A truly random pet peeve: When I talk about myself, and people feel like they’re “not as good” as I am. Even when I am about to say, “And this is a weak spot…” it gets grabbed onto like I’m all that and a pile o’ potatoes.
Here’s a good example. I’m bookish. I didn’t have much choice about being bookish, my parents both spent much of their professional careers teaching, and I spent a year virtually without friends when we lived overseas (in a country without English speaking children). I *like* books. So – I read well, and I read very very quickly. Coming out of that, I take tests well and I take them – again – very very quickly. I might not retain the information, but I can pass the test. So what? We’re not in school any longer, how does this make me a better person? It doesn’t.
And it can be a problem. The public schools failed my children, and I’m currently homeschooling my kiddos. My 9yo learned to skim rather than to read for content and I have no idea how to deal with this. “Read it” is my basic starting point. Just .. read it. But her habit is to skim! And I have to teach her to read every word. It is *so* frustrating for me. I never went through this!! I spend so much time saying, “read all the words”. I am fortunate to have sources to help me help her – but it doesn’t come naturally to me.
Here’s another – one of my Spiritual gifts is encouragement (or exhortation). I am God’s little cheerleader. I care (intrinsically) about the happiness of the people around me. I can’t *not* care. So people will tell me how nice I am, and how they feel guilty because they aren’t like me… but they don’t see me freak out when the people around me aren’t happy. They don’t see the sin I slip into because I can’t deal with other people’s negative emotions.
And most good stuff comes with a mirror of bad stuff, or of sin. Like, my Spiritual gift is exhortation/encouragement. Guess what my most prevailing sin is? Despair. If I can’t fix it or fluff it or … I decide it will *never get fixed*. And I have to fight that tooth and nail. That’s why you hear so much “get up and do it”. I’m talking to myself! I’m not very patient, even if I’m great at waiting if you tell me when the wait will be over. (I find something to do).
At the end of the day – I didn’t make me. I have a job to do. I’m trying to do that job. I’m inviting the Holy Spirit to show me my weak spots and fill me with grace to fix them (or turn them over, or both). YOU have a job to do. It’s not my job. It’s your job. So why should you be just like me? If God wanted someone just like me… I’m thinking the Potter could have hooked that up.
I am not you. You are not me. We *are* responsible for our walks toward Christian perfection, but we are supposed to have our eyes forward, on Christ, not on one another. Your walk isn’t going to be mine. I might be able to help you over a rock, but I’ll be looking for your help on the other side of that next trial. We’re siblings, not competitors. We’re all on the same team, and we play different positions. It’s good. In fact, it’s beautiful.
No comparisons, not unless you’re comparing yourself with Jesus – or the person you know you should be, today. Striving forward toward the goal, always.