Stop Comparing, Start Living
By Nadine Stohler
Transcript Of This Message
Stop Comparing And Start Living
by Nadine Stohler
As we were worshipping now at the end, I felt the glory cloud coming down in our worship and I felt the presence of the Father and you know I as Les was talking about the fire of God I know sometimes we want to get in there and say all feels so good, come encourage me. And I know there's a place for that and I know God wants to bring the fire back into those that have
lost the fire.
But I sense on the other side, on the other hand I also felt the presence of the father and I felt he said "My child you have asked of me things and yet you still sit back and are not doing what I have called you to do. You're sitting back in complacency holding back the things that I've given to you.
And yet I want to use you. My fire wants to come down upon you it is not me that is holding you back. It is not your circumstances that are holding you back. Open your eyes and see that I have already prepared the way but it is upon you my child to take that first step.
It is upon you to come and receive that fire that is upon you. Let my fire burn through and through you, not being afraid but getting over the fears that you have within. For my child, will I ever ask you to do something that you never ever want to do?
Maybe you say yes, you have asked me God for things that I didn't want to do for you. But my child can't you see if you take that first step it will lead to your heart's desires.
And I feel a burning in my spirit right now. It's time to pick up what God has given. It's time to get out there and do his work. You know again and again when it comes to me preaching, I got awesome messages that I feel they're so encouraging, when I come behind this pulpit. But it feels like something just changes, and I'm not a person who wants to be aggressive.
But you know what, I am going to be what he wants me to be, and it kind of lines up with the message that I have today. The title of my message is "Stop Comparing, Start Living.
Who has God made you to be? I want to start with reading a scripture from Galatians 1:10, and there it says, "Am I saying this now to win the approval of
God or of people? Am I trying to please people. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant."
You know there are billions of people on this earth right now. They're going around day-in day-out comparing themselves to others; competing with one
another . By doing so, they try to be like somebody else. They try so hard to fit in to be like this other person that they admire, to be most of the time better
than anybody else.
And unfortunately many in the church have fallen into the same trap. They've fallen into the same bondage. And instead of standing in who God has called them to be, standing out, they try to compare themselves to others.
I want to give you a statement the Lord gave me yesterday - "There is always someone in this world that is better than you." Just accept it and deal with it. There's always and always will be until you die. There will always be somebody that is going to do things better than you; that's going to preach better than you; that is going to worship better than you; that is going to speak better than you; that is going to write better than you.
Name it what you want, I tell you, somebody in this world can do it better than you - it is just a fact. But there is only one person that is made just like you, and that person is you. In this message I want to look at how being compared to someone else can block you in your life. I also want to look at how comparing yourself to others will take you down in the calling that God has for you.
Let's be honest, we all have been there where we have been compared with somebody else, and where we have therefore compared ourselves to others. Let's start with where we have been compared to someone else. If you have had this experience, you know it really stings; it really hurts.
Somebody says to you, "Why can't you be like …; why can't you be like your brothers; why can't you be like so-and-so; why can't you be like that fiery preacher; why can't you be like me? Right, and what does it do to you?
Immediately or instantly, the message that you are getting is, 'I am not good enough the way I am. Who I am it is not acceptable. I should be different.' And so the comparison starts in your life.
Now I usually don't like to talk about myself, but this has been my life story as long as I can remember. Growing up as a child, I was compared to my brothers. Now I was the middle child; I had an older brother and I had a younger brother. Right, only two brothers and no sisters.
I was always compared to those two. "Why can't you be like your older brother; he's so intelligent. Look how he just gets things. Why aren't you like that?"
Well I often asked that myself; why I couldn't be like that. Because surely I did not choose not to get those things. Nobody would do that right? Then, compared to my younger brother; why can't you just do things without complaining. Why can't you just be like him and she say yes and Amen.
