DayBreaks for 11/07/14 – Life Killing Comparisons
From the DayBreaks archive, 11/3/2004:
I love the story of Elijah and the priests of Baal. When I read it, I almost want to stand up and shout “Yea, God!” The suspense builds and builds in the story until it is palpable, and then, just when you can hardly stand it any more, down comes the fire from heaven and God and His prophet, Elijah, are vindicated! I think it would make a great Hollywood movie!
It would be awesome if that’s where the story ended, but it also wouldn’t be accurate. Elijah hears that Jezebel is ticked with him, and in fact, she’s promised to do him the great honor of relieving his shoulders from the burden of carrying his head – very, very soon. Elijah, this great and mighty man of God, full of faith…runs. Not just a little ways, he runs. And he’s not jogging – he’s running. He might have beaten Lance Armstrong on a flat track!
Why? It may have been a couple reasons:
FIRST: his fear for his life. Jezebel wasn’t a slouch – she was a woman to be reckoned with. But Elijah didn’t feel up to the task. That’s OK. He shouldn’t have. His problem was that he thought he needed to be up to the task rather than trusting that God would take care of puny little Jezebel.
SECOND: for this possible reason, we need to look at 1 Kings 19:3-4 – Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” I’d never noticed it before, but Elijah’s complaint wasn’t that Jezebel was hot on his trail, but that “I am no better than my ancestors.” Elijah, you see, was comparing himself with those who had come before him. Perhaps his goal in life was to be better than Moses. I don’t know. But whoever he idolized, Elijah was despairing not because of Jezebel, but because he felt like a failure when he compared himself to others he thought of more highly than himself.
Comparison can be life-killing. We look at others who are more beautiful, and the life seeps out of us. We see others who have bigger bank accounts and huge retirement funds set aside – and we feel like dismal failures. We reflect on Daniel, King David, Paul, Peter…and we shrink back into our surrender to “I’m a failure” thinking. “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, so I eat worms.” How sad. Understandable, but sad.
Did God ever tell Elijah that he had to be greater than his ancestors? No. Did God love Elijah just the way he was – even when he was beating a hasty retreat from Mt. Carmel? Certainly. Did God expect Elijah to be or do more than he could? No. All God asked out of Elijah was to be faithful with what he had been given. And that’s all He’s asking of your and me. My little corner of God’s flock may never be a large flock. Will that mean I’m a failure because I’m not as good as my “ancestors” in the faith – Billy Graham, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, or others? Absolutely not. And God doesn’t want me comparing myself, nor you to compare yourself, to others to figure out our worth and preciousness. We are priceless to Him for one reason, and only one reason: we are His kids.
Copyright by 2004 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: What a delight to know that You delight in us…just as we are and that You don’t sit around comparing us to others! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support. DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section. Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation. If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!
Your support would be deeply appreciated!