Comparison Asks, “Do You Get Good Things, Too?”
by Hayley Morgan
My stairstep kids are all lined up in a row at the counter in our kitchen. The sun is low in the sky and filtering through the trees sideways into our windows. The rays glitter off the countertops and highlight little specks of dust floating through the air. My boys are perched on their stools, eating their matching bowls of breakfast cereal and happily chattering about their upcoming plans. I’m sitting in my favorite chair, and from my seat I can see all four corners of our downstairs. It’s the perfect spot to keep an eye on all the morning’s happenings. And, having four boys ranging from kindergarten to preteen, we have a lot of happenings every morning.
It is a beautiful life I have. In every aspect, I can find contentment and gratitude. When I look at this scene before me, I feel like nothing is missing, nothing at all.
But, from my favorite seat, I can also flick open a world beyond my four walls. I have immediate access to a thousand more morning scenes just like mine. Only, maybe their kitchen is nicer or their kids are neater or it looks more peaceful to begin with.
As humans, I’m convinced that we ache to measure ourselves. We want to know how we’re doing. I don’t think it’s always because we want to find ourselves at the top of the pile. I think a lot of time we just want to know we’re enough and we’re doing okay. This comparison happens without us even trying, we see something and we assign value. And, if we don’t know our own value, we’ll be tempted to believe who we are or what we have does not measure up.
I’m nudged out of my Instagram scroll by the sounds of crashing bowls and spoons into our deep stainless steel sink. My five-year-old has to stand on his tip-toes to reach the sink, and even then his fingers just graze the top. It’s an awful long way for his dishes to fall.
Now I’m thinking about my boys and how the temptation to compare them is always there as a mother. Having a new little boy every two years for more than half a decade made for quite the line-up of little young men. They are cookie cutter copies, like little Russian nesting dolls, each one alike and just a half size smaller.
I am their mother, so I feel deeply connected to them and deeply sure of their place in this world. In comparing my sons, I am able to see their differences while not diminishing their value. Each of my boys holds the same great worth to me. Their differences are only that, they are differently abled, differently gifted, but not differently valued. They have different interests, different possessions, but not different worth.
We must get to the point of being able to see others without measuring our own worth, because our wide-angle view of the world is not going to change any time soon. We have access to more information, more inside peeks of others’ lives, than ever before in history.
It seems clear to me that we must first be supernaturally sure of our own great worth. We need to ask the Lord to settle in our heart that we are His and therefore our value cannot be shaken. Just like my sons are mine and I adore them, we are the Lord’s and His adoration of us is beyond what we can understand. We need to ask God to help us understand. What doesn’t make sense to us as humans, He can make sense of for us. Ask Him to settle it once and for all.
Then, as you move through your own day and get quick glimpses into the days of your friends, take notice of the beauty of their life and assign that beauty to God rather than just your friend. Giving God glory for the good in someone’s life makes it very difficult to begrudge him or her for having it in the first place. His gifts are good, and we receive so many ourselves.
When my boys inevitably notice the unfairness in life, it gives me a chance to examine my own heart. They get bugged and cranky when their brother might get something fun and new, but we always, always follow it up with one simple question: “Do you get good things, too?” And when we pose this question, they immediately move from jealousy to understanding toward just a tinge of gratefulness. It’s not that they’re throwing confetti for their brother, but they realize the good in their own life. And they always know the good is there.
Do you get good things, too? Were you made well, too? Does God love you, too? We will not get all things in equal measure in this life, but we can be assured that our inherent value is the same as that given to our brothers and sisters from our good Father.
Hayley Morgan is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who inspires women to create lives of more passion and less fuss. Her first book called Wild and Free, co-written with Jess Connolly, was published in May 2016 and quickly became a USA Today bestseller. She owns the boutique Nellie Taft featuring all Made in the USA products. Hayley lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and their four sons. She blogs at hayleymorgan.com/blog.
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