We’d just relocated to a new area, and I was out shopping for groceries with my toddler son. We had family coming to town that weekend, so I made a special stop at a higher-end, expensive grocery store to pick up some hard-to-find ingredients for a family meal.
While parking the car and wrangling my son out of his seat, I took note of all the Mercedes and Audis in the parking lot. These luxury cars reaffirmed in my mind that we were at a more upscale grocer.
I looked down at the floor of my car in need of a good vacuuming and felt an instant rush of unworthiness.
Inside, after gathering our ingredients, my son and I waited in line to pay. I looked about and saw some business people on their lunch break , dressed impeccably in suits and rushing to get back to work.
I felt a pang of jealousy for what I perceived as their importance.
I also saw the woman ahead of me in line – trendy bag slung over her shoulder, ring finger almost disappearing under her stacked diamonds and her designer label shoes. Once again, I made a mental comparison against myself.
My hoodie and flip-flops didn’t quite cut the mustard.
How did I feel walking out of that grocery store? I felt badly about myself and my situation in life. I let the enemy whisper lies into my ear – lies of unworthiness, lies of inadequacy and lies that smacked of materialism.
I was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit. I had allowed every one of the blessings in my life to pale in comparison to those few superficial observations.
Instead of feeling joy in knowing that I was free to stay home with my son because God paved a financial way for that to happen, I felt unimportant.
When I should have been thankful for God’s timing in bringing us to this new area and orchestrating our move to another state, instead, I felt unsure and self-conscious.
Instead of looking at the precious gift at my side and his upturned face, innocent eyes gleaming with wonder, I was looking at “things.”
I prayed a prayer of repentance and asked God to forgive me. The Lord used a quick errand to gently remind me that the process of walking with Him requires my eyes to be trained upward toward Jesus and nowhere else.
In the same way that Peter removed his gaze from Jesus and began to slip under the waves, it is the same for us. No matter what situation we find ourselves in – a difficult day disciplining the children, a health matter, financial stress or even a routine stop at the store – it doesn’t matter. Jesus is there, holding out His hand, beckoning us closer even still.
There is no greater peace or hope available anywhere.
Thank you, Father, for your merciful grace in our lives. Let us keep our eyes on you, Lord Jesus.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
By: Erin Rodgers
Photo Credit: Memphis CVBLeave a Comment
Kimberly Amici says
Thanks for reminded me to intentionally look at the blessing God has allowed in my life. I love that everything we do is chance to draw closer to Him. I am grateful for the Holy Spirit that speaks truth!
Oh, how many times I have broken my husband’s heart by thinking, talking and acting like other people are better than him and us. My reasoning is always based on superficial, unrealistic observations like the ones mentioned in this post. Everyone has their good and bad points. No one is better than me or than other members of my family and no one is less than we are. It is an ongoing struggle for me to live that truth. Thank you for your post today to remind me that I am not alone in this struggle.
Great reminder, thanks for sharing it!
Tj jay says
Thank you for sharing this. It is nice o know that I am not the only person that struggles with this. I work a full time job but am lucky enough to be with a company that allows me to work from home. I find myself constantly comparing myself and my life to other moms that stay home, homeschool, have name brands, seem to be organized and have it all together. When it gets to be to much I have to remind myself that I am ENOUGH. I pray constantly that my feelings of jealousy and comparison will go away but I think it is also Gods way of reminding me of my awesomeness.
Beth Werner Lee says
I am so with you! Only it’s my neighborhood grocery store where all the fabulous cars park! Can you imagine? My brother on a visit, “Beth, there’s a Maserati!” whatever, I nonchalantly reply. Because yeah, Oprah has a house here somewhere and Rob whatsisname… But the people with the wealth, they can be real too. So I pushed back a little with letting my hair show its gray, and I look all people in the eyes and smile. That may be my little gift to the poor and to the rich.
I am also with you on the blessing of getting to stay home with a kid (my one and only is now 12!) and I get to homeschool her and work with her on her strengths and her weaknesses and praise God for making that happen no matter how much money we have comparatively to our neighborhood (less than) or the world (greater than) average.
Thanks for writing this, so good to write out my thoughts back to you!
Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ!
Gratitude for our blessings is the key, isn’t it? I used to compare myself when I was a young stay at home mom. That brought me nothing but unhappiness, and in return I was probably making the adversary quite happy. Money or not, rich or poor, we are all children of God and THAT is our greatest blessing.
Melissa Teets says
I absolutely love your writing today. So often our/sight is on things and not on gifts from our precious Father! Thanks you so much for touching my heart and in that having Him touch my heart and my sight!
With Opened Eyes and Heart
Love In Christ
While you were standing there in your hoodie and flip flops, you possessed the greatest thing of all, the love of Jesus Christ. No amount of designer labels and all the diamonds in the world could not compare with what you have and always will have. Worldly possessions, money and position can be gone in a blink of an eye. But Jesus will be with you for all eternity. Something we all need to be reminded of when finding ourselves in situations such as yours.
Thank you for taking the time to write this piece. A wonderful lesson and a wonderful scripture to focus on. The image of Jesus beckoning me near makes me humbly bow in prayer and thankfulness. Thank you!!
Thank you for the reminder. I live in an upscale kind of place and am surrounded by uber wealth…on a hot dog budget. It’s tough sometimes to remember that I am both beloved and blessed and pretty clever to make our means stretch as far as they do. (Sometimes I feel like the woman with the oil that didn’t run out too soon.)
We are studying a book that you should read. It is titled “From Worthless to Worthy” and it is so good. It has a 5 day study that we do each week and it is wonderful.
Beth Williams says
Good lessons learned here. I, too, compare myself to others–not for things but talents. All to easily I forget that I am beloved an blessed to be working with good people.
Each day I try to do a thankful journal to remind my brain just how blessed I am to live and work where I do!
This post was convicting. I needed it. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Although I am not ‘upscale’, I have been a working mother. I have seen Mom’s like you with your children in the grocery store at lunch and had a pang of jealousy. I too need to remember that I am blessed. I spent every moment I could with my children, but still felt inadequate. I did provide them a safe and God filled home. It is hard to not compare yourself to others regardless of the situation. Thanks for the post.
Sally Ferguson says
It’s hard to define success when you’re home all day. The kids take you for granted, your work clothes have peanut butter and jelly smears and your take-home pay never made it home. But God had a plan for kids to need nurturing and for parents who would put aside their careers for their families. And that is what it means to die daily to yourself, no matter what side of the working fence you are on.
I love that, thank you. So well put.