Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Comparisons

This past summer at Women of Faith, Anita Renfroe said that women invented comparison shopping. Retailers just followed their lead to sell more, because they knew women loved to compare things. We as women compare everything. We especially love to compare ourselves to each other. On a girl’s night out recently, my husband asked me why I was dressing up to go out with a bunch of girls – was I really lying about going out with the girls and just meeting some guy instead? (He was just kidding btw) I quickly informed him most women don’t really care about what men think; they are more concerned with what other women think.

Apparently, there’s been some comparison going on in the blogosphere lately. I have read several posts today that talked about comparing ourselves. Here, here, here and here. Hmm…do you think it was coincidence… or is God trying to tell me something?
Then, just in case I didn’t get the message this scripture was my devotion time today.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31
12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by[
a] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[
b]? Do all interpret? 31But eagerly desire[c] the greater gifts.

I don’t know how many of you have Life Application Bibles by Zondervan, but in case you don’t…the notes on these scriptures said this:

“Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Each part has a specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. The parts are different for a purpose, and in their differences they must work together. Christians must avoid two common errors: (1) being too proud of their abilities, or (2) thinking they have nothing to give the body of believers. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we should use our different gifts, together, to spread the Good News of salvation.”

The notes go on to say:
“Thinking that your gift is more important than someone else’s is an expression of spiritual pride. We should not look down on those who seem unimportant, and we should not be jealous of others who have impressive gifts. Instead, we should use the gifts we have been given and encourage others to use theirs. If we don’t, the body of believers will be less effective…. Your spiritual gifts are not for your own self-advancement. They were given to you for serving God and enhancing the spiritual growth of the body of believers.”


I think I get it. God has a special calling on my life that only I can fulfill. And He has a special calling on your life that only you can fulfill. He has gifted me in certain areas, and He has gifted you in certain areas. We can fulfill our calling while still being an encourager to others.

7 comments:

Linda said...

Sometimes (I'm 45) after 40 years of age, you start comparing yourself to when you were 20. Also not fair. Great post.

kmom3 said...

"Your spiritual gifts are not for your own self-advancement. They were given to you for serving God and enhancing the spiritual growth of the body of believers.”
Thanks for today's post. It is so easy to get distracted and side-tracked looking at everyone around us (or even just always looking at myself) instead of keeping my eyes on Him. It is all for Him. It is all about Him. And I don't have to be anyone but me. I think He's trying to tell me the same thing, Amy. Thanks so much!
Love,
Kimberly

Celly B said...

Amy,
I had read Shannon's post over at Rocks in My Dryer and also a post by Renee Swope recently (http://reneeswope.blogspot.com/2008/01/comparison-friendship-killer.html).
I hadn't made the connection, though, and enjoyed reading what the other blogs had to say about comparison. I think God is trying to tell me something, too! Thanks for the post!

Carol said...

Good stuff! God is starting to talk in stereo!

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Add in another Godincidence- I'm teaching a workshop at my church this week called "Breaking the Bondage of Maintaining an Image"- and yes, comparing ourselves with others leads us right into that bondage...and who wants to be in bondage when they can walk in freedom?!!

Loved your post.

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

So true....I think He's trying to speak this to several of us right now. LOVE how He does this.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Ok, I read Shannon's post and thought the same thing - this isn't just something I struggle with! :) Then, I read Oswald Chambers yesterday (My Utmost for His Highest)... knocked on the head again! God uses each of us if we're willing to be poured out like an offering on the sacrifice.