Friday in the Fourth Week of Lent

by Elizabeth Willse

Comparisons to other people lead nowhere good. “Ugh, Jessica is so much better at art and book displays than I am!” “Everyone else’s treats for coffee hour look professional next to my lumpy bread.” Watching people bustling to the gym, getting mad that I have been lazily blowing off yoga class.

It’s a setup to make the idea of their achievements “a reproof to our thoughts…the very sight of [them] is a burden to us.” Yes, these readings touched a nerve.

I struggle with this kind of jealous, unsound reasoning. Comparing people’s accomplishments and talents with my own efforts. I see the flaws in something I’ve worked on, and admire what others have completed. I struggle with perfectionism and with its close partner, procrastination.

It’s comforting to see this struggle against comparisons laid out in Scripture. I have to remind myself that I’m not the only one who wrestles with insecurities and comparisons. I have to remind myself that there’s no way to do faith and religion absolutely right, other than to keep showing up and be patient.

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