Breaking Free of the Comparison Trap

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:13-14) 
Can I tell you a secret? For way too much of my life, I fell into the trap of comparing myself with others. When I did, I always came up short. I felt I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough or spiritual enough … just not enough, period. And because of that, I stayed stuck in a mediocre faith. 
Through the years I’ve learned one valuable truth: The measuring stick will get you stuck. Comparison is the devil’s tool that’s kept many of us from stepping into our God-given destinies. 
For about a year, I hung out with Moses by the burning bush. I listened to Moses argue with God about his insecurities and pondered God’s responses to all his questions and quandaries. 
When I met up with Moses in Exodus 3, he was an insecure, stuttering recluse. Yep, we were kindred spirits. He complained he was not good enough and begged God to pick someone else to address the Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Specifically, he whined he was not a good speaker, even though centuries later in the New Testament, Stephen recorded Moses was “mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22). 
So how do you think Moses came up with the idea he was not a good speaker? Here’s what I think. I think it happened because Moses compared himself to other people he thought were good speakers. 
Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence and stymie our courage. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance. 
We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that perhaps we’re fatally flawed … as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity, punctured and punctuated by comparison. 
We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what? We were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you and me with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He’s called us to do. 
David wrote: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:13-14). 
David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well. 
You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece — His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well? 
God knows our inadequacies and insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you and me before we even had them. Yet God chose us before we were born for a purpose — to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26). 
It’s time we stop comparing ourselves with others. I know it’s hard … Boy, is it hard! But the measuring stick will get you stuck. 
God made you to be you! He thinks you’re amazing. And so do I. 
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for comparing myself with others rather than praising You for the way You’ve knit me together and gifted me. I know I’m Your workmanship — Your handiwork. Today, I let go of the measuring stick of comparison, and take hold of the way You’ve uniquely fashioned me for Your purposes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
I love this devotion! I pray it inspires you to see yourself differently and to truly realize that you were never meant to do it like someone else. Stop comparing yourself with others and remember, as today’s devotion says, God made you to be you! He thinks you’re amazing.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is 2 Timothy 1:13-14 

Stop Talking to Yourself

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. (Psalm 139:3)

Does God want to be involved in every decision we make? Is it necessary to pray about every little detail? Many would say that God doesn’t care, He saved you and He gave you a mind to think things through for yourself. I would completely disagree. After spending years of praying over the details in life, I have come to appreciate all He does for me just by including Him and looking for His fingerprints in my life.

But how does this work? Well, for a great starter, stop talking to yourself and start talking to the Lord. If you are late, talk to God about it. If you are confused, include God in it. Talk to Him as a friend, a counselor and a companion. He says that He is all those traits so get to know Him in those ways. In every relationship, there needs to be two-way communication. Prayer obviously is your part in the communication process with the Lord. But the Bible is God’s way of speaking back to you. So let’s say it is on your heart to buy a new car. Start talking to Him about it. Ask Him to change your heart if it is not His will or to lead your heart in the car buying process. Next, go to the Bible and ask the Lord to give you verses to guide you in this decision. If some verse pops out to you, pray over it and ask God to make His message clearer through that verse. If He does give you the go ahead, do further research with that promise.  Keep talking to Him and keep going back to the Word, asking for specific direction. Whatever you include Him in, the Lord will work with you from dealerships to your finances. As you grow in the knowledge of God’s guidance, you will gain a peace in your decision of what to purchase. Regardless of the outcome, you will have assurance of God’s hand in the process. Walking through these decisions in our lives with God is the only way to assure peace. The more we include Him in every decision, the more we grow in our knowledge of Him, which leads to a closer walk with the Lord.

Are you in the midst of a trial or major decision in your life? Are you searching for answers in various places? Knowledge can bring peace, but the knowledge of God brings everlasting peace that continues to surpass our understanding. Start out everyday in God’s Word. Take time to put His Word in your heart and mind. Before the day is through, you will need to hear from the Lord on something that crosses your path. The knowledge of His Word will give you peace and assurance in ways you could never imagine. Try it and see what God will do.

Wow, I needed to be reminded of this today. I must admit there are times I talk to myself and this devotion challenged me to stop doing that and in those moments, not matter what it is that I’m talking to myself about, I need to direct my conversation back to Him. Seek His thoughts and His guidance. He’s truly that real. Ready and waiting for me to acknowledge Him and to just talk to Him about every single aspect of my life. Not just this and that but every single aspect. God is my refuge and strength.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love (John 15:10).

Have a beautiful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 139

Search Me

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Relationships take time. And as time passes, we can decide whether we want to go to the next level with a person and eventually open up to them.

This doesn’t have to be a husband or wife thing. It applies to every relationship.

Hopefully, we all have someone we can tell our deepest, most sensitive secrets to. Someone we know can keep our confidence.

Friends like these know when there is something wrong with us, even when others don’t. They have been our friends for so long they can sense our mood without even talking to us.

With an acquaintance, it’s different. We might tell them a little about our life, but we usually let them know all of the good stuff. We wear a mask for them.

Ironically, we sometimes try to wear this mask for Jesus.

When we pray, we might ask him to forgive us of our little sins and ask for good things to happen to us, but we never ask him to search us. We don’t tell him to look deep down in our heart and see if there is anything within us that to change.

We hesitate to open up in this way because it’s uncomfortable. When the Holy Spirit searches us and convicts us of sin, we rationalize it away. Or, we have been living our life with a particular sin for so long, that it just becomes a part of us and we are calloused.

