Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Comparison Trap - a talk for MOPS, Part 2

Dear MOPS moms and other fellow Beautiful Messes,Part 2- Focus

I have shared this poem with you before.  It's taken from our educational philosophy (Charlotte Mason) but applies anywhere and actually to any age.  Alongside my children through the years, I have learned how very true this is for my life. And I want to start with this and weave it into our discussion on 'Comparing Ourselves to Others'.

I am a child of God, 
I ought to do His will.
I can do what He tells me,
And by His GRACE, I will.  

We are all so different!  Yet, we make comparisons all the time… Is the grass really greener on the other side?

To answer rightly I should clarify our context for today  - Comparisons vs. assessments. I want to move us from a ‘comparison point’ to a ‘grace point'. Part 1 was all about PERSPECTIVE...In Part 2, Let's FOCUS...

What's It All About?:

So how do we avoid the 'Comparison Trap'? Well, the #1 indicator is when it is all about ME.  Two prevailing themes often show up.  First, it is MY expectations, like in Germany. Second, when my feelings take over. 

Now, we are feeling beings – God gave them to us and we are relational, particularly as women… so I am not saying feelings are wrong or bad.  It is just what we do with that.

Modern psychology says to ask ourselves (& our children) “How does that make you feel?"  That's okay, but the most important follow up question is “What do you KNOW to be true?”

The Lie: Comparison trap – either I am better or I am worse..

The Voice of Truth says -I AM… covered by grace. I AM a child of God.
Truth shifts our focus from ourselves to the Beauty of God.

That beauty can seem elusive at times.  The best way to find out more about God's enduring loveliness and character is to read his Word.  Listening to talks, hearing sermons, or even reading what great Christian writers say about God will not deepen our relationship with him without also studying the Bible personally.  Our relationship with God, like other relationships around us, takes a deliberate, purposeful pursuit.  Neither is a relationship established on answers to requests or one way conversations, especially if those times are infrequent. When we are distracted or just get busy or caught up in the seasons of our lives, we often forget God.  Our forgetfulness doesn't change His faithfulness, His character, His beauty.  We need to be reminded daily through His Word. Consider…

Psalm 27:4
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

We must be deliberate in our pursuit, consistent in our efforts, persistent in our passion for Truth as we... Behold the beauty of the LORD.

Enduring Grace:

So how do we keep our Focus?  In Part 3 we will discuss: Enduring Grace. 
Grace for the Day, Kelli