by Debbie Wilson
“Did you feel less loved, because you had less toys?” I asked my son, who’d just told me the reason he didn’t invite friends over was because “we didn’t have many toys.”
“One of my friends asked why I didn’t have many toys.”
My daughter piped in, “I bet I know who.” My son nodded at the name.
“Yeah, they have lots of toys,” she said.
Growing up, I played with dolls and balls. But climbing trees and creating an imaginary world out of what I could find were my favorite forms of entertainment. And back in olden days, I don’t remember large stores dedicated to toys. So I guess I assumed that was enough for my children too.
Gary Chapman’s book, 5 Love Languages, points out we express and feel love in different ways. Good news for some husbands: your wife may feel more loved by a sincere compliment than a piece of jewelry. On the other hand, we might overlook expressions of love that don’t meet our expectations.
I considered my son’s words. I’d given up involvement in a ministry I enjoyed to home school him when he struggled academically. This decision to step out of my comfort zone cost me hours each day plus an investment in educational programs and personal training. Of course, he couldn’t know what that gift cost me, and doing schoolwork didn’t feel like love to him.
My son’s childlike view pointed out a way we can all stumble. When others have more toys or less loss than we do, we may forget what God has done for us and what His love cost Him.
Let’s review God’s love.
Jesus gave up heaven and temporarily set aside the perks of deity to become human so you can have heaven (Philippians 2:5-8).
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV).
Jesus dreaded the cost of suffering on the cross, in becoming sin on our behalf. If there had been another way to save us, He wouldn’t have gone to the cross.
“He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44 NLT).
“He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’
Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, ‘My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.’
So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again” (Matthew 26:38-39, 42-44 NLT).
Jesus endured the cross because He loved you more than He despised the pain and shame.
“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).
Comparing my life with someone else’s may lead me to conclude I’m less loved. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus paid the highest price in the universe for you and me. Jesus loves us more than we can imagine.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 NLT
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, was released in February 2020.
Debbie and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.
Join the conversation: Do you struggle with the temptations to compare your life with someone else’s?