Living Beyond Compare

“But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” – Romans 9:20 NIV

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

Have you ever listened to someone’s life story and wondered why you weren’t more like them?


It’s a dangerous trap.


We have pity for the way we are, while wishing we were like someone else.


I recently fell into this trap at the worst possible time.


It’s a hard story to tell, but for you – I’ll go there:


I sat in a crowded room where friends and family shared affectionate stories of a young man’s life.


As I listened, thoughts of comparison surfaced in my mind in almost uncontrollable waves.


I tried to shut them out, but the more I tried, the more they persisted.


Why aren’t my kids like this? 


How can I make them better? 


How can I be better?


Each story brought to light the differences between us.


Feeling inadequate, I started to aim my questions at God.


Why, Lord? 


How is it some come to goodness early on, and the rest of us struggle a lifetime?


I was caught up in these questions for a fews days.


Then the Holy Spirit, likely tired of hearing me whine, gave me a divine smack in the face.


You and your children may struggle, but I have blessed you all with a long lifetime to get it right – him, I have already called home.


It’s true.


The young man who lived life full and beautiful, the one whose ways I wanted for my children and me, died at the small age of 17.


And there I sat, caught in a comparison trap, while a family steeped in grief, would have taken him back any way at all – just whole and alive.


Oh, the magnitude of Paul’s words: “What a wretched man I am!”


It’s hard to admit to your mean moments. There’s always a fear of reproach, but I count it as an act of humility as God continues to mold me.


And thank God He continues to work in us to be like Him!


Whether it’s a life marked by years, decades, or even a century, He gives us countless opportunities to trade in our wicked selves for one woven in righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24).


And though we may tire of our endless fight to be an imitator of God (1 Corinthians 11:1), let’s rejoice with each breath He gives to get it right.


God’s hard words reminded me of a quote from Oswald Chambers:


“To complain over our incompetence is to accuse 
God falsely of having overlooked us.”


God doesn’t overlook, He over loves.


Let’s not wait another day to measure our life against a heavenly value.


He calls us to be like Him – not someone else.


Won’t we say He alone is more than enough?


Do you have a comparison story? Email me if you’d like to share.


to living beyond compare,


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