LGD 090: The Comparison Trap

young man's reflection in the window

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How’s your Instagram feed? Does your house look like Chip & Joanna Gaines gave it a makeover? If we are not careful, we can find ourselves caught in the comparison trap.

young man's reflection in the window
Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

In today’s passage, we follow Samuel as he prepares to anoint the new king of Israel. For a period of time, Samuel has been grieving the downfall of King Saul.

The Lord tells Samuel to stop grieving for Saul because it is time to set out and anoint the new king – a man after God’s heart.

Samuel saddles up his favorite donkey and heads out to a small town named Bethlehem, and a man named Jesse. From his clan, God says I have chosen the next king of Israel.

When Samuel arrives he and Jesse have a quick chat about his sons. Jesse grabs his sons and lines them up.

Samuel looks them over and starts with the firstborn and thinks this must be the person God has chosen.

Then the correction begins,

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

1 Samuel 16:7

Samuel goes through all of Jesse’s sons – all seven of them. When God says it is not any of these, Samuel asks Jesse if he has any more sons.

Well…there’s David…the baby of the family. He’s hanging with the sheep. Great, Samuel replies, we will wait for him to arrive.

When he arrives, God says this is the next king of Israel, and Samuel anoints him.

This story is powerful for each one of us traversing our world today. The world cries out that we need to keep up with the Jones’ or have the best looking family or have the perfect body.

Samuel fell into the comparison trap as well. He thought each of the sons had the right qualities, but God doesn’t judge or compare the outward appearance of us.

It’s the heart or inward person that God looks at. Our heart is more beautiful to Him than how we look on the outside.

Sometimes we care more about how good we look on the outside when we should be focusing on making our inner self beautiful. Beauty radiates from the inside out, because God in us makes us attractive to the world.

It’s hard to not compare ourselves to the world. We all do it. The corporate world compares us, and dare I say, churches do it as well.

Comparison, if left unchecked, can lead to many things that leave us empty and wanting more.

Let’s not fall victim to the comparison trap, and radiate the love of Christ to the world.

Prayer: Lord, thanks for reminding us to steer clear of the comparison trap. Help me to be attractive to the world and reflect You. Thanks for your love and grace. Amen!

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I am the host of an ABF Lifegroup - a collection of folks doing community and life together. We are a ministry of Agoura Bible Fellowship. When I am not leading this group, I love to travel, take photographs, share stories, and design workspaces that matter.

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