Comparisons That Lead To Destruction PT.2

By Chidi Udemezue

Hey everyone, I’m really excited to be featuring again on stylishlyinspired! As Anashe previously mentioned, we will both be discussing and sharing our take on the same theme. This week, the theme is “comparisons.”

Now, the very first blog post I wrote was on comparisons.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
I already knew that this was an area of my personality that I needed to gain some control over.
It is so easy, especially in this day and age, and within our generation; to let the lies of social media and everyday life, contend with our realities and the truths that God says about us.
I believe that God will continue to allow tests and trials to happen in your life until you learn to overcome them with Him and with His word. Which is what I believe He did with me in the area of comparing myself to others. I want to share the lessons that I learnt from Him with you!

Genesis 4:3-5 (NIV)
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.
And Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering,
But on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

For those of you who don’t know, Cain and Abel were the children of Adam and Eve, the first siblings in the bible. It is from them, that I truly learnt why I shouldn’t compare myself to another.
When the Holy Spirit led me to this particular scripture, I got a couple points from it, the main two being:

  1. Service//Offering
  2. Comparison

The overall theme however from these two points were why I should never compare myself, my gifts, my offering, my service to anyone else.

Service//Offering
For reasons unknown to us, Cain’s service/offering of fruit was unacceptable to God. My initial thought was because it was fruit and not meat. However, the bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “…give what you have decided in your heart to give…” my understanding from that is it is not WHAT you give, but HOW you give unto the Lord.
Why was Cain’s offering not acceptable? Maybe it was his attitude? Nonchalance? Pride? Lack of humility? It could have been anything, we don’t know.

However, Abel came, and his offering was much better received. Maybe he came with joy, obedience, and willingness to go above and beyond for God regardless of everything. Maybe he came with nothing missing in terms of his heart and he just wanted to give onto the Lord.

From this, I got that God wants our service and our offering to be like Abel’s

  • Undiluted
  • Pure
  • No strings attached
  • Joyful

Comparison
Cain could see that God looked with favour upon Abel and he immediately compared himself to his brother.
For me, you can only see and look at someone enviously when they are doing something that you know you aren’t doing.

Again, it’s not about the fact that you give/serve, but HOW you give/serve.

Cain saw that in the eyes of God, his service did not match or live up to Abel’s. The bible says in Genesis 4:5 “…Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” In comparison, Cain immediately turned to sin – anger.

Even in his sin, God still came and spoke to Cain and warned him in v.6-7:
“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

In the comparison, sin is already waiting for you, but in order for you to overcome the sin, you must overcome the comparison. You must rule over it. How do you rule over it? Go back and check your motives. Are you serving/giving purely? Out of joy? With no strings attached? If not, take these motives to God and let Him deal with the root of the problem.

God warned Cain. (Just like I’m sure God warns me and God warns you. God may not talk to you directly like He did Cain, but He definitely does speak, the question is are you listening?) However, Cain did not listen and ultimately killed his brother Abel.
Although Abel died at the hand of Cain, the sin from comparison ultimately led to Cain’s spiritual death, which I think is worse than a physical death.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy! It robbed Cain of the presence of God (spiritual death) “…and I will be hidden from your presence;” and he suffered for it!

Ultimately what I am trying to say to those who are reading is this; please do not compare your life, your gifts, and your service to those of another!
Use what God has given you to the very best of your ability and just like God was with Abel, God will be happy with you.
The end result of your comparison is never worth it! Be content and happy in your portion and watch God bless you!

Much love,

© Chidi Udemezue, 04/2017, www.mycameragodandi.weebly.com

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Comparisons That Lead To Destruction

Hey, lovelies this week is going to be a little different, I have Chidi with me and she will be posting on Thursday. We also have a theme this week which is comparisons and we will be sharing our different takes on the topic.

I’m going to be focusing on the comparisons made by some Christians towards non-Christians and also the comparisons that occur between different churches.

God tells us to love thy neighbour, but do we really? Do you find yourself quick to judge once you know someone is not a Christian?

As Christians we are made to follow the footsteps of Christ, however, sometimes we can forget that we are not perfect. We are not above or below people, we were all made equal no matter our title “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.” (John 13:16). I have seen it in some Churches and Christians where they perceive themselves higher than those who are not Christian. kind of treating them the way the Jewish people treated the gentiles like outcasts in Ancient Palestine. Thinking they were not holy enough to be near, quick to judge a gentile than another Jew. That behaviour of thinking is not right, we cannot compare ourselves higher than a non-Christian and favour a Christian. We may never know what is happening behind closed doors, the Christian might be a bigger sinner than the non-Christian, the only difference is one knows Christ and the other is waiting to know of Christ. Instead of Christians comparing themselves to non-Christians, we should be winning their souls, seeing them for who they can become in Christ not who they are without.

Another matter is churches competing with other churches, one believing to better than the other. This happens often, where competitions and comparisons arise between churches and they find themselves losing their main focus and doing things to be better than the other. We should know as Christians we are ALL in Christ, we ALL love and believe in the same Jesus and we ALL have a common goal to win souls to him as his disciples. However, it’s sad when you see comparisons lead to a destruction of churches and also lead to pride in some.

