#30 Messages from God: Comparison

Comparison! Why do we constantly compare ourselves to others? There are many reasons, but I only want to focus on one, and it’s a dangerous one. I’m talking about a lack of purpose. It’s true! When we lack purpose, it is easy to be distracted by the progress, achievement, and success of others. Focusing on others is dangerous because it lures us into pursuits never intended for us. It can never be said enough that God has created us uniquely and distinctly for His own purpose –a specific purpose. He has blessed us with unique gifts and specific knowledge and wisdom to serve as He has predestined. Engaging in comparison causes us to overlook this fact.

When we compare ourselves to others, we may start to question whether we are good enough and this leads us on a dangerous path; one where we cycle in a debate of our value, influence, and success. At the end of life, everyone just wants to contribute meaningfully, feel valued, and have a sense of lasting achievement. Experiencing this kind of life depends on how you define success or achievement, whether or not you have purpose, and whose opinion about your success matters most.

Many of us define success by material possessions, awards received, or by whether or not we can keep up with the Joneses. The true definition of success is found in obedience to God. In the 30th chapter of Deuteronomy, God declares that if we obey Him, He will make us prosper abundantly in all the work of our hands. So, success in life should not be defined by outside influences; it should be defined inside through an obedient relationship with God.

True success can’t be defined by material things; however, it is the thing we most often use to gauge success. Having the latest and finest car, the biggest house, designer fashions, and handbags don’t say that one is successful. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but if we compare ourselves to others then judge ourselves inferior because we don’t possess these things, we might need to reassess the value we place on these material items. A few questions to ask are how will having this (fill in the blank) change who I am; how will it add meaning to my life; or, will it satisfy my true desire to feel valued and experience a sense of lasting achievement?

One thing is for certain, God is not pleased that we diminish our life, value, and importance to the level of material possessions. He certainly did not send His son to die on the cross for some worthless object. God created us for a specific purpose and not knowing that purpose is what leaves us in a place of comparison and looking and sampling the purpose of others. When you see cars driving on the highway, each car has its own lane but they are all going the same way. And, so it is with each of us. We all have our unique gifts and abilities –our vehicles if you will. Were all going the same way; the way of bringing glory to God through our set purpose, using our unique gifts. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “stay in your own lane”. Well, don’t cause a disaster in your life by looking in the next lane too long or trying to drive in a lane that is already occupied.

It is important to understand that comparison is detrimental to a fulfilled life. It lures you into a perpetual state of outdoing, outshining, and outlasting. Pushed by the world’s view of success, you never stop to enjoy or appreciate your accomplishments, where you are, or what you have. You accomplish goals, turn to look at the Joneses, then strive and race to match or exceed the next milestone. The truth is, a root of insecurity and self-doubt is also revealed in serial achievers. You push to achieve more and more because you never feel good enough or worthy enough. Understanding that God created you specifically and gifted you uniquely for a specific purpose is so important to ending a cycle of comparison. This is not to say you won’t ever compare yourself to others; however, a healthy understanding of who you are, what you possess, and how God uses you to influence the world around you goes a long way in quieting the voice of comparison.

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Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/journey-to-purpose-l-elizabeth-stewart/1130473472

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Purpose-L-Elizabeth-Stewart/dp/1545656908

Highlights from Today’s Episode:

  • A lack of purpose leads to comparison
  • Success should be defined through God’s eyes, not man’s
  • Understanding who you are, what you possess, and how God uses you to influence the world around you goes a long way in quieting the voice of comparison
  • Sometimes insecurity or low self-esteem is revealed in serial achievers
  • God’s plan is better than the Joneses

Resources:

  • Exodus 31:1-11
  • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • Deuteronomy 30:9

#29 God sees, hears, and knows

Happy New Year! I pray your Holiday Season was filled with love and joy. Although I spent the Holidays alone, it gave me time to reflect and meditate on the things of God and how I can support the work of the kingdom in the new year. During the next several weeks, I will be sharing something I call billboard messages from God. They are messages of hope in which I pray your spirit will be lifted. Continue reading

#28 Releasing Guilt

A couple of weeks ago I published a YouTube video about guilt. If you would like to see that video click here. Guilt is simply judging ourselves wrong or giving ourselves a guilty verdict over and over again. For the righteous, it’s when we perseverate over sin, wrong decisions, or inappropriate actions towards others or even ourselves. In essence, it is not forgiving ourselves. Continue reading

#26 Resurrection Sunday

Happy Resurrection Day! What a glorious occasion – a day we celebrate the risen Savior. It’s the fact that He rose that gives the greatest cause for celebration. Because He rose, we win; because He rose, we have abundant life; and because He rose, we became heirs with Him and secured our seat in heaven. This is cause to celebrate and celebrate I did. Never mind that I was not able to physically kiss my mother or fellowship with my siblings or friends. I was not going to let that stop me from preparing a banquet in honor of this glorious celebration.

Easter Spread1

I never imagined that we would be in a quasi-national quarantine. I never could have imagined the physical church doors being closed on Easter Sunday. Afterall, Easter Sunday is one of the most attended church days of the year. Who would have thought this religious practice could have been so interrupted? Across this nation pastors and church leaders have been forced to revamp services to online formats. This season has exposed the religious ritual and misguided belief about “the church”. It is an opportunity to remind us that “we” are the church, not the physical building we visit each Sunday. Yes, we are the bride of Christ and He is always referring to us, individually and collectively, whenever He speaks of the church.

