Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to preach on comparison. You can watch the sermon here. But I missed something huge that I want to share.
Here's a quick overview of the sermon:
- Comparison starts because we subconsciously ask the question, "Is everything alright with me?"
- The way we answer that question can lead us to comparison.
- Many times, if not most, we answer that question by saying, "If I was only as _____ as them, then I would be alright."
- Comparison can be cured when we change our "if" to a "since." Instead of saying "If I was only _____ as them, then I would be alright." We should say, "Since I am a child of God, then I am alright."
I've heard that what was talked about was very helpful to many people, but on this past Wednesday night, I realized I had forgotten to insert something very important. I was at our Dinner Party-how SoulQuest does community life- and we were discussing the sermon. One guy spoke up about comparison in his own life, and he explained the role of contentment in battling comparison in his life.
He said, "If you aren't content, it won't matter how 'erier' (see the sermon) you are. Without contentment you will always be comparing with others." THAT'S IT. Did you get that? If you aren't content with what you have in Christ, it won't matter how much you do or don't have, you will always compare your stuff to someone else's. I came across this quote yesterday on Facebook from Steven Furtick, "Comparison kills contentment. And without contentment, there can be no joy, no matter how much stuff you have."
Paul says it best, "For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Phil 4:11-13 NIV)
Through Christ, we are now children of God. We are co-heirs with Jesus. We are adopted children with a heavenly daddy. Contentment keeps us from ever comparing our lives with others, and the way to be content is to live in the strength Christ has made available. To live as sons and daughters of God.