We Don't Get to Decide: {The Battle of Comparison}

There is a drum beating on my heart, pounding in my ears, and slowly, slowly growing in force. With each thrumming beat, the message becomes a little clearer, a little stronger.

We don’t get to decide for others.
We don’t get to decide for others.
We don’t get to decide for others.

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We don't get to decide for others.

We don’t get to decide what is hard.

We don’t get to decide what is painful.

We don’t get to decide what is heartbreaking.

We don’t get to decide what is loss.

We don’t get to decide what is sacrifice.

We don’t get to decide what is discouraging.

We don’t get to decide what is overwhelming.

We don’t get to decide what is too much.

We don’t get to decide what is exhausting.

We don’t get to decide what is max capacity.

We don’t get to decide when the breaking point comes or the overwhelm is too great or the weight is too heavy or the hurt is too much.

We don’t get to decide for anyone other than ourselves.

And that can be hard. Because sometimes you can put numbers to people’s pain and struggle and sacrifice. The problem is, you can’t put numbers on the impact those pains and struggles will have on an individual’s heart.

But we try.

Oh we try.

We add up dollars and hours and days and years and life circumstances to try to put individual pain and suffering and hurt and capacity on a scale. Neat and tidy so that we can know how to think about others.

Are they justified in their reaction? Are they hurting as bad as I am? Do they need to suck it up? Do I need to feel sorry for them?

Am I better than they?

Am I stronger than they?

Have I given as much as they?

Have I done as much as they?

Have I done more?

Are they living up to my standard?

Am I living up to their standard?

Are they good enough?

Am I good enough?

And the questions we ask and the measurements we take all come down to selfishness. We want to justify our pain and our struggle and our ability. We want to justify ourselves. We want to parade ourselves. We want to be seen as more…more hurt, more needy, more enduring, more sacrificial, more capable of handling life in all its pain.

We want validation.

We want praise.

We want sympathy.

We want honor.

We want recognition.

We want awe.

We want to be seen.

And probably, we don’t want any of these things outright. But we want them quietly. We want them known quietly in peoples hearts and minds, and maybe, we want to hear them spoken in private or written in a card.

We want to hear or maybe just see in others eyes…

“It’s worse for you.”

“I don’t know how you do it.”

“If that was me I think I’d have gone crazy by now.”

“You are so much more patient than me.”

“You amaze me with how you handle all this.”

We want to know that we are better. Because deep down we are desperately insecure. I know, because I am too.

The antidote for all of this is knowing who we are and who God is.

We are desperately broken, living in a desperately broken world.

We are completely loved and provided for in Jesus.

We are wholly flawed.

We are made completely whole in Jesus.

We are worse than we could imagine.

We are perfect and complete in Jesus.

"We are nothing. God is everything." Jason Sanchez

God is everything and so He is where we must turn to when we find ourselves trying to determine how others should feel. How we should feel.

We don’t get to decide how others feel, what others need. But we can turn to Jesus and be empowered to love and serve them whether we understand them or not.

Be blessed