(All right I didn't grow up in a Christian home, so we never said amen). But I was just expected to say, yes I'll do it. Well I just wasn't that person. It's not that I wanted to be the problem child. It's not that I chose to be the one that stands out, like the black sheep in the family. But guess what, I was it.
I had to accept the fact that something is wrong with me, because I heard that so many times spoken over me. Why are you like this? Why can't you be like them? And you know, at a very young age already, I started to feel I'm not good enough.
Them being brothers, even more I thought, well maybe if I become like a guy and act like a guy, and do the things that guys do, maybe then I will be acceptable to them. Maybe then will they accept me and recognize that I do have something within me to give.
And so I became like a tomboy. I dressed like a boy; I tried to do things like them. Yeah I wasn't very much the girly girl so to say. I climbed the trees with them; I fell from the trees; I had cuts and bruises all the time. If you dressed me up in a skirt, I didn't look pretty, because I had bruises all the time on my body.
Because I tried to keep up with my brothers. I didn't know who I was. It really messed with my identity. It messed up knowing who I am. And out of that a striving was originated in my heart. Out of that I tried so hard to gain acceptance from people; to try and be like somebody else. And if you have been there you know it is really tiring to try and be a different person all the time.
And it's not just in the home that I had to be this person. Because of other people, they expected me to be different. They compared me again to other people; you know to other peers to other friends. So I had to try and find out with each person what kind of image they expected me to be. I compared myself all the time, and because I felt I was not good enough, I obviously always fell short.
I always saw myself less than what I truly was. That is what the comparison is going to result in, and it applies to both. Being compared or comparing yourself results in envy; it results in strife. You look at others thinking, if I
just be like them; if I could just have what they have in their lives. And so you are filled with jealousy all the time, looking around you if I could just be as popular as them.
If people could just like me, like them strife is in there and stress. You are under stress continuously. You've got no peace; you have a spirit of competition. Think about that one - we should not compete with each
other; we should know who we are.
But if you compare yourself or are compared to somebody, else you will always compete; you will always feel you have to prove yourself. You go into a performance orientation as I already said, trying to be somebody that you aren't.
Self doubt sets in; a warped image of yourself; you see yourself as this small while you're this big; it's never good enough. You always see yourself smaller never bigger than what you truly are. And one extra result comes with it and that's ungratefulness for what you have and what you have been given.
Can you see how the church is riddled with these alone. How many times do you go to church and people say, why I am so blessed I am so excited about the life that God has given to me, this calling, even though I have to die all
the time. Even though there is some pressure all the time, I really love it.
Right! Unless you have, like prophets, they love that; other than that I hear
a lot of complaining taking place. Why me Lord; why is my life so hard; why am I not married yet; Why why why? And you look around them and you see everybody else seems to have it together but them.
They are not grateful what God has given to them; they're not recognizing the
potential that they have within to start with; but also the potential in the
circumstances around them. Because they're not busy looking to the Lord and to what he has, but they're busy always looking over here. Let's check, what is he doing; what is she doing; what has God given to her; what has God given to him?
And so you never walk in the image that God has for you. You lose first of all number one, your confidence. You can't stand out confidently onto the path that God has given to you, if you keep on comparing yourself to others. Why again? Because you see yourself always as smaller.
You see them always as better than you; you lose your individuality. Why? Because you try so much to be like them, to walk their walk; to walk in their
shoes, instead of just being yourself; accepting who you are.
You will lose your purpose because you begin to lose your focus on what lies ahead. You don't see what God has given to you; you don't realize how much potential lies there just ahead of you.
If you would just put the focus right on it; on who you are; who God has made
you to be, and what he has put into your hands. And you lose your peace; it goes back to the striving. You get frustrated with yourself; you get frustrated with God; you ask him why did you make me like this.
You know what I'm preaching here I lived. Obviously I'm not just taking something from the books; Googled it; what story makes a good
message? No I because I had this background of being compared, it has taken me years to get free from it. To finally embrace who God has made me to be. B you know, before that, I had such a striving and such a frustration within, where I said, honestly Lord why did you make me to grow up in a German family.
