My friends are amazing. I think of Darlene, who is a great listener and definitely has the gift to encourage; then there's Patricia, who seems to be able to juggle a dozen projects at once and be good at all of them! Cherie has a knack for blessing others with timely gifts and cards, and Pat's care and concern just overflow when she calls.
On particularly challenging days, instead of thanking God for the special talents and abilities He's given my friends, I begin wishing I had their abilities. Can anyone relate? The cycle begins with coveting their gift and ends with a feeling of defeat because I can't live up to all the things I admire in them.
I remember arriving early to pick up my daughter at a teen camp a couple years ago. Since one of the missionaries was still speaking, I quietly sat down in the back and listened. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was talking about how unwise it is to compare ourselves with others. Boy, if that didn't strike a chord with me.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:12 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (KJV)
When I remember who God says I am: that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and that He created me to be one-of-a-kind; it frees me up to do what He has for me alone to do, while appreciating those around me with different talents and abilities. How refreshing to know that as believers, "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) There are things my friends can do and people they can reach that I would not be able to, and vice versa.
What about you? Do you compare yourself with those around you? Thank God today that you are uniquely you and fulfil the job He has for you to do!