Comparison – It’s Not About The “We”

By Brooke

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My best friend, Alisa, wrote a blog last week that gave voice to the thing God is most recently working out in me. And since God is a God of relationship, it seems He is working it out in those closest to me at the very same time. If you haven’t read her blog, read it HERE first and then come on back to me.

So I suppose I should start with a praise offering before I go into my pile of crap with you. That way the stench of what needs sacrificing doesn’t overwhelm the fact that my offering is ultimately a fragrance welcomed by God, no matter how old and infected it may be.

I praise God for relationship. I praise God for intimacy. I praise God for the full length mirrors He has given me as gifts and tools for lifelong self-reflection who bear the names Jarrett, Jory, Jace and Brynn. I praise God for best friends who not only bring to light things one on one, but broadcast it to the blogging world in order that hiding from accountability is not an option. I praise God for light. I praise God for freedom.

I am also on the verge of praising for the things that hold me back in certain places. I say on the verge, because embracing my deficiencies are never moments I charge excitedly. I mean I will do it, because God has made me obedient, but I don’t like it.

And so IT is (this week at least), comparison.

Comparison has been a companion of mine for my entire life. If we are honest, its in all of us. It bears names like education, money, intellect, beauty, weight, status, and success just to name a few. We are born into a society and bred by that society to compare. It’s so rooted in us that we don’t even know we are doing it. Not only are we being done (or undone) by it, we are perpetuating it.

Webster’s dictionary defines comparison as the act of comparing and also simultaneously the state of being compared. Do you get that? Comparison is the thing we do externally as a manifestation of what we are doing internally.

There is nothing like relationships that matter to us to draw out in us this deep seated root of comparison. We are drawn to those who reflect the truest nature of our inmost selves. For the most part we really appreciate them for who they are – until we realize that those people are a reflection of what we really like most about ourselves. Then we are faced with the question “is there enough of that to go around?”. Thats why marriage gets hard. Thats why friendships (real ones) get hard, because God uses them to wake us up to deeper places in us.

Annndddd so it is with Alisa. Alisa is a leader of the finest degree. She is fearless and brilliant. Articulate and generous. Stunning and strong. Everything I want to be when I grow up. Alisa has all the things I ask God to make me in ministry. What a perfect place for the creeper called comparison to take root.

God says in Galatians 6:4-5 in the Message “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” It sounds easy. It’s not. I am not allowed to add to the Bible, but if I was, I would add “God helping you” to Galatians 6:4-5, because Lord knows He needs to.

It first began when I started to see Alisa step into the fullness of who God has created her to be, specifically in her teaching of the Word and her leadership in ministry. I say it began there because it was a quick landslide. I found myself jealous of the restoration work God was doing in her marriage. The very marriage I had been petitioning for in prayer (without ceasing) for the last four years. Gross. What the hell? What is that? I clearly see my crazy but why do I know better yet can’t do better? I need a Savior, stat.

See, I need people to like me. I need people to want me to be around and I need people to think I am great in order to feel worth. Ok, that’s not pretty to write. It’s not pretty to admit (to myself, let alone all of you) and it’s not pretty that it’s true.

My comparison trap is I want to be the best at whatever I do and if I perceive anyone else as better, I have a problem. My problem is not against flesh and blood, but is one of spirit. I am not assaulted by Alisa and her beautiful being, I am assaulted by a lie of the enemy that says “if Alisa is good at this, there is no room for you to be good at it too.” It’s a scarcity mentality. It’s a lie that says there is not enough to go around. Without the Spirit of the Lord plumbing the depth of my being, I would assume Alisa is the problem. I would make Alisa, what my sister Stephanie calls, a “we” problem. My issue of comparison who happens to be wearing the name “Alisa” is not a “we” problem, its a “me” problem. Its a spiritual problem that the Lord is wanting to heal in me.

And here is the truth. For a while Alisa and I kept it at bay. We would confess to each other right away when our feelings of jealousy would pop up in order that we have fellowship with one another in the light. We know what the Word says and we were doing it…but God often has something more. God had for each of us something more than the “we”. “We” were good. “We” were honest and still the “we” felt unsettled. We know now that God was interested in the “me” in both of us. We needed individual explorations of the heart. I went on my “me” journey and realized that our “we” lacking was a reflection of my “me” needs.

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Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of Joy.” As a lover of the great Lover, my joy is found in the person and anchor of Jesus Christ. To compare myself with others is to intentionally look Christ in the face and say “you are not enough”. What you have for me and all that your Word promises, is not enough. It’s to say that the temporal fix from believing that I am “better than her” or “it’s all her  fault” is more secure than the act of Christ on the cross.

In closing, can I ask you an honest question? Do you have a “we” situation that is troubling you today? Could your “we” problem simply be the lowest hanging fruit, per se? The fruit most easily picked on. Or off. The ones that could easily be discarded as hopeless and in need of disposal? Or could there be something more than the “we” ? Could the Lord be calling you to the “me”?

The remedy of “we” is found in the remedy of “me”. By definition, comparison is the act of comparing and also simultaneously the state of being compared. In Christ we are anchored to Him. He defines us and in Him there is no room for lack, scarcity, or comparison.

And there it is, friends. In the words of my sister and bestie por vida…

Boom.

vivid

19 Comments on Comparison – It’s Not About The “We”

  1. Amanda
    May 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm (5 years ago)

    Your honesty makes me thankful. I look at you and Alisa both and am in awe of your leadership and ministry. And it’s so refreshing to hear that my struggles are your struggles. I love the transparency in you both :)

    Reply
    • Brooke
      May 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm (5 years ago)

      Sweet Amanda…Thank you. Thanks for cleaving in to the crazy! Love.

      Reply
    • Christina
      May 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing the “real”. Says so much to be transparent.