And then years later you send me over the ocean into an English-speaking country where I have to lose my language. Where I sound sometimes, sorry to say it like this, but I sound like an idiot. I'm not German anymore, but it's so obvious from my accent that I am not fully English.
Now you may say, well you could have taken some English courses and you could have really made an effort. Yes I would compare myself with everybody else; and you know what the Lord said to me, Don't lose your accent because it is what makes you unique. It is what will open doors for you.
I prayed, trust me, that this accent would go away. I laid hands on me in every part you can imagine possible, speaking to my brain. Brain just receive this English vocabulary, just get it finally. And you know, I've come a long way. I would say the Lord has been helping me. But there are still moments where I have a bad day.
Where you go through something on the inside and where you can see, you listen to your preaching; you watch your videos and you think, Oh my goodness Lord, this is horrible. And he has to remind you, "It's not about you; it's not about what you sound like. In your weakness, my strengths will be seen; in your foolishness I will confound the wise.
You have to look to him and not get frustrated with God. Don't allow yourself to get into the place where you say, Why me? all the time. When I realized how many times I was saying this, Why me Lord? I started to say to the Holy Spirit, please come and help me because I don't want to be like this anymore.
I sound like a Christian that is continuously complaining. I don't sound like somebody who knows who she is. I don't sound like somebody that walks in the fullness of your power, and trusts you in my life. I sound like somebody
that wants to give something into this, and have a saying in all of this. What
you are going to do in my life?
Let me break it to you, if you become a leader, you can put your life aside and focus on what God wants to do. It's not about you anymore; it's not anymore what you desire; it's not anymore what you want to do with your life. It's about him and him alone, to build his kingdom in this world and again so you compare yourself to others.
But why are they allowed to do those things then? But why do you not train them like you did me? Why are you not putting on the same pressure on that diamond over there? Listen, it reminds you of Peter and what he said to Jesus.
Jesus took him away and walked with him at the beach, and he said, you are going to die. So he said, well what about him over there? What about John; what is going to happen to him? That's none of your business, Jesus said. But he compared himself, trying to say, surely we both should walk the same walk as I do? It doesn't work that way. You will always have within a striving. You will never have peace; you will never tap into the freedom that God has for you.
The moment I finally accepted who I am; what my life will be like; that this
is my calling and I'm different for the rest of my life; I will be different to others, a peace set in. A freedom set in, and guess what, I started to feel
the anointing more and more. I started to see an increase in my life, because I
didn't try to be like everybody else anymore.
So don't expect me to be the one here that gives the nice prophetic words that encourage you, and say I love you. We made a joke the other day about this. You know, in our team we have people who do that and it's great; it is their place.
Well I'm just not like that and they are not like me. They don't come with these
strong words that hit you between the eyes and shove the salt right in there
between whatever it has to be, to bring that conviction. And God has made us
different each one of us.
It's the beauty of the fivefold ministry; it's the beauty of the different ministries that he has given to us; it's the beauty of being leaders. If we were all the same, where is God's fullness to be seen in that. Imagine if every leader was just doing the same thing. They wouldn't have the fivefold ministry; the church could not grow. Each has a purpose; you have to find your place in it, not compare yourself to others, but to embrace it.
Now how does God see it? We know that in the world success is measured by how many followers you have; how many likes you get on social media; how many numbers are there? If you say to somebody in the world that you are successful, they want to see a proof of that. They will ask you also how many
people do you have in your church; how much money do you make by the end of the month? And they will go to your Instagram, too your Facebook, all these accounts, you name it. And they will look if you are really that successful .
Do you have thousands of people liking your stuff? If they see you've got twenty they will laugh at you and say, Excuse me, but you're not exactly successful. Let me break it to you, you're not successful.
