Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” Galatians 6:4-5
Deep inside I was kinda, sorta…glad. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Now, it was one of those good news, bad news things. The bad news of course was that I had the stinking thing. The good news was that compared to some folks and their struggle with it…well, I was pretty, blessed. With medicine and by watching what I eat, it was quickly under control. Of course, the only problem was the “watching what I eat” thing. It was a matter of definition. To me watching what I ate meant as my fork hit my plate, I watched carefully to make sure nothing fell off. Trust me…it had very little to do with being healthy. Of course, to my wife Judy, watching what I ate meant…watching what I ate. Watch your carbs, eat your greens, portion control and…well, you get the idea.
I have always been one of the guys who wrestled with food stuff. Because of that, weight and things like diabetes are a pretty constant struggle. Judy, on the other hand, hasn’t had much of a weight struggle at all. It seems she can eat carbs till the cows come home and it just doesn’t seem to impact her. It just didn’t seem fair. And then, if that wasn’t enough, she also seems to be better at things than me. She sins less, she reads her Bible more, and I bet St. Peter in heaven even gives her rave reviews on her prayers. She’s no Mother Teresa, but I think most of the time she must be a first cousin or something.
Well, I finally found something that I can beat her in…and I’m enjoying it way too much. Smile. So earlier this year Judy was preparing for her annual checkup with the doctor (she beats me at that, too) and so she had the doctor order a panel of blood tests to prepare for the visit. All of us, including the doctor, were very surprised to learn that she was diabetic. It is most certainly a gene thing…though she does like her bread. At any rate, her sugar level was much higher than mine and her A1C…well, I smoked her. So, when she was diagnosed, I thought it would be a great time to get serious with my own demon and before long I was regularly waxing her. I loved it—I love it.
I was never so glad to stick my finger. “Good morning, honey.” “Did you sleep well, honey?” “Did you check your sugar yet, honey?” “It was what, honey? Oh my…that’s too bad. Mine was…” I just love it. Now I am sure somewhere in the Bible it says that being glad your wife has diabetes is a sin. In fact, I’m not glad she is diabetic…I’m just glad to beat her at something. I mean, on the rare occasion that I get to be right and she is wrong, it is like one of those Christmas mornings when you get everything you wanted.
While I enjoy my little diabetic victory, and I think Judy at least tolerates it, we all really must be careful when we start comparing ourselves to others. Comparatitis (yup, made that one up) can be very damaging and maybe even dangerous. If you are the one always struggling, it can leave you feeling less than and if you are always on the winning side it can lead to a bad case of pride. Regardless, it is something that we have to keep an eye on. It probably isn’t surprising, but this isn’t a new deal at all. It has been around since the beginning of time. I mean it was comparatitis that caused Cain to take out Abel. Bummer.
Paul, the guy from the New Testament, gives some great advice. He says, “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” Boom…right on Paul. When I watch what I eat (that’s a win) and when I see good results (that’s a win), I don’t need for someone else to fail for me to feel good. How about that? Well, truth be known, it is a struggle to not compare ourselves with others, but I just happen to know someone who can help. God loves to help struggling pilgrims and He wants to help us. Just ask, and you will find Him ready, willing, and able to walk with you along your journey. He loves us regardless of what the meter says and no matter what, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne