I did it again. I took out my measuring tape and measured. It wasn’t the dainty kind I carry in my purse and embarrass my husband with, or the big black one pocketed in his tool belt hanging in the garage. Rather I used a sly invisible one I carry inside of me, the one no one else sees. I am angered and humiliated at the very ease with which I pull out the tab and string it out. I am actually shocked at how quickly it catches me unaware and unprepared, allowing the insidious comparisons to add up like numbers on a line.
- Invitations? Really, why did she get asked and not me?
- Viral? You must be kidding. For me it means the flu.
- Likes? So childish, but I count ‘em.
- Friends? She has so many.
- Opportunities? Decreasing.
- Her stuff. My stuff.
- Their house. Our house.
- Made in the shade. Plowing uphill.
Jabbing jealousies are the enemies of thanksgiving.
They meter out degrees from self to another. Nothing kills a grateful heart as quickly as festering comparisons.
There is a cure. Get a different measuring tape.
- One that measures forgiveness. And rejoices in its totality.
“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (NKJV)
- One that counts the immeasurable love with which we are bestowed as the highest blessing.
“…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians
- One that acknowledges the infinite sovereignty of God.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33 NKJV
- One that looks forward to eternity without end.
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 Jn 5:11 (NKJV)
Pure thanksgiving lays every other measuring tape down and raises Jesus high.
Unfettered thanksgiving looks to who He is because it is in that place we discover what is truly ours.
And it is beyond measurement.
*Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash
OMGoodness Ms. Sylvia. What a truth shared in this post ma’am. I think one of the worst parts about the humanness that remains in us after our salvation is the innate need/desire to compare ourselves to others. I’m convinced Satan knows this, and uses it to introduce his own special brand of fear into us. It seems that no matter how we compare ourselves to others, we NEVER measure up. We are either woefully short (Satan tells us we aren’t good enough), or we’re pompous and prideful (Satan tells us we should be glad we’re not like that person – the sin of self-pride). As writers, I think we suffer from the disease of comparison more than most. “I’ll never be Anne Graham-Lotz, or Max Lucado. I’ll never be good enough to be published.” Too often, we tell ourselves these lies instead of taking our fears to God and allowing Him to remind us that He called us to write for Him, not the world. Have learned there’s only one measuring tape I should ever use; the one that allows me to measure myself to the human life Jesus Christ lived. One that I can never measure up to in this life. God’s blessings; and thank you for this insightful post ma’am.
Sylvia A Schroeder
I so appreciate your response. You are right, we are so prone to fall on either side. I’m not as good as or pride. Jesus lived the perfect balance, and oh, how I want to be more like Him!
Excellent thoughts, Sylvia – especially during this giving of thanks season.
Sylvia A Schroeder
Thanks R.J. The thoughts might come from a convicted heart….
Sylvia, your analogy is perfect for this challenge, and your connection to giving thanks made it even stronger. Here’s my favorite sentence:
“Pure thanksgiving lays every other measuring tape down and raises Jesus high.”
Thank you Jeannie. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for commenting!
That invisible measuring tape sneaks up on us. “Jabbing jealousies are the enemies of thanksgiving.” Yes they are. This post hits the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Barbara.
Loved the tape measure visual and comparisons and placing the plumb line for us to show the futility and folly of comparing with others. This was an excellent post especially to reflect on this time of year, Thank you.
Sylvia A Schroeder
Thank you Marilyn. I’m so glad you appreciated the post. The verses are some of my favorites and most definitely the measures I need to learn better. Thanks for commenting!
I used to hurt myself a lot by making comparisons, before I was stronger in faith. It’s not always easy to stop doing it. But I’ve gotten better at remembering that God doesn’t intend for me to measure myself that way. As for large numbers of friends, sometimes quantity does not equal quality.
You are so right, it is hard to break that pattern. I am so grateful God’s measurements are different from ours. I am also grateful for his patience with me as I so easily slide back into comparisons. Thanks for commenting!
Thanks for the reminder of the invisible measuring tape, and the many immeasurable things of God we can be thankful for! I have been singing through a “new to me” hymnal, and found one of my grandparents’ favorite hymns– Thanks to God for My Redeemer. It has many great reminders. Here are just a few: Thanks for comfort in despair. Thanks for love beyond compare. Thanks for prayers which Thou hast answered, thanks for what Thou dost deny, thanks for storms that I have weathered, thanks for Jesus by my side.
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain. Thanks for heavenly peace with Thee, Thanks for Hope in the tomorrow. Thanks for all eternity.
I just love the word to that hymn. I don’t think I’m familiar with it, but I need to check it out. Beautiful words, thanks for sharing that!