I'll admit it. I've done it. I've looked at other homeschoolers, other families, and other mothers and wondered, "Am I doing as well as they are? Are they happier than me? More successful than me? Smarter? More interesting? More on fire for Jesus??"
It isn't something that just recently happened, this comparison thing. I remember dealing with it back in high school, when I looked at the "popular" kids and told myself that I didn't like them much anyway since they were stuck up, and I looked at the "sporty" kids and told myself that they didn't have time to do anything but sports...certainly they did not have time to be in as many activities or get the good grades I got because sports were so silly. I avoided the "stoner kids" because I was told they had a bad reputation (probably true), though I looked wistfully at their laughter and camaraderie and wished I was part of something like that. I even looked at my friends, "the geeks," and told myself sometimes that even though Jim or Sam got a perfect score on the SATs, he had no common sense, so what good was it anyway? My scores weren't that high. They were good, but not perfect. Was something wrong with me?? Essentially, I was comparing myself to all of those people and finding myself falling short of some man-made standard, so I hid my feelings by pretending to not care.
But I did care. Oh, how I wish I'd heard this message back then. If my younger self could hear that God gave us all special abilities...abilities unique to ourselves, intended to fulfill a special purpose bestowed upon us by our Heavenly Father, what difference might that have made in my choices?
Is your problem with comparing yourself to the standard others have set instead of God's holy standard and his goals for YOUR life still a major influence in how you make your daily, monthly, and yearly choices? Who sets your standard? You, your peers, or God?
If you ever struggled with comparing yourself to others (come on, admit it, we've all done it), then this sermon series from Pastor Andy Stanley is for you.
If you aren't familiar with Andy Stanley, the son of well-known pastor, Charles Stanley, and excellent preacher in his own right, you can read more about him at the NorthPoint Community Church website.
Then head on over to the NorthPoint Community Church website and listen to Andy's sermon series The Comparison Trap. I think you will be glad you did. I was.
PS. You are going to love the sixty second long vignette at the beginning of each session. I love Andy Stanley's humor.