Despite personal pep talks, comparison gets the better of us all at some time or another.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,” Romans 12:4 NIV
I’ve never compared my leg with my ear, or been frustrated that my leg doesn’t hear or my eyes can’t walk; generally I take all of my body parts for granted, just thankful that they work and function as they are meant to.
Check the Lex
‘Function’: Greek 4234 πρᾶξις (pronunciation: prax’-is): to practice, an act, a deed, office, work, implying sustained activity and/or responsibility, doing, action, mode of action.
We all need to get over the fact that God created us with a different function. Some ‘functions’ are for a season, others for a lifetime.
I used to hate that I was always called on to help with hospitality- “it’s such a gift” they would say. Inside I would cringe. Catering would stress me out and it felt more like a burden than a gift. These days it’s something I can slip in an out of without much fuss- it turns out it was the cracks in my constitution that made it a burden not the task itself. It’s still not what I dream about for my future but I now count it a joy when I get to ‘play that part’ sometimes. It helps make church feel like home.
Church life (and life in general) can get messy. It’s easy to allow comparison to set in when you are serving in one function but your heart is in another. Or maybe you love where you are ‘functioning’ the struggle is more who you are trying to function with.
Comparison can masquerade as a number of other things:
Judgement, inadequacy, insecurity, jealousy, opinions, pride, offence…
Our personal view is validated; yes that did really happen; yes that person could have done that differently; yep they probably have some growing to do in that area- just like you…
We forget that God is Sovereign and suddenly think He suddenly needs our help to see things how they really are. And then, if we are really making our point, we recoil from playing our part on account of comparison masquerading as something else.
It helps to identify what’s really going on.
When our own insecurities and character flaws are reflected in others we are quick to see the wrong. We have grace for ourselves but less for others.
When I find myself falling for one of comparisons disguises, for example ‘validated judgement,’ I have started asking myself: What is actually going on here? What’s going on in me? Is there something that I am not trusting God with? Is this my responsibility? And on and on until I get to the real root of where my feelings have come from.
It generally ends in: “God give me grace for this person, this situation, and Jesus help me to sort my own ‘stuff’ out instead of getting distracted with others.
This soul check up is sometimes all that I need to encourage me to go back to playing my small part, ‘performing my function’ to the best of my ability.
I think we underestimate our value when we play our part well. We see our own fruit as fulfilling that duty rather than the overall fruit of what we have all achieved together.
It takes a big person to play a small part. Someone has to do it…why not you, or me?
Our unseen life of worship is always seen by Him.
My encouragement from this verse is to play our part well, content with who we are and play it for Him alone. After-all we share the same fruit as long as we stay attached.
P.S. Would love to hear your thoughts.
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