God made us all equal in him, its just some are waiting to be revealed of that. Instead of being like the Pharisees in the bible questioning Jesus as he feasted with the sinners, let us be like Jesus and also call sinners to repentance (Mark 2:13-17). Let’s put all negative comparisons aside and see the gem that God sees in everyone and helping them to reach it by receiving Christ. We should aim to bless people with the good news not to put down people with the fact that we have learnt the good news. Stay blessed!

The good that God sees in you, you should see in others.

Your Past Doesn’t Define Your Future

So you’re glued in the past like a recurring nightmare. Every single day, every single hour, every single minute. Feeling wrapped up by your past, starting to wonder what people would think if they knew. Has it become a part of who you are? Well has it?

See the more we think about it, the more we allow the past to consume who we can become. The past is that person at the other end of the rope, tugging us towards them. It knows it can’t survive unless we are willing to let it. we need to learn to let go of the shame we have of the past and start fresh with the future.

“I smile because I know my past doesn’t define my future, God does and he is on my side.” – Stylishly Inspired

A little encouragement that God is the one who shapes our future we just have to let him. He is a God who doesn’t use force but lets us willingly give our lives to Him to mould and shape it to what He has planned. When we learn to trust and work with God we bear much greater fruit, ““I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). We begin to grow better, influence people better and live better. All sadness is replaced with joy, all hardship is replaced with peace and all doubt is replaced with faith. As He can turn our bronze to gold and our iron into silver (Isaiah 60:17), so can He turn our lives from the dead to life. He’s just waiting for us to abide in Him and receive SALVATION. (This is something I will touch on in detail in a later post).

Let’s give our lives to Him for without God we surely cannot do anything. We cannot progress, we can’t move on from our past, we cannot find peace and joy.

So trust in the lord for His plans for you are not of evil but of peace to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Stay blessed!

When you give it all to him, the rest of your life will be smoother 🙂

Are You STUDYING or MEMORISING?

Now that you know the purpose of the bible it’s important to know how to read and study the bible. Many people believe the bible is like reading a novel, but a matter of fact this just lowers the value of the content in the bible. It’s more than just memorising verses and knowing what happens in it. To really benefit from reading the word of God you need to know what to do before the reading, during the reading and afterwards.

Before
There are a few things you need a BIBLE, pen and paper/notepad and most importantly prayer. It’s essential to pray before you read the bible to allow God to open up your eyes and reveal to you His word. There are 3 critical points to pray about:

1. The Holy spirit – The Holy spirit is the helper who is sent to teach you “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”(John 14:26). The holy spirit has the ability to guide you and teach you of God’s word, revealing to you the deeper things of God. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”(1 Corinthians 2:10)

2. Revelation- you need to pray for a personal revelation of what you are about to read because the way we understand the verse is always different to another person. With a personal revelation, it makes it easier for you to keep that word in your heart and act according to it.

3. Ability to apply the verse in your everyday life – This is important to do every time you sit down to study the word of God. This is the key because at times we just read and understand but never act on the word. But God wants us to act on it. To BE like the people He wants us to be, not to just KNOW what type of people He wants us to be. So, always pray that what you learn you may also apply it in your everyday life.

During
DOT IT DOWN: When you find a link between the verse/chapter you are reading to another verse or chapter in the bible, dot it down. If you have a new understanding of that chapter/verse then you need to dot that down too. I suggest also writing the date, that way when you read that chapter/verse again and you get a clearer understanding then you can dot down your processes. This is something that really helped me and I found myself remembering more of the bible than I did when I wasn’t writing down ideas and thoughts everytime I read the bible.

After
Thank God for the reading and pray for more understanding as you meditate on it during the day/week. Make sure after a long reading to go over your notes so you remember better the key points you learnt and might want to pray about during that week.

I hope this has really spoken to someone and touched them and helped them on how to go about reading, studying and understanding the bible. Stay blessed!

“In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God.” (John 1:1)

Knowing Yourself, Knowing Your God

The bible is known to be the word of God, yes? But you’ll be surprised how many people don’t know the PURPOSE of the bible. The bible is not only for us to know the word of god, it is more than that, it’s not just about showing us the way we should live, it’s more than that. The bible reveals to us about ourselves and makes us know God and the way he works. It’s the foundation of our connection and communication with God. That’s why it’s essential to know the bible

As mentioned above there are 2 key things you understand from the bible are:
1. YOU and who you are
2. GOD, who He is and who He is to YOU

Let’s focus on the YOU first.
When we receive christ as our personal saviour we are no longer the person that we were before christ, we are made new. We are no longer of the world but have become part of the children of God. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). With this, we need to be able to understand how the new us works and functions. Just like when you get a new technology device you read the manual to understand all the functions. That is what the bible is to Christians, it is a manual for ourselves. You get!

Okay, 2nd part, God and who He is to You.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). It is critical to understand this because when we know God we begin to understand the purpose he has for our lives, and we can get to know God by reading his word (the bible). God is like the tools used to make us, He is the one who assembles us, makes us to perfection and fixes up all the loose knobs in us. However, how can we allow God to fix and build us if we don’t trust and understand how he functions? Like a mechanic, if He doesn’t understand His tools how will He know which one to use to be able to fix a problem. Just like us if we don’t understand God and who He is to us then how can we know how to pray to him to ALLOW Him to work on us.

Understanding this will enable us to study the word of God more efficiently and benefit from what God says more. Stay blessed!

If you don’t know yourself then how can you know God