Right, it's easy to fall into the trap and feel like you have to be like them or, let's make it spiritual, let's bring it into the church. You see certain ministers and ministries and they are succeeding. You see them out there; you see them reaching the crowds; you see them being so active on social media and everybody.
They can they can give you a scripture on Facebook and everybody says, "YAY!". A hundred or thousand people saying yeah they love it, and an Amen, and this is great. And then you post the same Scripture and you wait and here's one person, 'yay'.
Why? It's the same scripture; it's the same content, so it can't be the content right? Happy that you are less because you using the same thing? No. But you're different. Don't compare yourself to other ministries or to other ministers.
You feel that to accomplish something for the Lord means you have to be like them and that's kind of the thinking and that's the mindset that I wanna address here. And then I want to get you away from that archetype that has come in. That we have to be like this to be named successful; to be looked at as successful. You have to be like this; you have to do this ministry; you have to reach the same amount of people.
If you are not you feel that you have failed and you compare yourself all the time. What's happening? You have no focus anymore; you don't do the stuff
anymore that the Lord told you to do. You feel discouraged you feel, why should I even try anymore because there's no result. That one person says yay; I mean she's not good enough right?
To share a little secret with you, I came quickly to that place, but God said to me, "If you just reach one person in this whole world with anything that you send out; you just reach one person even with this message; if I just reach one person I've done my job. I have accomplished what He wanted me to do.
See it's not how many likes you get; it's not how great they think you are, it's how many hearts you have touched while being on this earth. It's, "Have you done what God wanted you to do?" That is God's measuring stick.
He wants to see Himself in you. He doesn't compare you to the progress of others, even if you have a team. And in the team itself, he does not compare the team members with each other and say they all have to be the same. He looks at you and says, "Are you doing what I have called you to do. At the end of the day, did you accomplish what I asked you to accomplish."
Not, do you feel accomplished? That's not what He asks. See sometimes we want to do things during the day to make us feel accomplished. There's nothing wrong with it, but it comes back to comparing ourselves again. Because they accomplished, I also should accomplish.
No, you should just do what God wants you to do. And if you do that, you've automatically accomplished in this world. If you're doing what he wants you to do, you can rest assured that He's pleased with you. I don't know about you
but for me having God being pleased with me it does mean something to me.
Sure, it comes from the background, it comes when people always say you're not good enough. It can get into striving, but you know I am sure you have that in your heart as well. You want to please God; you want to do what He has called you to do. You know within that you can never be good enough. That way you can never measure up to it in yourself in your flesh. You know it's by grace.
But yet you want to give your best. I want to give my best for him every single day and that's my motivation. Each day that I feel what should I do Lord, I just want to be used by you. And I'm sure you've got the same motivation behind you.
It doesn't matter how big or how small it is. Be faithful in it, and I can't stress that point enough. Because again, if people have a problem with comparing
themselves to others who do they look to? They don't look to the small fish who doesn't accomplish something.
They don't compare themselves with those. They reach always for the highest that they can find, and they compare themselves with something, I'm sorry to say, but it's almost unreachable.
And in it they forget to actually just do the things that the small fish is faithful in. They want to jump from down here right up there. But that's not what the Scripture tells us is it? That's not how God promotes somebody. He promotes those that are faithful in small things.
It's very clear be faithful in the small and you're going to be set over bigger things. Now you can try to push yourself in a fleshly and worldly way to these great things. Let me tell you, if you are there you're still going to feel the same within.
You still will have the striving; you still will feel not accomplished; you still will not have the peace and the freedom that you could have, if you would just accept who you are. Stop there. You don't have to try to be somebody else. You don't have to walk in somebody else's path.
God has made you unique. All He wants is to see himself in you. That is the only requirement in that way that he really is looking for. Is he seeing Jesus in you? Are you loving like Jesus? Are you humble like Jesus? Are you giving out like Jesus in faith hope and love continuously. That is who he wants to see
None of the other great preachers. None of the other great ministers. Just Himself. He is the image we should look to. He's the image we should form ourself after. He is the one we should please as in the scripture at the beginning not. Nor the sake of people, but for the sake of pleasing God.
