“You follow me!”

I make the same mistake almost every day. I compare myself to other people and my life’s circumstances to other people’s. The grass always looks greener in someone else’s life. Someone else has more financial security; someone else has a better ministry; someone else less to worry about; someone else has more good things happen to them; someone else has more money to retire on; someone else is healthier (I’m very healthy!). I need to stop comparing and start counting; that is, stop comparing my blessings to someone else’s and start counting my blessings. Is there a Bible story for my problem? There’s “You shall not covet your neighbor’s greener grass.” (Exodus 20:17) But I like the story in John 21:20-23 better. Jesus healed Peter’s fear and shame by asking him three times, “Do you love me?” Jesus told Peter how his life would end for the glory of God and then said, “Follow me.” (John 21:15-19) Then Peter compared his life to John’s and asked Jesus, “Lord, what about that guy, John?” Why did Peter want to know Jesus’ plan for John? Curiosity or insecurity? Probably both. I compare out of fear and insecurity. The grass always appears greener in someone else’s life, but it probably is not. I am really ignorant of that person’s life circumstances. I don’t know what battles that person has faught or challenges he/she faces. There’s a lot of green in my grass to be grateful for. The answer to the comparison trap is what Jesus said to Peter, “If it is my will that he remain until I come what is that to you? YOU FOLLOW ME!” First, it is a healing medicine for my fear and insecurity to know that Jesus’ will directs and protects my life. Second, my focus is to follow Christ. No looking around and comparing myself to others. I only look at Christ and follow his plan for my life. When I’m looking around and comparing my life to other Christian’s lives I need to hear Christ say to me, “Stop looking. What is that person’s life to you? You follow me!” I need to see myself alone with Jesus, no one else in sight, hear him say, “Follow me,” and stay right behind him as he takes me places I’ve never been before.

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