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I don’t know about where you live but around here late May through early June is Strawberry season. Local farms have various U-Pick dates and there’s even an annual Strawberry Festival! They downsized a little bit this year and called it a Strawberry Jam. Last year we bought several cartons of strawberries and broke in our new jam and jelly maker. Sunday we had an opportunity to buy a couple of flats of strawberries and decided to freeze some, freeze-dry another couple of cartons, and make some strawberry jam!
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a lot of conversations about comparison.
As I think about preserving all these strawberries I realized something. The size, the shape, or even a couple of bad spots didn’t prevent their use. Sure one carton of strawberries is helpful. But in a family of five, it doesn’t go very far–we’re lucky to get one meal from a single carton. But when you think about 2 flats of berries (about 16 cartons), added together that’s a lot of berries. Enough to make multiple batches of jam, a couple of batches of freeze-dried berries, a strawberry pie, and a bag or so full of simply frozen berries for later use.
16 cartons of strawberries. They’re all the same, yet they’re different. Some are bigger than others, some a little sweeter, some tart, and some have been bruised. And each of those berries has a different purpose. Ultimately we’ll be eating them, but how we eat them will be different.
In today’s world, it’s all too easy to compare ourselves to others. Especially with the rise of Social Media. With just a few strokes on a keyboard, we can find old acquaintances, or scroll through the lives of TOTAL STRANGERS and become engrossed in their stories. Not to mention the elaborate stories created by the Television writers on our favorite weekly shows or movie.
I find that it’s especially easy for me to spend hours aimlessly scrolling around on the internet silently comparing myself to any number of people.
Many of which I’ll never see or even meet. Just random and total strangers. When I’ve spent a little too much time on my phone I can slip into a funk and begin wondering exactly why I think I’m capable of the calling God has for me or why So-and-So gets to experience this or that and here I am trying to please God and make the most of what He’s given me and yet I still have to wait for what feels like almost everything I desire. Then I get discouraged and frustrated becoming stress paralyzed trying to figure out how to make it all fit and then I become even more discouraged…Really, it’s a never-ending cycle.
But here’s the thing: the Bible tells us not to compare ourselves to others.
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
~2 Corinthians 10:12
Though we are all made in the image of God each of us has a different purpose. 1 Corinthians 12:12 says “The body is a unit, though it is made up of parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ”. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 12:4).
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.”
~2 Timothy 2:20
Just as with our strawberries. The size, shape, and bruises don’t matter. We cut them off and use what we can of the berry to make whatever it is that we need to at the time. One berry isn’t much by itself but together many berries can make something delicious. The same is true for us today as members of His body.
Until next time,