It's a force and the tactic that the enemy is using non-stop and all the time. Comparing yourself is not from God. Think back on the Garden of Eden and when Satan was still there at the very beginning. It was him that compared himself to God and said, I want to be like him. He pushed for this. It was
never God who compared himself to the others, because God knew who He was.
He stood confidently in it. But because of what Satan did, that comparison wanting to be more, see the competitive spirit in their the striving took place. Pushing others down; pushing others out. It's another one that you can put in. When you compare yourself, usually you have to push others down, so that you feel good about yourself.
And again, so many in the Body of Christ are doing that. Leaders between leaders each other, they're pushing the others down to make their church look good; to make that ministry look bigger. Going into lying; going into competing with each other, instead of realizing we build the same Kingdom here.
Trusting God that whatever He has laid before you, that's the task he wants you to fulfill. That's what he wants you to do; that's what he has called you to do. Therefore he will give you the power to fulfill it. He will grace you with the anointing to fulfill that task.
But there are those who want to be a prophet while you called to be a pastor. Just accept it; just be happy; just embrace it; just do the work. Yeah but you know, prophets they are recognized in the Body of Christ. Trust me, ask those prophets; they sometimes would like to just be nothing, because their walk is pretty hard. Reaching their level is not easy. They have faced rejection after rejection.
Are you willing to face that? It goes down again to just being who you are. Stop comparing; start fulfilling what God has given to you. In John 10:10 it says, the thief does not come except to steal to kill and destroy. But I have come that they might have [zoe] life, and that they might have it more
We all know the thief that is being spoken about here is the enemy; it's Satan
himself. But you can also put in there, comparison. Comparison comes to steal to kill to destroy. You won't have joy anymore; you won't know who you are. all these things that I mentioned at the beginning.
If you walk with God and you concentrate on him, you will have life, you will have life abundantly, you will walk in the fullness, you will walk in the blessing
that he has given to you. And you will finally recognize it, that there is blessing, instead of always saying, uh you know this is saying on the other side of the fence the grass is greener.
Stop looking for the other grass; start sowing some seeds into your own ground, and you might see also some grass coming out in here, and some green grass growing from it.
A word to parents. Stop comparing your children with each other. You know
sometimes you do it in innocence, not realizing it. But I've been speaking to so
many young people and the Lord has given me a heart for the youth. And one thing that I can say that I see again and again, as the strongest hindrance in
their lives. It is that they have been compared to their siblings or to other
people by their parents.
We can take it sometimes from friends. But we can't take it from our parents because those are meant to be the people they should just accept us and recognize us for who we are. Accept them the way they are; recognize what God has put into that child.
And if it's a difficult child, try to see it with God's eyes. See why they are acting out. See if it could be part of the calling that they are going through a difficult time. Stop forcing them into the same path like everybody else. And to be honest, it is something beyond me.
When it comes to education, and again it is something that many youths are
struggling with. They come to me under this pressure. They can't keep up with it anymore, and they feel if they don't bring home the same notes like everybody else, they feel they're failing. And so in that way they have this
pressure on their shoulders.
Why does it matter to you so much as a parent? Is it not because you're comparing yourself to other families and to other parents? And you think, well you know everybody's speaking so well about that family because their child is so intelligent, accomplishing so much.
So what? What did God call your family, your child, to do in this earth? Isn't that the most important thing of all? Education comes and goes; reaching certain degrees they come and go. You know so often it's a piece of paper, no more than that .
What is your child doing for God? That's what I care about. Now I don't have children unfortunately; I wasn't blessed with this, but you know it burns in me that God brings me those people, those youngsters. I can pour into them what God has given to me so they can rise up in what they truly should rise up into.
So they can see there is a purpose on their lives.
