This year I struggled with comparison a lot. In a world where our lives are held under a miscroscope you want what people find in you to be amazing. I have fought against feelings of failure my whole life. Having a father figure who was very uninterested in my life, made me feel like no one would be interested in who I really was. So I learned from a very early age to be an achiever and a people pleaser. Hoping if people liked me, I would finally feel the acceptance I had longed to feel my entire life. The problem with comparision, and a constant drive to achieve, is your motives often become tainted. Instead of wanting to serve out of humility you want to serve because you want to be seen, you NEED to be seen. Instead of being able to collaborate with people in a team effort you see everyone else as competition. It’s OK to encourage them, but only as long as they are not affecting your goals and ambitions in the process.
I came face to face with the ugly spirit of competition this past fall. I was sitting in a church service listening to a beautiful song being sung by a wonderful artist. She has a recording contract and a beautiful soul. But I couldn’t enjoy her beauty because I was too busy comparing my life to hers. Mentally holding her story next to mine, I felt anger rising. Then I felt the Lord whisper,
“This is NOT unity. This is you competing for MY glory. You have to choose. My glory or yours. You have to release this desire to be the center of the universe. The question is, do you want other women to shine, even if they shine brighter than you? IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. It can never be about you creating your own kingdom inside of My kingdom. It has to be about MY kingdom or nothing at all. When you can finally release your pride and will, there will be freedom. Freedom from this fear and competition you experience.”
As I left the concert I pondered this Spirit whispered truth. I wanted freedom from this inner battle. This constant inner struggle to just enjoy other women and not feel like I was competing with them for God’s affection. I wanted the kind of life He spoke into my soul. As the months have passed I have found more and more peace. The kind of life where I see other women not as a threat, but as an opportunity to love and encourage. I have settled on this thought:
You either get to be the center of your universe or a star in His. You cannot be both. Nightlight or star. We get to choose. A street lamp can seem radiant and bright when it’s the only light on a street, but it only gives light to a few feet of street. Starlight covers billions of miles, light years, to shine its light on the world below. Yet, too often, no one even looks up to appreciate its light. In other words, being a star seems to mean less from a distance. To be a star means you resign yourself to a certain level of anonimity. But you’re still a star, a trillion watts bright. And what do stars do? They shine. Night, day, cloudy, cold, hot, other stars, they shine.
And as everyone knows, one star is beautiful, but in unity with an entire galaxy it will steal your breath away.
Stars shining together are a matchless beauty. We were never meant to shine alone. Maybe that is further symbolism to the star the wisemen followed. A single star leading the way to the baby that would enable ALL “stars” to shine for His glory. May we be stars that point others to Christ and encourage them to leave their lives as small light bulbs for the glory of being a star in the galaxy of our King. Shine on this season!