Do you feel threatened?
Danger 2: Comparing Talents & Gifts
When you look at the talents other people have, do you rejoice with them or do you feel the need to compare your worth to theirs? If you automatically compare, that is a sign you are feeling threatened.
Take singing for example. If you’re singing in church and a tone deaf person is singing next to you this thought might cross your mind, My voice is so much better than their voice. God I’m going to sing louder so You won’t have to hear them that much. What is that attitude accomplishing? It’s a king of the hill mentality. Push everyone else down so you can be the best. Get rid of any potential threat or nuisance to your kingdom. Look at my abilities God, aren’t I great?!
You do realize that it is God who gifted you with your musical abilities. That very same God also gave your neighbor their tone deafness. God has called us all to sing praises to Him – those who are musical and those who are not. Yes, we should all endeavor to do our best, but since when did God have tryouts for who can sing praises to Him? Are we worried about God not accepting their praise, or are we more worried about our own vanity?
God has given each of us differing gifts. Let’s stop comparing them for the sake of who can be better. The Christian life is not supposed to be a pyramid scheme. We’re all supposed to be following Jesus, and helping our brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same. Let’s see how we can work together, using our strengths to help each other in our weaknesses.
Or maybe you’re comparing yourself in a negative way to those around you. I don’t think I’ll teach the Bible verse because I’m not as interesting as brother so and so. In all this comparing you’re missing out on the creativity and life God has placed in all of us by pushing the responsibility onto someone else. God made YOU. He didn’t give you so and so’s talent, He gave you what you got. Use it. Stop expecting to work at the same capacity of someone else. Stop using their gifts as a cop out for you. Run the race He has set before YOU. I am reminded of Moses. God called Moses to be His mouthpiece – the man who didn’t speak well. Moses was hesitant. But God wanted to use Moses’ weakness to proclaim His strength.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
Let God work in and through you stop using comparisons and excuses to shut God’s hand down in your life.
When I play soccer there are so many different levels of players on the field. Some of the guys are pretty good while others are down right amazing. If I compare my skill to theirs and base my worth off of that, I would never go back and play. But because I play alongside them I learn from them and grow. Yes, I’ll probably never play with the same level of skill, but I don’t have to in order for me to enjoy the game and play an active part in it.
“…But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
Remember the parable of the talents? (Matthew 25:14-30) The master gave each servant a different amount of talents. Not everyone is expected to perform or do the same tasks. But each servant was expected to bring forth profit, or fruit. As servants of God we are called to work together in unity. If we begin comparing what does this accomplish? Time and again I have seen comparison lead to strife, discontentment and division. Where is unity in the midst of this and how does it encourage bearing of fruit? When we compare ourselves in a negative light what does this accomplish? Complacency instead of zeal and despair instead of joy.
Inevitably, comparing is going to happen. There are differences in the talents and gifts of each person. But when we see differences, what can we do instead of compare whose talent is better?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,….” Hebrews 12:1-2
I can look at someone who shows mercy and praise the Lord for their great example. I can encourage them to continue on. Their life can spur me on to pursue mercy, or I can allow myself to compare my failures in this area and disregard God’s hand working in my life to change me.
Comparing becomes dangerous when your focus becomes the driving need to exalt yourself instead of helping others to grow; or when it hinders you from doing what God has called you to do. Are you grounded in what God says about you – His creation, His child? Are you using your talents as an expression of worship to God or have your works become a scale to determine your worth?