I am told that during COVID 19, puzzle companies have seen a 2000% jump in sales (many of those orders coming from my house). Apparently, there has been a 50% jump in demand for baking supplies and a huge outcry for yarn. And not surprisingly, the do-it-yourself companies like Lowes and Home Depot are flourishing as well.
But just having access to building supplies will not make you an accomplished carpenter. It takes skill to be able to properly improve a structure. And that is exactly what our message focused on this last week. Jason gave us practical suggestions on how to build the structure of our lives, and build them for God’s glory not our own.
In the second chapter of Haggai, we found a series of hinderances that affected the work on Zerubbabel’s temple. And the one that jumped out all over me was their need to compare the current structure with the magnificent temple that Solomon built.
Zerubbabel’s temple was really just a “re-do.” They gathered as much material as they could find and piece-worked the walls into place. They didn’t have the cedar to line the walls or the gold to cover them with, so it seemed a bit plain. And it was. It looked sad and very incomplete.
The sight of that “re-do” invited comparison. And the people’s attitude reflected their disappointment. There was no joy in their worship. They were in no hurry to complete the job. The act of comparison had taken a toll on their spiritual lives.
Comparison in any form does the same thing to us. When we compare our work environment with someone across the hall, we set ourselves up for failure. When we longingly wish our spouse or children behaved like the ones down the street, we are giving into a kind of selfishness. When we long for the “good ol’ days,” we are ignoring the blessings of the “here and now.”
Comparisons poison our spirits and leave us ungrateful and unable to move forward.
On the one hand, comparisons can lead to discouragement. And on the other hand, they can lead to a kind of self-centered pride. Either way, we are stymied in our spiritual growth and development.
So this week, let’s all stop comparing ourselves to others. Let’s just take a long look at ourselves in a spiritual mirror. There is plenty of “home improvement” repairs needed in all our lives. Let’s focus on the work needed to “clean up our own act” and ignore the structures that might be tilting around us.
We need to focus on building up the temple of our own lives…for His pleasure!
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.