This chapter tell us about the third time Jesus appears to his disciples after he was crucified. He’s having breakfast with them on the beach, and he’s talking to Peter. He gives Peter some pretty clear directions about his life, but Peter right away sees John and asks Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Peter was more concerned with what Jesus had in store for John than he was for what Jesus was asking him to do. He immediately started comparing himself to John, instead of moving forward with Jesus’ plan for him.
It is such a dangerous thing, but we do it all the time. At least I do.
I compare the way I look.
I compare the way I parent.
I compare the kind of wife I am.
I compare the way I do my job.
That list could go on for miles. I constantly compare myself to other people, especially to other women. It’s almost like it’s just part of my DNA to look at other women and immediately start trying to figure out how I measure up.
But, here’s the problem with that: nothing productive will ever come from it.
It either puffs me up and makes me prideful, or it tears me down and makes me feel inadequate.
It makes me wish for things I don’t have, instead of being thankful for what I do have.
It puts my focus on everything I am not, rather than living into what the Lord created me to be.
And that is not what Jesus wants for me. Or you.
Just look at the rest of the story with Peter. Peter started comparing himself to John, but Jesus wasn’t having it. Jesus basically looked at him and said, “I could say he’s going to live forever. What does it matter to you? You follow me.”
I don’t think he could be any more clear.
Every time I compare myself to someone else it’s like he’s saying, “Yeah, Stephanie. I made that woman to (fill in the blank). Why do you care? What does it matter to you? Just follow me. That’s it.”
So… Why do I care? Why does it matter? I serve a God who loves me so much that he died to have a relationship with me. THAT is what I should be living my life in response to. THAT is where I should find my value and worth. THAT is what I should keep my focus on. THAT kind of love has no comparison.
Just follow Jesus.
It seems so simple yet so difficult all at the same time. I know I’m not just going to get up from this computer and never compare myself to anyone else ever again. But, I can start taking my thoughts captive when I catch myself doing it. I can constantly remind myself of Jesus’ love for me, the value that gives me, and where my focus needs to stay. And I can constantly ask the Lord to help me do it.