The comparison game always leads to pride or disappointment. We either think more highly of ourselves than we ought or we wallow in self-pity. Sometimes, we find ourselves asking God: “Why does he get to have that ministry and I don’t?” “Why can’t I have that gift?” “Why can’t my church look like that church?” “Why does she get to have all those children (or that spouse), and I don’t?” “Why can’t I have those opportunities?”
Are there phrases that make you cringe? When you hear them, you get that tingle down your spine as if someone is running nails over a chalkboard. As a parent, few things make me crazier than when I am giving a command to one of my children or having to discipline another, and my child says, “Well, what about ____?” (insert sibling’s name). Rather than obeying my command or accepting discipline for a wrong action, my children suddenly become concerned about what I am asking their siblings to do or how their siblings will be disciplined for their part in the matter. They want to know how they compare with someone else. I often have to remind my children that it doesn’t matter what I’ve asked someone else to do; what matters is that they obey and accomplish the task they have been given. I remind them that I am the parent and I can take care of their siblings’ disobedience, it’s not something they need to worry about.
Before I allow this to frustrate me too badly, I am reminded that I so often do the same.