Moments in the life of a Pastor

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 51 Obsessive Comparative Disorder – Part 2

Galatians 6:4-5

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct”

The temptation to compare in our culture is everywhere and because it is so strong we need to look at ways to combating comparison. The following are two practical ways that have helped me begin to live life differently and let go of the deadly and destructive vice of comparison.

1. Celebrate who God created you to be

Learn to like yourself. When you downgrade yourself, not only will you not see the masterpiece God has made you to be, but you will be critical of His creation. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” You have great value. You are rare and one-of-a-kind. Got didn’t create you for you to try to be somebody else. Begin to focus on the unique strengths and potential He has deposited in you. Because what you focus on you magnify. Are you flaw focus or Father focused? Do you see the problems or the potential? When you become happy with yourself and your qualities you can then begin to also celebrate the gifts of others. If you don’t you will spend your energy not only trying to be somebody else but also trying to change everyone around you. When we see our spouse and say I am going to change them, what you are really saying is that when God made them, He messed up but don’t worry I can fix God’s mistakes! God called us to live the abundant life not an arrogant one. This world is continually sending the message that we are not enough, smart enough, good looking enough, loveable enough unless we buy this or buy into that. As a result, many have developed a critical self-spirit that not only affects but is also infecting others. If we are honest, we all have our own life or death battles. Every day from the moment we wake up, we engage with the struggles of our mind, society, and relationships. Life is full of fears, doubts and regrets that if we don’t deal with will rob us of life as they seek to control and steal our soul. We have to begin each day acknowledging our surroundings, focusing our thoughts, journeying inward to recognize what fears, what doubts, what “demons” are lurking beneath the surface.  1 Peter 5:7 tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” But it’s hard to cast what you are not aware of! It takes focus, discipline, and an awareness of ourselves to engage fully in the world around us. If we focus on the negatives, if we let fear drive our actions, then our reality is one of suffering and resentment. We become stuck on autopilot. We go through the motions instead of really living. We seek distractions so we never have to be alone with ourselves. An unfocused mind is fear’s greatest ally.

2. Focus on the Messiah instead of the media. 

What if we meditated on God’s Beauty and His Word instead of on the world? God created human beings to crave, to wonder, and to be fascinated by beauty. Psalm 27:4 reminds us to seek this beauty, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple”. Scripture calls us to fast for the purpose of focusing on God. When it comes to fasting, we often think of food but what is we fasted from social media? How much time do you spend on social media? What if that time was spent focused on Jesus instead of the junk? The beauty of focusing on Jesus instead of the junk is it frees us from the comparison trap. So, let me encourage you to create a new habit of seeking God first and take a break from social media. I guarantee it won’t be easy because as you will find many of us are addicted to social media. But remember addiction always leads to affliction. We need to learn to refocus and shift our focus from comparisons to Christ.