comparison :: the act of comparing
Wouldn’t you agree comparing ourselves to others can be one of the most damaging things we do? For a season in my younger life, comparison and I became best friends. I found myself comparing me to every other woman I came in contact with. Seriously. You can imagine how miserable I was. In doing so, I either never measured up or I proudly built myself up. Both ways were damaging. But, as I’ve matured and grown in my faith, I’ve nearly been able to put this habit to rest. Nearly.
Just like flowers, we are designed to bloom.
My mom and I created beautiful flowerbeds years ago at my home. She had the greenest thumb on the planet. (I wish I would have gleaned that from her.) These flowerbeds are filled with all kinds of various flowers. Many have different colors and sizes that appear each year. These flowerbeds are an amazing sight all summer long (if I can keep them weeded).
So, I guess it’s no surprise I correlate the concept of blooming where we’re planted to my flowerbeds. It’s as if each of us are a plant or flower in God’s garden. He’s planted you and me in specific places where we can bloom the best. Some of us bloom quicker or earlier, and some of us bloom a little slower or later. Some of us are in the back of the garden, some are in the front. We each bloom in our own unique colors and shapes as designed by our Master Gardener.
Blooming is difficult, though, if we’re weighed down with comparison.
Flowers can be our example, as they don’t compare themselves. They thrive in the place they’re planted and are happy to bloom right where they are. And since they do, they complement other flowers as they bloom.
What if we were more like flowers? Thriving in the place we’re planted and happy to bloom right where we are? What if we complemented (or complimented!) others as they bloom? The cool thing is, when we’re each blooming as we’re designed to, the garden is amazingly beautiful! When comparison is absent, we are better able to celebrate each other as we bloom for His glory and for others’ good!
Romans 12 encourages us to bloom as we use the gifts God has given us through His grace. Some of us are gifted in showing kindness and mercy. Some of us encouragement. Maybe you’re a natural at teaching or serving or leadership. And, some of us are good at giving. But, no matter the gift, we are to use them–to bloom in them–without comparing ourselves.
Romans 12:6a in The Message translation encourages us in this way:
…let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
Blooming the way we’re designed to.
In the unique ways only you and I can. Let’s bloom in our gifts and celebrate others as they bloom in theirs.
Friend, how can you and I do this today? How can we bloom in our gifts and celebrate others as they bloom in theirs? What’s one thing you can do to encourage another to bloom? How can you bloom today?
When we’re blooming in the ways we are designed to, the garden becomes amazingly beautiful!
Thanks for being here! You are a blessing. Friend, continue blooming where you’re planted!
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Yep! Lived in the shadow of that measuring stick for a long time! It is interesting how age can make comparison less important tho. Slowly (at least for me) it dawns on you that we all do the best we can and we’re designed for different things. Your illustration of a bed of flowers is perfect, Julie! I have to be careful now that I am attempting to write a little…..I find myself trying to measure up to those getting lots of comments and likes. It’s enough to shrivel my bloom right up! So, I continue to pray that I put the measuring stick away and trust I am exactly who God is helping me to be!
It’s interesting our measuring sticks can be different, but they certainly aren’t what God uses. I rejoice in your last sentence of your comment, “… trust I am exactly who God is helping me to be!” Amen! I’m with you. Let’s put the measuring stick away. Thanks for being here, friend. Bless you! Happy Easter too!