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  • Writer's pictureKandi Swift

Comparison Kills

It's so easy to slip into the pitfall of comparison and allow it to overshadow our purpose and dreams. Differences, when surrendered out of obedience, are what God can use to impact change.

Recently, my church did a sermon series entitled Make Room, inspired by singer/songwriter, Jonathan McReynolds and his album Make Room.  Those of us that were part of the series were asked to choose a title from the album and speak about it. If you're familiar with the album, you know it has some wonderful and positive titles but, for some reason, I chose Comparison Kills.  It kind of makes me laugh when I think about it because I could have chosen anything from this incredible list of songs (Excited, Lover of My Soul, Great is the Lord). My pastor always says that, as a speaker, in order to make the greatest impact, you must have first lived through the message you're delivering before delivering it. This makes the speaker more relatable and allows them to speak from experience and with conviction.  I do have experience with worshiping the lover of my soul and I know how great the Lord is, but I have also fallen into the trap of comparison.  I know how destructive it can be if we allow it to have any place in our lives.


As humans, we have all been guilty of comparison to some degree or another.  We compare possessions, physical appearances, socio-economic status and abilities or talents.  It can be so subtle and draw us in almost without noticing until it becomes a part of us, affecting our decisions and patterns of thinking.


I want to take a look at the story of David and Goliath, in the bible. Most of us are familiar with this story, and may have heard it multiple times growing up. I have to be honest and say, until I started putting this message together, it was a story I had not read again for probably many years.  I felt that I knew it well, but what I noticed when I read it this time, caught me by surprise.  So I encourage you not to take this story for granted like I did, but read to the end for a nugget of truth that changed my life and will hopefully change yours too.  


For a moment, we are going to make some obvious comparisons between David and Goliath:


Age: David = a youth, approx 16 yrs old

Goliath = a man

Height: David = approx 5'5"

Goliath = 10' tall

Experience: David = shepherd boy

Goliath = man of war

Weaponry: David = sling and five stones

Goliath = spear, sword and javelin


But, the most powerful of comparisons this story tells is in their RESPONSE.


Goliath to David:  (I Sam 17:42-44) "And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance.  And the Philistine said to David, 'Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?'  And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  The Philistine said to David, 'Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.'"


David to Goliath:  (I Sam 17:45) "Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the god of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.'"


We see here that Goliath made a comparison to their weaponry and scoffed David for approaching him with his sling shot.  David, in turn, acknowledged Goliath's weapons. In my head, I could just hear David saying something like:  "Yeah, you come to me with all kinds of destructive and powerful weapons, and you may think that I'm approaching you with a sling, but you have no idea buddy!"  Guess what I noticed here?! David did not, for one second, compare their weapons.  In fact, he didn't even acknowledge the weapon in his own hand. Why?  Because he knew the sling and five stones weren't even worth mentioning.  He goes on to say, "I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts!"  


In this story, comparison killed Goliath.  He was deceived into thinking his experience, his stature and his weapons really mattered and determined the outcome.  But David knew from his time in the field and how God delivered him from the lion and the bear, that what was in his hands was not the real weapon, but merely the method God used.  


"You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts..." ~I Samuel 17:45

I have struggled severely with the enemy of comparison.  Most especially when it comes to my abilities as a singer, musician and, more recently, a speaker and writer.  I have been surrounded with accomplished singers and musicians throughout my life, and I know speakers and writers that are so gifted at what they do that when they do it, it appears to flow seemingly effortlessly for them. The comparison for me was debilitating to the degree that it kept me from stepping out and doing the things I was created to do.  I didn't honor my Creator and thought that I was approaching "the fight" with my own little sticks and stones, not recognizing that my voice, my stories, my writing was merely the method God wanted to use to make a difference in someone's life.  He is the one who takes the "weapon" and determines the outcome and the impact it will have.


It is so easy to make the mistake of looking at what God has placed in our hands and comparing it to what's been placed in someone else's. The thing we must remember is that God is searching for obedience. Through the act of obedience, we are backed by the name of the Lord of hosts, just as David was. This gives power to the "weapon" we are holding and it is God who determines what will be accomplished with it. Let's make a commitment together that we will stop allowing comparison to kill our purpose but, instead, choose to recognize that if we come in the Name of the Lord, He can take what we have and defeat giants!

 

You can find the Jonathan McReynold's album, Make Room, in your music app, or by clicking here.

 

Prayer:

Lord, forgive me for comparing what You have placed in my hand to what has been placed in others'. May I remember it is You who determines the impact a thing will have, not me, and that my gifts are merely the method used. I choose obedience and surrender over the deception of comparison, so that Your name would be glorified and giants would fall!


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