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franklin county times

Counting not comparing

When does a woman become an adult?  Perhaps it’s when she stops comparing her life to those of other women.  -Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart:  A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment

 

The comparison trap—ever find yourself locked tight in it’s strong jaws?   Honestly, haven’t we all been there at least a time or two?  The journey toward contentment in my life has been a struggle.   I’ve learned the necessity of counting—numbering each gift, each blessing, each moment and recognizing that all of life is a gift.

The journey has revealed much about my heart, my longings, my desires and, sadly, much of what has filtered through is dark and ugly.  Not the ugly beautiful, just the just plain ugly.  Selfish.  Prideful.  Brash.  Unkind.  And, the most difficult to acknowledge: envious, jealous, and covetous.

It seems contentment isn’t just about adding and counting; it’s also about subtracting and comparing.  That, in the words of the old Chicago song, is “a hard habit to break.”

I’m finding that these two work hand-in-hand.  As I continue counting—purposefully numbering all the gifts in my life—I find there is less time for comparing.  The grace of listing what I have pushes out the gravitation toward longing for what I have not.

The words of Paul ring in my head and encourage me always to keep pressing on, keep persevering, and to keep getting back up. Contentment is possible, but only one way: “For I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13, ESV)

Through Christ.  The only way to true contentment.   Counting points me to Him, comparing moves me away.   But it’s Him.  All Him.  Always Him.  Only Him.

What lessons are you learning lately?

 

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