measuring-stickComparison. It’s a disgusting cycle of endless “crouch-down moments” or many days of standing tall, feeling like a million bucks. Constantly holding a measuring stick up within a situation or relationship continuously creates gaps in your life.

Whether you are seemingly greater than those around you—or often, feeling less than your surroundings, both types of gaps create separation between others and us.

Comparison keeps us from experiencing community. We fear rejection, so we don’t pursue potential friendships, or we withhold love and acceptance to those who are beyond our comfort zone, those we believe have not measured up.

When we separate ourselves from other people, we deny ourselves the opportunity to experience the kingdom of God within those people.

I neglected people for years because they weren’t like me, but the Lord convicted me for taking it upon myself to place a stamp value on those around me.

During this time the Lord spoke to me, “Natalie, when you reject them, you are rejecting me. You are missing out on an incredible opportunity to experience ME inside of them.”

Tears filled my eyes as I imagined countless people I have hurt by not seeing who God has made them to be as an individual. Not to mention the instances I rejected people and neglected to celebrate with others because their success, in my eyes, threatened my own lack of confidence.

Many times I forget God’s standards and approval are all I need. Not only has God already approved me, but He has approved of others as well.

From that day, my measuring stick came down, gaps were removed, and I started to see the Kingdom of God inside many, even those I once disqualified. I felt fully free to experience God in incredible ways through my relationships with others.

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you are called to peace and always be thankful.”

The truth is God has made us all different, but we are called to operate as a body. If you think about the body, there are different functioning parts that all have various but equally important roles.

Until we are at peace with who God has made us to be and how we were made to function, we will never be at peace with who He has made others to be and how he has made them to function. Our differences will become competing factors that work against us instead of complimenting factors that unify us.

Danny Silk once said it like this, “He didn’t give us gifts to separate us, but to assemble us together.”

In my own life, I have come to find out that competition breeds division, whereas confidence invites celebration and appreciation. That, I believe, is the true key to having healthy relationships.

This post was written by Natalie Hallford.