#BreakingTheCycle: Dr. Seuss was on to something…
“Today you are You that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Small fact about me, I am really really really into Dr. Seuss quotes. So much so that I used to keep a folder of them saved to my computer desktop for easy access. There is just something about connecting a childhood quote to adult life that makes me happy. Probably because I’m still figuring out what “adult life” means, but I still love the quotes nonetheless.
This particular quote is my absolute Dr. Seuss favorite and I slide it in wherever I can. I use it so often because it’s such a gentle (yet direct) reminder that literally no one on earth can out do me at being me (just like no one can out do you at being you). I know it’s super cliché to say that we are our only real competition, but it really is true. Dr. Seuss said it, so that makes it a universal fact (no debates please, lol).
But just as we are our only competition, sometimes we’re also our only hindrance; especially in the area of comparison. We compare our families, our work, our hobbies and even our growth against other people all the time. Even in the most subtle ways, we wonder if we’re “behind” because we haven’t hit a certain milestone by a certain time. (Side note: If God’s timing is perfect, can we really be “behind”???)
I remember when I first started to attend church in college. (It’s not a secret that I was a spotty church attender at best until my undergraduate years.) I found an amazing church and started to understand some of the Bible for the first time. Pastor Mark and his wife Amy (I think that’s her name, it’s been like 10 years) were so personable and approachable. One Sunday, Amy did a call for volunteers to help with an event. She was so sweet, kind and gentle in the way that she said we were going to “love on” people for the event. I thought two things when she was speaking: 1) I want to help! 2) Maaaaaan, I’m never going to be that sweet a day in my life (and I wasn’t exactly wrong about this).
Even though I admired who Amy was and what she was doing, my initial thought went to how I must not be measuring up in this Jesus life if I didn’t appear to be that sweet as a person. Now, fast forward a decade later and I’m still not that sweet (sorry, not sorry), I see how that comparison clouded my real focus.
Comparison robbed me of the opportunity to see the growth I was actually experiencing. And that’s a truth for many of us. Comparison has robbed us not of the actual growth in our hearts, but of the sight to see that growth clearly. We’ve spent so much time invested in why this person was able to forgive their family faster or why that person got over their relationship ending so quickly. All the time ignoring that we’ve put in the emotional work for our own growth, but our results just happen to not look like someone else’s.
My question to that is, what is our end game? Do we want real growth? Or do we want to look like we have growth? Because if we do desire real growth, then we have to believe that there is a time set for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). And in that timing for everything lies our time to heal, growth and understand.
Chat with God
When do you tend to emotionally compare to other people?
How have you already grown in those areas> How would you like to grow more?
What is your one sentence prayer in this situation?
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