      Reply
  2. Sue Bidstrup
    May 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m crying. Thank you. Does that make sense? Thank you for making me cry? Tears of awareness and light from Him through you…”me too” tears. Yes. It makes perfect sense -thanks.

    Reply
    • Brooke
      May 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm (5 years ago)

      Sue. Consider that a pay pack for all the times your blog draws goodness and depth out of me. You are awesome. love!

      Reply
  3. Nimet
    May 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm (5 years ago)

    Yes, thank you Brooke. Words as though spoken out of my own heart. I struggle the same, even berating myself because I should be “older and wiser”. :D. Inadequacy (by comparison) has sunk its talons in deep. It might hurt a little but our Healing is guaranteed. March on sister!

    Reply
    • Brooke
      May 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm (5 years ago)

      Amen Nimet. They may have sunk deep, but the Healer is at the root of it all. Missing you!

      Reply
  4. jami kok
    May 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm (5 years ago)

    i love it that i can literally hear your voice when i read your words.

    i love your voice. i love you. thank you for using your voice.

    nothing pierces the heart like truth, authenticity and vulnerability!!

    “vulnerable, valiant and scandalous” you are.

    GRATEFUL.

    Reply
    • Brooke
      May 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm (5 years ago)

      JAMI! Wait ’till you read my next blog about taking the hand off of my mouth. You will realize them how for words are speaking directly yo this little girls heart. He is GOOD! Thank you for your encouragement. When in the heck will I see you again?? Love you girl.

      Reply
      • jami kok
        May 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm (5 years ago)

        chills and tears.

        Jesus…

        you will for sure see me in Sept. at ICWC!

        XOOOOOOOOO.

        Reply
  5. susan@avintagefarmwife
    May 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm (5 years ago)

    Whoa, Brooke. You have nailed something I have fought against my entire “girl” life. I knew comparison was hurting me, but I had never considered that it was a direct insult to my Savior. Excuse me, I have some repenting to do. Hugs!

    Reply
  6. Tasha
    May 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you for being brave enough to expose a truth that plaques us all. We all struggle with comparison at some level and it’s hideous. It feels hideous, especially when we deeply love the people we are jealous of. Love your honest and vulnerable heart for bringing darkness to light. Well done sister.

    Reply
  7. Yasmin Nashat
    May 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm (5 years ago)

    My dearest Sister Brooke! Thank you for your boldness in Christ! I have no words, but praise and thanksgiving for His lifegiving Light! Let us all SHINE! Amen <3

    Reply
  8. Norma
    May 6, 2013 at 9:50 pm (5 years ago)

    I can not tell you how much I relate…I didn’t think it was not comparison until I read this. I thought it was my battle of feeling inadequate, or that there is not room for me to make a difference for Him…but then I realize that is just the beginning of the sentence and the rest goes something like…”…because there are so many others who are doing it so much better than I ever could.” I begin to feel invisible, irrelevant. So ego-centric, so not of Jesus…so gross. I push through, and pray, but it is there more than I would ever like to admit, more than I want to recognize. I like to try to ignore it (it doesn’t work). Isn’t the point to get out of the way so that He can be the one who is visible?! Yet my ego fights it daily. I adore you Brooke Boone (or maybe it isn’t you at all–but the Jesus I can see in you–that you allow to be seen in you) for the inspiration you have become in my life…I know in countless others, and for the vulnerability you have that makes you relateable, and therefore truly impactful. Thank you Lady. Spring cleaning time! xoxoxo ~N

    Reply
  9. Alisa
    May 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm (5 years ago)

    TRUTH! I think we might have this thing on the run :) Love you. Love Jesus more :)

    Reply
  10. Christine
    May 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm (5 years ago)

    once again you and Alisa speak straight to my heart!! THANK YOU- BOTH of you for being open and honest and letting me see the crazy that i too experience as the LIE!! WHEW!! God so knew that i needed to read this!! I was up with that Crazy comparison lie and less than lie last night and created trouble where there should not be!! And i called it by name today!! The lie that it was. and then i read this and BOOM- straight between the eyes!! I am grateful for every word and opportunity you share!! thank you!

    Reply
  11. Pat Groom
    May 7, 2013 at 2:20 am (5 years ago)

    Hi, Brooke~ So isn’t it just like the Lord. You just told me the other day that you were preparing for “the Healing Power Of God”, and here HE is, ever so gently and lovingly placing His finger on the area HE wants to HEAL in YOU. He loves you so much, Ms Brooke. He needs you so much that HE gave HIS only begotten Son, that you will be HEALED, that YOU will represent HIM in the Design for Brooke Only Way on this earth…..as it is in Heaven. Praise HIM for YOUR HEALING IN HIM. HE knows you will seek HIM in HIS WORD, and HIS WORD will not return to HIM void. HIS WORD you eat, and HIS WORD becomes manifest in your flesh, and you are HEALED. I am deeply grateful for your healing. Isn’t it THE best when we put blinders on, soak in the Word, and hear what HE has to say to us about us. Trust. Obey. Rest. Healing. Love You Deeply. Deeply.

    Reply
  12. christina
    May 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm (5 years ago)

    You know I loved this. Thanks for being a trail blazer and bring to light the areas of darkness so they can be redeemed for His glory.

    Reply
  13. Randi
    May 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm (5 years ago)

    Brooke,

    Thank you. I disobeyed for days. Unwilling to read the blogs for fear it would be about me. Today as I started from the beginning, Alisa’s blog and tearfully moved on to yours, I was forced to repent so I can move on in love. I know your words have opened this door of healing for many of your readers, but as I read I knew He had intended this for me. Why I resisted I do not know, but today I am stepping forward in freedom!!! Love you and Alisa more than you can know:) thanks for being open and honest.

    Reply

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