Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Complaining and Comparing will Hinder Your Success

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"There are two things that will hinder any potential for success in life: complaining and comparison." ~James R. Moore

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These words were spoken by a former pastor of mine, the late Bro. Jimmy Moore. Bro. Jimmy said that in a sermon he preached at around the same time that my husband and I were making our decision to homeschool. The words pierced my heart, and I jotted them down immediately, then copied them onto a larger piece of paper when I got home. (In fact, I also remember writing that quote on handwriting paper, you know, the kind with solid lines and broken lines? I had my kids learn that quote too.) I kept that paper in the front of my homeschool notebook. Whenever I opened that notebook, Bro. Jimmy's quote was there to greet me.

As I stepped into homeschooling, I had to be reminded daily of the potential for disaster that was ever present in my words (complaining) and in my mind (comparing). And the truth is, this doesn't just apply to homeschooling. It applies in every area of my life. Whether it's my walk with God, homeschooling, parenting, writing, or just getting dressed in the morning, complaining and comparing will hinder my potential for success.

So how do I try to avoid some of this in my life?

A grateful heart. Pursuing a grateful heart is a biggie. When I'm tempted to complain, singing praise songs or just listing the things I'm thankful for is huge.

Re-focus. I also try to distract myself by focusing on the needs of others. I'm told of so many needs that I always have plenty to pray about. Redirecting my thoughts to petitioning the Lord on behalf of someone else gets the focus off me and puts it squarely where it should be: God and others.

Flee temptation. Here's an example: There are some blogs that I just cannot read. I admire the folks who write them, and I know that they are my sisters in Christ, but I just can't read them. It's like getting on an elevator with someone who has beautiful, long straight hair. It is seventh grade all over again. I know I'm going to compare rather than stand on who God says I am, so I just literally don't go there. :)

Pep talk. If you can talk yourself down, you can talk yourself back up again. Try the book of Ephesians if you want to know who you really are, and just sit down and read it over yourself. Truly, none of us who are in Christ have anything to complain about. He loves us each uniquely. Thank God, I have never heard Him say, Why can't you be more like her? He never compares us to each other, so why should we?

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