First, not all comparison is bad.
I work with non profits to help them move their humanitarian aid cargo overseas. The whole process starts with a plan. We figure out how much cargo they have and where they need it to go. When the food or clothing or building materials have finally made to their end point, my customer evaluates me based on that original plan.
That’s the healthy kind of comparison.
But not all comparison is healthy. There’s a certain brand that’s deadly. That’s when we compare the unique parts of ourselves to others.
When we do this, we take what the Creator of all has designed to be special and unique and we homogenize it into sameness. It’s like throwing out our strengths and building on our weaknesses.
But the worse part is the subtly.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
A scorpion is a creature built to fight. It uses its two massive pincers as its upfront weapons. But the greater danger comes from the tail. The tail is very fast and loaded with poison. If the tail makes contact, the game is over.
For us, the scorpion’s tail is that deadly kind of comparison.
Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic, writes about the dynamic between creativity and fear. But what’s interesting is the way she defines creativity. She doesn’t limit it to the traditional picture of the artist, but rather, she says creativity is living in a way where you are “continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you.”
I like this because it applies to everyone, not just the traditionally “creative” people. It’s a lot like the way God describes us in Psalm 139 when says we were each created “wonderfully” and uniquely.
This, I believe, is the key to surviving this deadly kind of comparison: to remember who you and from Whom you came.
Elizabeth Gilbert calls this kind of freedom “Big Magic.”
But Jesus just calls it life. In his mission statement, he says, “I came to give life with joy and abundance.”
And that’s what this is all about. Living the life God intended.
Living isn’t about scraping by. We can usually do that on our own.
Living is about soaring. It’s equal measures of achievement and contentment.
Is this easy? Nope.
I think life is actually harder when you embrace this. Hard is like training for the Olympics. It’s takes more effort and focus than anything else you’ve done. But in the end, the reward is greater than anything else.
The difference between the Olympics and living our the life God has created in you is that there are no losers here. Jesus is calling the big ones and the little ones.
This post is a part of a new series on Conquering Fear.