When our older three kids were toddlers, I was part of a Mothers of Preschooler (MOPS) group, and for the grand finale of the year the decision was made to have a summer Hawaiian themed potluck. After the meeting, I raced to the signup sheet to sign my name next to the easiest thing to bring. Finding a vegetable tray on the list, I promptly signed my name on the line. I considered it an amazing feat that I was able to make the meetings on time, dressed and in fairly good form each week, so the thought of adding a homemade food item to that delicate morning routine seemed monumental. Pleased with myself, I was told that the food coordinator would be calling with instructions. Instructions? I thought smugly, Who needs instructions for a vegetable tray? I’ve got this.
A couple of days later the phone rang, and I was greeted by the cheery voice of an older mom from our group whom I looked up to. This lady made food masterpieces that looked like art.
“Hi! I see that you signed up for the vegetable tray! I have a cute idea to make it look Hawaiian!” My mind was trying to comprehend what was happening. I responded, “What in the world is a Hawaiian vegetable tray? Oh, you mean like stick a lei on it or something?” There was silence and then she continued, “Well, You need to shred celery to make it look like a grass skirt and spread it all around in a perfect circle.” Ideas were flowing out of her and she was becoming more and more energized and creative. Don’t get me wrong. I really actually love creating and crafting and all of that, but decorating with food is not one of those things I enjoy. If it’s going to be eaten, I don’t want to make it pretty unless it’s a birthday cake.
My gifting was definitely not making a grass skirt vegetable tray. It ended up looking more like torn up celery scattered around the tray.
The temptation in such situations is to compare our weaknesses to another’s giftings. When we do that, we will always end up feeling defeated and jealous. Instead of enjoying the giftings of others, we will become insecure.
Some have beautifully decorated homes and seem to beautify everything they touch.
Some have a great sense of adventure and want to show their kids the world.
Some are the life of the party.
Some enjoy being in the background.
Some enjoy dressing up, heels, and jewelry.
Some love to be comfortable and can’t walk a straight line in heels.
Some read like crazy.
Some can’t remember the last book they read.
We are all created so differently!
What if we celebrated each other’s differences instead of becoming insecure and jealous when we see someone excel where we don’t?
What if we had the freedom to enjoy a friend’s uniqueness without feeling that we are lacking?
What if we encouraged those around us and when we noticed something amazing about them, we actually told them rather than feeling insecure?
Comparison causes so much havoc among us.
We can’t give what we don’t have, though.
What if we took all of that energy we spent on trying to measure up and instead spent it on asking God for His thoughts about us? That is where the real security is. When we know His thoughts about us, we will not be threatened because we won’t be tying our worth to the wrong things. When we truly know and experience His love for us, we will be able to enjoy those around us.
Word of the Day:
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:17-19,NLT)
Prayer: Father, please help me to see things as You do. Help me to no longer compare myself with those around me. Please show me Your heart for me and help me to rest in that. Thank You that Your heart is for me. Show me the places that I have compared myself to others wrongly and help me to give them to You. Help me to find my security in You alone.
Author: Wendy Gerdes