August 2, 2012

2 lovely ladies

My dear friend Jessica came into town and I was so thrilled to visit with her! We got to hang out with Jessica's sister-in-law Sarah, who is a new friend of mine.

Jessica in the middle, Sarah to the right.

When I first met Jessica, I felt immediately at home with her. And the funny thing is, I feel the same way about Sarah. They are home to me. And to hang out with them BOTH, TOGETHER was a very special occasion indeed.

side note. Jess and I are both wearing shorts from american eagle, the skinny bermudas. It cracks me up how they fit us so differently because I am a shorty. Oops? Did i just compare? Hmmm. Read on.

These girls are sweet and funny. And really listen and care. 

But even more, they truly love with Lord with all their hearts. They are the real deal. True saints of God.

I am blown away by their wisdom and depth of character. 

They tell me the truth, not matter what. And leave me challenged yet encouraged. They are gems!

I thought I was doing good if I listened to an extra sermon per week. 

Um, Jess listens to sermons all week long. She worships the Lord throughout the day and has 3 children, 3 years old and younger. 

Jess linked a sermon to her blog, called The Snare of Compare, by Carolyn Mahaney. I have to admit, my first thought was, "Oh I never compare myself to anyone. I don't need to listen, I'm good." 

Either I'm prideful or just plain old thick-headed. Because this sermon is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. God knew I needed to hear it and Jess was there to prompt me on.

I encourage you to listen to this sermon. I don't want to give away the good points and spoil it for you.

So go listen. And then come back and let's chat, shall we?
Here is my interpretation of what Carolyn said.

Like me, you might think that you never compare yourself to others. You know it's wrong to compare. And so you have tricked your mind into thinking that you are not at fault here. 

But let me tell you. It kind of has a sneaky way of creeping up on you, unawares.

Say, for example, that someone wronged you, or hurt your feelings. This person seems to skate through life, trial free, whereas your life has lots of trials. You might even dwell on that person in your mind longer than you should, stewing the problem over(I never do that, ahem). You eventually find yourself asking God, "what about so-and-so Lord? What are you going to do about them?" You are comparing how God is dealing with them, versus how God is dealing with you. 

And if you think God is going to let you off the hook and give you sympathy for how wrongly you have been treated...well according to the passage at the end of John've got another thing coming!

Basically in John 21, Jesus tells Peter some sobering news: that when Peter is old, he is going to be crucified. And the first thing Peter says is "what about John?"  LOL. Oh Peter. How I can relate.

Jesus does not offer Peter sympathy. He basically tells Peter, "It's none of your business how John dies."

and then Jesus says to Peter.


Did you catch what happened? At first glance, it seems as though Jesus was a bit harsh to Peter. The poor guy just got some terrible news!

But in reality, Jesus gave Peter the most LOVING possible answer: Don't turn your eyes off me for one second. Don't look to your right or left. At anyone else. Look at ME and follow ME.

You see, Jesus knows that the second that we start looking at someone else's situation or lot in life, we are in grave danger of falling into all sorts of deadly snares. We start becoming the judge. And he loves us too much to let that happen. We are to keep our eyes on HIM and follow HIM alone. 

Since listening to this sermon, I have caught myself quite a few times {subconsciously} comparing my lot in life to another's lot. 

And Jesus has given me NO sympathy in this area. Because that is not gonna help me. Instead He says. Look at me Davi! 

And that simple little thing has REALLY helped me. So that is why I am writing on and on here. Because I truly hope it helps you too!

p.s. I don't think sympathy is a bad thing. If something bad happens to someone, they have my sympathy. But if they then start comparing themselves to others...maybe that is where sympathy is no longer useful...perhaps it's better to give encouragement, to spur them back on toward the Lord. I'm still mulling it all over.