We forget that Jesus already knows what is in our hearts (John 2:25).

Jesus is waiting for us to invite him into our hearts and cleanse us of our grievous ways. We can’t hide our sins from Jesus; only keep them from the healing power of His presence. And by holding our sin so tightly, we do nothing but embrace our own death, while pushing away the author of life.

We should daily pray as the Psalmist does, and ask God to search our hearts. We should open ourselves up to the real healing that only God can give.

Have you let Jesus look into your heart lately? If not, why are you scared to do so?

When I read this my first thought was, guilty! I can think of many times in my life when I’ve done just as they spoke of in this devotion, I go to God and ask him to forgive me of my little sins and ask for good things to happen to me but I’ve failed to ask him to search me and as I thought about it I realized it was in those moments when I got real with God and I allowed Him to search me deep down in my heart and I spoke to Him without walls and barriers that I was able to overcome that thing that held me back and tormented me. He does indeed already know, it’s our place to be so real with Him that we speak truthfully with Him and allow Him to mend us. We aren’t going to say anything He doesn’t already know, you don’t have to have the “perfect” prayer in order to speak to God, just be real and honest with Him. I myself am a work in progress and this is an area I need to work on, I don’t need to wear a mask when I talk to God. He knows me already, He knows you. Let’s be real with God!

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 51:1-11

He Knows

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. (Psalm 139:4)

It’s comforting to know that God loves us with a deep familiarity. David wrote, “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether” (Ps. 139:4). Imagine having a quiet conversation with Jesus where you’re telling Him the deepest matters of your heart. Just when you’re struggling to get the words out, He gives you a knowing smile and expresses exactly what you couldn’t quite say. How good it is to know that we don’t have to get our words just right to talk to God! He loves us and knows us well enough to understand.

You know all about me, Lord, and You love me. Thank You for understanding me completely! Please help me to love You and follow You today. Amen.

When I read this it made me think of the many times I’ve struggled to express what I wanted to say to The Lord but what truth I was reminded of today, He loves me so much and knows me so well, He understands even when I can’t quite get the words out. God hears every unspoken word. What peace!

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 139:1-12

Ultimate Value


For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. (Psalm 139:13-18)

We are at the start of another New Year and for a great many of us that means that we are hoping to kick off a year in which the healthier, thinner, stronger, more controlled version of ourselves at last becomes a reality. Health and physical wellness are indeed very important. How we take care of our bodies can reflect how we view ourselves and our purpose and worth before God. So any effort to improve ourselves physically requires us to first improve ourselves spiritually- to deepen our understanding of why God made us physical beings and what He has to say about our bodies and how we should view them.

Our culture is at war with itself on this topic right now. The vast majority of images projected into our consciousness depict physical beauty and worthiness as thin, fit and impossibly attractive. Even our thinnest and most beautiful counterparts are edited to even more unrealistic levels of perfection before they are inserted into our advertisements and media. But at the same time, society wars against ‘fat-shaming’ and doing anything that might suggest to a person, no matter their size, weight, health or appearance that they are anything but beautiful. It feels contradictory to have impossible models always held up as the standard of beauty but then to be told that regardless of how opposite from them you are, it doesn’t matter, you’re still beautiful.

These two, seemingly opposing aspects of culture are, strangely enough, both rooted in our heart’s knowledge of our Creator’s view of us and His promise of a perfected, eternal life. The fit supermodel reflects our yearning for the physical perfection that awaits us in Heaven and the battle cry of ‘beauty in all sizes’ reflects that we know that even with our earthly shortcomings, the One who determines ultimate beauty and worth looks upon us and cries ‘MINE!’

There is so much that can and should be said about physical health and how it relates to our relationship with the Lord, but it is important to start by recognizing what David recognizes here in Psalm 139. The Psalmist recognizes that God created us. We were designed by choice and with purpose. Not only were we created on purpose, we were created well. The workings of the human body are utterly incredible in their complexity and function and these are the broken forms! David also says that our bodies were not hidden from the sight of God which is incredibly telling. That means that our bodies’ design is holy. God has pre-ordained all our days on this earth. He knows how long our lives will be and what journey our body will go through here, whether long or short. David wraps up by praising God for His thoughts because he knows that he was born in the thoughts of God and he grasps what an honor that is.

The God of the universe thought of you, planned your exact design and called you into being. His thoughts, like His people, outnumber the grains of sand yet we are among them always. We were not thought of by God and then forgotten. He formed us in the womb, brought us out into life and carries us in His thoughts all our days and into eternity. We have great value to God and that is shown by how much He thinks of us, let alone what He does for us.

So as you start 2017, whatever physical goals you may have for yourself, remember Who formed you and Who gives you ultimate value- it is not the glossy magazine or the glowing screen or the opinions of others. The God of heaven and earth designed you and loves you and calls you His own. Always start there when you go to consider how to value and care for the body He gave you.

When I read this I felt it gave a great perspective on what many people strive to attain and like it ultimately said, remember who formed you and who gives you ultimate value. God loves you and calls you His own. This blessed me, as I myself start this year off wanting to improve myself physically and spiritually. It has shifted my mindset more so towards the spiritual aspect as apposed to just the physical aspect. I was not thought up by God then forgotten, He formed me in The whom and He carries me. Every change starts with The One who made me and when I look to Him for every thing in my life He alone will help me to fulfill my goals and dreams. Him alone. I am blessed.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 139:13-18