate about being in public school. I have friends that feel strongly about immigration and friends that are immigrants. I have friends that are financially led each day by faith, and friends that by faith started their own companies. I am friends who give every moment of their lives to others and friends who have learned the deep value of rest. I am friends with people that read every book possible and friends that have spoken in countries all around the world. I have friends with tattoos that have ministries in bars and friends who drink no alcohol and oppose body piercings. I have friends that dance and speak in tongues and friends that are quiet introspective worshippers.
All of the people I listed are followers of Jesus. Every. Single. One.
How on EARTH am I supposed to know the best way to love Jesus when these all look so different?? I feel sometimes deeply confused by what it really looks like to give up my life in pursuit of the One I love. I often compare my walk with those around me, and because they often look quite different from each other– it can be a brutal schizophrenic game. But this morning I listened to a song that struck me to the core. It’s by Jon Thurlow and its called, “Stand in Awe.” part of the lyrics say- “Lord I stand in awe, in awe of You, Jesus. There is none, none like you.” I thought about how many times I have looked at another human being and stood in awe of them. I’ve thought “there’s none like you when it comes to… ” fill in the blank. The person that is best at each thing is my standard of excellence and bar for expectation. Because we are supposed to be- “all things to all people at all times like Jesus, right?” Oh yeah, and learn to rest and be still like Mary. Dang, no wonder we are exhausted. And frustrated. You know what I did the other day? Transparency: I punched a burlap stool until my knuckles bled because I didn’t know what Jesus was asking me to do. #reallife But thats the thing- I don’t think He was asking me to do anything! I don’t mean I was supposed to just be still and rest (although sometimes thats the case) I mean I think He just wanted me to understand I am not God. yes duh. But to those that battle control, perfectionism, striving, people pleasing or comparsion- you get it.
To fully embrace this concept of standing in awe of Jesus we first have to acknowledge there is NO ONE like Him- not ourselves or anyone else for that matter. It is possible for Him to give Himself fully to others every moment and still be fully at rest with His Father. He is able to have the same level of compassion for families in the richest and poorest neighborhood in the city at the same time. He is a quiet reflector and a passionate speaker. He has walked in palaces and slept on rocks. He understands the fullest measure of justice and also seeks peace. He turned water to wine and likely stayed away from pork. Jesus is with private school teachers and stay at home moms; with entrepreneurs and start up ministries. There’s something really freeing about saying that I can’t be all this. Last week I did an art session in a small room on resting in being a broken vessel. I have everyone write down all the ways we aren’t perfect. You’d think this might be a little depressing, but halfway through I had one woman look at me and say- “this is oddly really freeing and therapeutic”. I think there’s something powerful about stopping and recognizing we aren’t perfect, but then recognizing He is. If you haven’t listened to the song by Ghostship called “where were you?” Do it. I was reading Job 42 this morning. This is where He is talking about making dragons. Yep. Read it for yourself. His message to Job over and over was- son, do you know who I am? There is no one like me. Keep seeking me, but know you will NEVER get to the point where you figure me out.
Can I compare myself to all the people I know and how they are choosing to listen and obey? Yes. But thats just draining and confusing.
Can I compare myself to a Holy God who created my inmost being? No. But I can stand in awe of Him.