God has created them with something in mind and they can be as successful as those in the world, without having all the qualifications. If they will just know who they are. Teach your child the identity of Christ. Because I see honestly we can't escape comparison. We can't escape being compared. It's going to happen sooner or later.
It's going to happen and it's going to take place. Your child will be compared to somebody else. If it's not you, it's somebody at school; might be the teacher; might be another friend or a peer at school. You can't shield them from being compared. You can help them however to realize who they are.
When comparison comes, they know how to react to it; they know, I do not have to feel less; I do not have to feel intimidated by this. But they can stand in the image that God has for them and they can know and present that image to others. And many people come and try to compare them.
They can say, I think you're doing a wonderful job; I think you are awesome. Instead of feeling intimidated, having to give back to what is coming against them, they know who they are. Make sure that you show them how magnificent they are; how fearfully and beautifully they are made in the Lord.
You may say now, well I can feel I have this bondage in my life. I can feel I'm comparing myself to others. How do I break free? How will get to the place that you shared about where I feel that freedom and that sense of peace?
Romans 12:2 says do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God; what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Get into his presence; fill yourself with the Word. The Word shows you who you are. The Word speaks about your image that you are in Christ. Receive from him that image via journaling. Start journaling every single day. The more I began to journal on a daily basis, sometimes even twice.
When I feel, Lord I'm doing it again, I feel less than others again I go into his presence; I journal again and I say, help me see myself in your eyes. And you
know, I need just one sentence from Him. You are good enough; I've made you this way; you're acceptable to me; I am proud of you.
It does something to you; it fill you. That's not your imagination, this is
God talking to you. Trust him for the plan that he has put on your life. No
matter what it looks like right now. If it's dark; if it's foggy; if you can't see, trust him that he knows what he's doing.
Trust him when he said to you, right now you're going through this dry time. But I'm about to open the doors. You are going to get out there I'm arranging things.
Ttrust him that this is the truth if it will take ten years or not trust him that he knows what he is doing and that he is giving you the best in this. That he has a plan renew your mind with debt. Discern what the will of God is and going back to what I already said, except it starts with accepting first who you are and what you have.
That is your starting point. If you want to see change first accept what you have who you are and what he has given to you. From there we can change, but if you always try to fight it and you never embrace you actually will lose out. Because your motivation isn't right. Your motivation is, I want to be like this person; I want to be like him over there. Accept it, let go what you want. Peace and growth will set in.
Iin conclusion comparison kills it does not lift up in any way if you compare yourself to others you begin to look away from who you have been made to be. You look at the wrong image, meaning it's no longer God's image because you're looking at him. Get the image and embrace it. Allow him to set it in and then work with him to perform into his image.
Iif you want to compare yourself to someone it's Jesus and Jesus himself, nobody else. That's the image to look at. The more you look at that image you are going to be transformed into that image. God made you only once. I mean just think about it, there's nobody that looks like you. I know some people say there's about another five people. I feel very sorry for those who look like me, but you know what I mean.
Tthey still are not you. There are triplets and identical twins and you we'll find if you study them close and know them that even they are not looking the same. There's only one of you and he made that person with a purpose in mind.
So don't step out of the purpose to be someone else. Otherwise he has to look for somebody else to fulfill your purpose. Be you; shine with what he has given to you with the beautyand the fullness that he has entrusted you with.
I ask that the Holy Spirit will come down right now and that he will burn again. I see the fire of God burning that he will burn away the wrong images that you have been holding on to. That he will remove those bondages that have been holding you back. So that you can step fully into what God has for you.
And again I see God has prepared so much ahead of you. For some of you there is a lush garden ahead of you. It's only one step away, and all you have to do is stop looking to the side to the right and to the left, and focus to the front and take that step.
I thank you Lord that you have a plan for every single person and as we start to look to you, being formed into your image that your Church truly will become the city on the hil. To shine with your light; to shine light into the dark world around us, and so we can see the success and be that successful church that you have called us to be in you.