Matthew 25 tells the story of “The Parable of the Talents”. Click HERE for the full chapter! While a talent in this story refers to a Biblical unit of weight, I think alot can be learned here about our literal “talents”…as in “things we are good or gifted at.” Specifically in regards to comparing them to others. As I read this story, three things stuck out to me about why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others and the consequences of doing that!
1. We are all gifted differently.
“To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and then he went on his journey.” Matthew 25:15, AMP
God created us all differently. No two people look alike, act alike, have the same personality, or are gifted the exact same way. Notice here that the master didn’t just trust each servant with the same amount of money. Instead, he based the decision of what to give based on their own unique abilities. I would imagine that he took into consideration the amount of effort they put into a days work as well as if they had proven themselves trustworthy before. The bottom line is that they were each given different gifts/talents to be responsible for.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, NKJV
This my friends COMPLETELY FREES US from the need to compare ourselves to others. We are all created to have differences and unique abilities by God’s design!!
All that we need to be concerned with is what we are doing with what we have been given.
Are we cultivating our gifts and talents for the glory of the Lord?
2. God is only looking to see what you did with what you were given.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.'” Matthew 25:21, AMP
In this verse, the master is speaking to the servant who received five talents and profited five talents. Now look at verse 23 when the servant who only received two talents and profited two talents came forward….
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and fiathful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master’.”
Do you see what I’m getting at? The response is IDENTICAL. It didn’t matter that one started with more than the other and ended up with more than the other. The master was still thrilled and happy that the servant who had only received two talents made two additional talents! He was responsible and took initiative with what he had been given, and for that he received the same response as the servant who began and finished with a larger amount than he did.
God doens’t care that somebody else seems more popular, reaches more people, has more followers, or whatever than you! The expectation is that you steward the gifts and talents that you have been given well and to the best of your abilities! That’s all we are called to do!
3. Comparison leads to fear.
“And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.” Matthew 25:25, NKJV
Comparing ourselves to others never leads to anything productive or healthy in my opinion. When I”m comparing myself to others, all I can think about is what they have that I lack. Whether it be a seemingly better body than mine, or the latest pair of shoes I would love to have, or more success…it always ends up making me feel worse about myself and afraid to do anything about it. We have to stop buying into that lie. We can’t let fear cripple us into not doing everything in our power to use our gifts to glorify our God!! As you can see HERE, it didn’t end well in the servants case.
So what are you letting fear stop you from doing? I dare you to take the leap of faith and stop comparing!! We have to instead shift our focus and take hold of our minds, remembering that we are all made differently and uniquely for a purpose and that God isn’t going to be comparing what we did with our gifts to what someone else did with theirs!
What is your favorite thing to do to reset your mind when you start comparing yourself to others? I would love it if you would leave it in a comment below!
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