This Resurrection season, we have the time and opportunity to reflect more deeply on the meaning of church and our relationship with Jesus. We can use this time to reflect on God’s desire for us as the “church”. Ephesians 5:25-27 states, “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.

I pray you are using this time wisely and that you understand more fully that it’s our relationship with God and the cleanliness of our human house that matters more than our attendance at a physical building. If you missed the last article click here.

To purchase my bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, click on the links below:

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/journey-to-purpose-l-elizabeth-stewart/1130473472

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Purpose-L-Elizabeth-Stewart/dp/1545656908

 

Highlights from Today’s Episode:

  • We are the church, not the physical building
  • Use the time we’ve been given to reflect more deeply on your relationship with God

Resources:

  • Ephesians 5:25-27

Talk Back:

Please share if you were blessed by this post.

#25 Synchronize for Purpose

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press. I’ve provided the links at the end of the page.

Blog content:

In this age of technology, we have many tools at our disposal that interface to make our lives easier. We have become quite dependent on these tools. We have mobile calendars to remind us of important dates and appointments; mobile personal and business development plans to help us maintain focus and monitor and accomplish goals; fitness tools that help us keep track of our physical activity, sleep patterns, and water intake; and all types of cameras that interface with our computers to help us save important snapshots in time. As wonderful as these tools are, none of the tools or applications will work properly if they do not occasionally undergo synchronization. There are times we receive notifications that we must synchronize devices in order for the devices and applications to continue to work properly. These systems are so sophisticated they will even tell us how long the synchronization will take. Continue reading

#24 Watch God Provide!

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press. To purchase click on the links below or click on the Resources tab where I’ve provided direct links to purchase the bible study. Thanks for your support.

Watch God Provide! What an exclamatory statement. While I know exclamatory statements convey a multitude of emotions like anger, frustration, or warning, my goal is to invoke excitement about the dedicated exploration of your purpose and/or steadfast productivity related to kingdom purpose. I intend for this statement to cause you to exhale and invigorate you at the same time. When we are obedient to the call and instructions of God related to purpose and destiny, we can be ascertained that God will provide. Not only will God provide resources and connections related to purpose and destiny, but He will also bring you to resources, wealth, and good health too. Continue reading

#23 Illogical Instructions Part 4: Provision where there is lack

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press, and other Christian bookstores. If you missed the E-launch feel free to watch the previously recorded Facebook Live sessions.

This is the final installment of our four-part series on “illogical instructions”. We learned the role trust plays in our relationship with God. If you missed Part 3, click the link at the end of this post. It bears repeating that trusting God means that we submit to God’s plan by laying aside conventional wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing, moving in a different way in our lives, or preparing us for a breakthrough. God will give us an illogical instruction that is outside of our knowledge, wisdom, ability, or experience. We have seen how God builds our trust in Him through illogical instructions while in the midst of a battle, a move of God, or healing. God uses illogical instruction to aid in our Christian development, specifically, to build our faith and trust in Him. We have come to learn that our breakthrough is dependent on our obedience to an illogical instruction. We continue our review of instances where God gives an illogical instruction, discover areas of increased trust, and note how God uses circumstance and our obedience to an illogical instruction to bring about delivering power and provision of God.

Continue reading

#022 Illogical Instructions Part 3: Receiving Healing

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press, and other Christian bookstores. If you missed the E-launch feel free to watch the previously recorded Facebook Live sessions.

This is the third installment of our four-part series on “illogical instructions”. We have come to understand the role trust plays in our relationship with God. If you missed Part 2, click the link at the end of this post. The important part that bears repeating is that trusting God means that we submit to God’s plan by laying aside conventional wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing, moving in a different way in our lives, or preparing us for a miracle. Sometimes, God will give us an illogical instruction that is outside of our knowledge, ability, wisdom, or experience. So far, we have seen how God builds our trust in Him through illogical instructions while in the midst of a battle and a move of God.

Continue reading

#21 Illogical Instructions Part 2: Noah – A move of God

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press, and other Christian bookstores. If you missed the E-launch feel free to watch the previously recorded Facebook Live sessions.

This is the second in our four-part series on “illogical instructions”. Last week, we talked about the role that trust plays in our relationship with God. If you missed that post, click the link at the end of this post. The important part that bears repeating is that trusting God means that we submit to God’s plan by laying aside conventional wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing or moving in a different way in our lives. Sometimes, God will give us an illogical instruction that is outside of our knowledge, wisdom, ability, or experience. Recall that God builds our trust in Him by giving us an illogical instruction while in the midst of a trying situation like sickness, lack, a move of God, or a battle. Since illogical instructions are a part of our Christian development, we need to understand when, why, and to what end God gives us illogical instructions. A thoughtful understanding of illogical instructions will help us accept the illogical instructions we receive while on our journey to or while fulfilling purpose. We will continue our review of instances where God gives an illogical instruction, discover areas of increased trust, and note how God uses circumstance and our obedience to an illogical instruction to bring about a move of God and fulfill His purpose and plan.

Continue reading