When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’ John 21:21-22
As part of my daily quiet time this year, I have been reading through the book Voices of the Faithful. Each day’s reading is a devotion written by a Southern Baptist Missionary serving on the international mission field. Many are humbling. Most are convicting. All encourage me to pray more faithfully for those who have given up a comfortable lifestyle in the United States to serve God in other parts of the world.
A few days ago, I read a devotion written by a missionary only identified as K.K., serving in Western Europe. The day’s entry made me stop and think about how we live in a culture that encourages what I would call the “Comparison Trap.”
Turn on the television and you see beautiful, successful people. Open a magazine, and all of the homes are professionally designed. A recent commercial by Dove shows a little girl being subjected to the false images that the world of advertising says she should become – and notes how dangerous this is for a young woman’s self-image.
We are tempted to compare ourselves – our appearance, our possessions, our careers, our lives – to others. In the church, we even compare our walk with the Lord with another’s.
In the devotion on August 29, K.K. talks about the acronym W.I.T.T.Y – What Is That To You? Just as it was wrong for Peter to compare himself to John, it is also wrong for us to suppose that God must bless us in the ways that we observe Him blessing others.
We have all been created for a specific time and a special purpose, and God has given us all we need to accomplish what He has set before us. We do not need to be concerned about so-and-so’s life – that’s what God has given for them to do and to be for His glory.
We must focus on becoming who God has created us to be, rather than wasting time wondering why our lives are not like those of the people around us. While it is true that we should work hard to do our best at the tasks that God has given us, our focus should be on Him rather than on others.
We are all uniquely created and designed for His glory, and that’s all we need to know.