Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend Worship—Don’t Get Caught in The Comparison Trap

. . . He says, “Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

Image credit: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo
I just finished a wonderful weekend at the Carolina Christian Writers Conference. But there was something I noticed while I was there. We writers are way too hard on ourselves. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to each other. No mater where we are in our career, we’re always looking at the person ahead of us.

We need to quit looking ahead and start looking up.

It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison mentality. There’s so much about our industry that depends on the opinions of others. We check to see how many views our articles get, how many followers our blogs have, and/or how many stars the reviewer gave our latest book.

These things can undermine and sometimes even totally destroy our perspective, not to mention our confidence. Because, let’s face it, there is always someone willing to point out what we did wrong or could have done better. 

If we’re not careful, we can get to the point where we value what others are saying about us more than what God is doing through us.

So how do we stay focused in this crazy writing world where everyone seems altogether too eager to pass judgment? I think the key to thriving in this hyper-competitive environment is to keep focused on what and especially on WHO truly matters. And remember that HE knows my name. God doesn’t just recognize my face, He knows my character.

I’ve found that only when I focus God’s word and His opinion, my heart stays safe and protected. That’s when I’m insulated from a worldly perspective determined to destroy anything God has called good.

8 comments:

  1. I suffer from this malady way too often and any encouragement like what you just gave always helps me get my perspective back on track. The Lord has promised if we humble ourselves before Him He will lift us up. If I keep working like I am supposed to and keep Him first, when it is my time to shine, He will lift me up. Thanks Edie.

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  2. Edie, this was a wonderful meditation on comparison issues. Sometimes they can go unnoticed in the writing community, under the guise of "following X's example" or "learning from Y big-name author." Learning from your peers is good, but too often it devolves into comparison, at least for me!

    Thanks :-)

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  3. Edie. You are so right. God word says, Let us examine ourselves." not let us examine others and then ourself to see if we measure up. The Creator has created us just the way we are. Maybe the reason we feel a need to look the other way is because we've forgotten our much His measurement counts. Our times are in His hands. Thank you for the reminder.

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  4. You are SO right! I did feel a tug to do this. However, I continued to hear from all of the presenters and even the bookstore folks that God created and commissioned us one by one. Thank you for your living testimony. You are such a blessing to me.

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  5. Absolutely, Edie. Comparisons to anything or anyone only discourages us and keeps us from our true mission, namely writing or speaking for God. Thanks for the reminder.

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  6. This is a great reminder. When I felt called into the minister I was sitting in the huge sanctuary thinking I could never be like our pastor. God told me He didn't call me to be a Dr Brown, He called me to be what He has determine, leave the results to Him.
    Thanks for the reminder.

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  7. Edie,
    It's a battle we fight in whatever arena we find ourselves and is part of our human frailty. It's certainly not unique to writers, although I think we tend to ponder it a little deeper than most.This thread reminds me of our conversation at Boot Camp. I"m not surprised you've seen it again at this conference. I'm comforted to know that our value and call depends on God and his Word, not our own or others' perceptions.

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  8. I think I am supposed to learn this today. I read in my devotions this morning.. "my worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something else...." Oswald Chamber in My Utmost for His Highest.
    THEN I read your post. My desire is to please Him. Thanks for your words. Warmly, Gail

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