25 Jun No Comparison Required: Doing Good with What We Have
Do your kids ever start questions with, “Why don’t we have…?” or “How come we can’t go…?” With four kids of my own, I’ve heard all that and more!
Last year, our senior pastor, Andy Stanley, delivered a message called The Comparison Trap. In it, he said, “What you have is less important than what you do with what you have.”
I couldn’t agree more.
There’s a lot more to having stuff than just being grateful.
My husband and daughter recently traveled with Compassion International to Ecuador. They had a great time, and even signed up to sponsor a little boy named Cesar while they we there. (You can read more about their trip here)
Whenever we tell people about our daughter’s trip, their first response is always “Aren’t you so glad she had a chance to see how the rest of the world lives?” Then they usually follow this remark with something along the lines of, “Now she’ll be more grateful for all the things she has.” Isn’t it funny how we tell our kids not to compare themselves to those who have more than they do, but we have no trouble asking them to measure themselves against those who have less?
You know what? She is grateful. We thank God everyday for the food we eat and the family we have and the house where we live. But not because we have so much more than everybody else. We’re thankful simply because these resources have been entrusted to us.
Our prayer has always been that she would go to Ecuador, see how the rest of the world lives, and then figure out how she could uniquely engage in that world. Meeting Cesar was a catalyst for action: sponsorship. And that’s about more than just money. In addition to the monthly donation that guarantees food, medicine, and education, Christiana and Gavin also spent time playing with Cesar. They have a real relationship with this little boy. In fact, we prayed for Cesar last night. We’ll write to Cesar many times over the next few years. We’ll watch him grow up. Maybe one day our whole family will have the opportunity to visit Cesar in Ecuador.
The thing is: you don’t have to go to Ecuador to come up with ways to use your excess. No comparison required. There’s lots of opportunities right where you are.
That’s why we created Forever We. We wanted to inspire a community of givers, compassionate people committed to living together with meaning and purpose. Our devotion to healthy kids, foster care and adoption, and family homelessness wasn’t arbitrary.
Each one of us is born with a unique combination of time, talent, vision, education, networks, and other resources. Our personal gifting and experiences will shape how we respond to our circumstances. I hope we’ll engage in a new conversation that begins with, “Why do we have so much…?” and “How can I give more…?” Those are questions I’d love to explore with my kids!
How will you use your extra to do something good today? I’d love to hear your ideas for creating meaning and purpose.
You can also check out these helpful resources, a sampling of some of our personal favorites:
More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger
Small Things with Great Love by Margo Starbuck
Mercy Rising by Amber Robinson
Doing Good Together by Jenny Friedman