Today I was reading in Proverbs and I came across this verse: "Honest balances and scales are the Lord's, all the weights in the bags are His concern." [Prov 16:11]
After reading it, I could't help but stop and read it over again. And over again. And over again. I could just picture that image of a balance scale, each side containing something, the measurements constantly changing as things are given and taken from the bags. And then I imagined that my life is on one side of that scale. I'm made up of so many things; so many bags: my talents, my possessions, my relationships, my opportunities, my goals, my struggles, my temptations. As my side of the scale is being weighed down, I imagine it representing my value. But, then again, it could be representing the heaviness and defeat I feel at times. And then I quickly realize that that how far I sink or how high I am raised is dependent on the other side of the scale, which in this scenario represents another person, full of talent, passion, struggle, etc. This is where the word "COMPARISON" started ringing loud and clear. "Emily, when you feel your levels falling or raising on the scale, its all because you are COMPARING yourself. You are trying to see everything that makes up the other side of the scale/ the other person, and as you do that you either inflate yourself with pride OR sink into despair as you begin to believe that you have the short end of the stick."
I'm sure you've heard that phrase "Comparison is the thief of joy." I couldn't agree more, and as I dive deeper into ministry I have to remind myself of that truth more often. As someone who is consistently in front of people, receiving any amount of recognition, it is so easy for me to believe I am better than something else. And, on the flip side, as I work hard to improve my talents and create music for the sake of encouraging others, how easy is it for me to see others who are MORE "successful" or gaining more recognition and then become discouraged! When I choose to peer over to the other side of the scale, instead of just locking my eyes on the one above who loves me and gives/takes away with my best interest in mind, I lose sight of peace, joy, love, and contentment. Instead of recognizing the underserved blessings I have received, I become the selfish child who points across the playground and says "Daddy, why can't I have that?! You must not love me as much." This is where the last part of that Proverbs verse put my heart at ease: "...all the weights in the bags are HIS concern." Its none of my business what lies in the bags of others! I am not God, and I do not have the ultimate understanding of the Eternal Kingdom and how each person's story weaves together to bring God the most glory. Instead, we are all just humble children who are privileged enough to be loved and used to advance the eventual full redemption of the world though Jesus. Its not my job to say who should have what, or who deserves what, its just my job to remain grateful for all the the talents, opportunities, and blessing I have received.
Would we choose to really TRUST what God is doing and how He is working, instead of comparing ourselves and robbing ourselves of the fulness of life and beautiful joy we have been given through Christ.