Ever find yourself getting caught in the Comparison Trap? I think we all do at one time or another. We think. “What I do is better than what you do.” No, wait! “What you do is better than what I do.” Or is it just different? As a musician I find myself getting caught in that trap quite often. Usually it's thinking that someone else's music is better than mine. Someone else's song has better lyrics, a fancier guitar solo, or more intricate arrangement and harmonies. An on it goes.
But God reminds me that different doesn't mean better. And what happens when I get caught in that trap is that I usually freeze up. I get depressed, confused, and just end up doing nothing. But God does not want us there, trapped in an endless sea of comparison. He wants us to use our gifts for Him, because He is the one who gave them to us. Don't be lured into thinking that what you have isn't good enough. And don't think that where you are now is where you will always stay.
I think back to my early music career first writing and recording Christian music. My skills were rudimentary at best, and I could have easily given up at that point. Everybody else seemed to do it better than I did. But although I felt like giving up many times something in me, God’s spirit I believe, kept me going. I still have a long way to go as far as my skills go, and yet I know I've made some progress. I find myself somewhere in the middle I guess.
For me, it still would be very easy to get discouraged and depressed, especially when I play so many different artists’ songs on my podcast, The Jesscott Music Hour. Many of them seem so much better then what I can do. But I keep going because this is what God called me to do.
My good friend Ted Brennan running recently wrote a poem about getting caught in the “Pit Called Compare”, and part of it goes like this:
I compared myself to others which sometimes led to Pride. But more often there was Envy I felt an aching deep inside. I cried out to my Father to get me out of there! I didn't want to stay down in the Pit Of Compare. He showed me that my worth is not defined by what others do. He said, ‘The gift you have received from me makes you uniquely you. Use the gift I have given you, you've much that you can share. If you use them for my glory, you'll avoid the Pit Of Compare.’
Until next time my friends, take care of yourselves and take care of each other. God bless you!