Not finished.

7:00 AM
Image Credit Howard Tangye

Yep, we all do it. But why? 
Of course comparison is a part of life and sometimes can be a helpful nudge to pull your socks up but I'm talking about that niggly voice that sits in your head telling you that you're missing out. 
That comparison voice that really is the thief of joy*

And what is at the heart of this little voice? The idea that you are incomplete. You are not finished. There is still more. 

You renovate your bathroom only to visit a friend who has done the same. All of a sudden you want to get out your sledge hammer and start again. 

You bought a top last year that now is out of fashion and something you once paraded in front of the mirror in becomes an embarrasment.

You run a few k's and start eating better leading to a slimmer looking bod only to find that your gal on instagram runs better times and did the whole 30 and is looking so much better than you. 

You're back from your two week trip backpacking around Europe but realised you missed out on all the amazing things your friend did on their 4 week trip. 

Your kid wakes up a bazillion times in the night. Your friend looks incredibly well rested. 

You want to be more, see more, do more have more.
It is not done and you know it. 

There's this guy Paul in the Bible. He's pretty amazing. Kinda nauseatingly so. He's always followed the law, had a high ranking important job, been in the right circles. He's the guy you'd hate if he wasn't so darn nice. If anyone could feel finished then it would be him.

It's pretty tempting to look at Pauls example and just think you need to try harder. Just be a little more faithful, hang a little more in the right circles, get the right job, follow the rules better and just BE AWESOME. Isn't that what it's all about?


Here's what Paul says **

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, 
for whose sake I have lost all things. 
I consider them garbage, 
that I may gain Christ and be found in him, 
not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, 
but that which is through faith in Christ
—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 
Philippians 3:7-10

To paraphrase, he's saying;

All that awesome stuff I'm known for? It is worth nothing compared to knowing Jesus. Anything that might have made me look good is just garbage. It's never enough and it never could be enough. 
And when I see that, I see how good God is and how he doesn't want my shiny behaviour or my fancy job, my renovation or my great clothes, he wants me to trust him and let him do his job of being God. 
When I can see him as he is and see myself as I am THEN I will have gained something worth having.

What does Paul boast in? 
Not himself but in Jesus who took all our comparison and our not finished squeamishness and as he was nailed to the cross said IT IS FINISHED!

Ad as he did so all the things that we thought mattered fell into the dung heap like the garbage they are. 
That sense of unfinished business we feel in out hearts and try to plug with things of the world is healed and made whole by Jesus. 
Our desire to put confidence in our ability to save ourselves holds nothing. 

AND PHEW! We take a sigh of relief! This comparison fame is exhausting isn't it? 
Do you feel it? 
I can't keep up.

And then, Paul writes some gold. This is my favourite part. Here's where it gets real. 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:12-14

It's not about perfection, but pressing on. 
When times are tough and your walking along - press on
When you're feeling great and sprinting - press on
When you're alone, lean on Jesus - press on
When you're with others, grab them by the hand - press on
When all you can do is lift your head off the ground - press on
Each season of our lives will look different all we can do is press on whatever the season. 

The race is finished. The prize has been won.
We get to press on in joy and bring others along on the way. 
We see those comparisons for what they are, loss for the sake of Christ. 

HE is God. We don't need to be.

So where does your confidence lie?

*This is a Theodore Roosevelt quote. I've read a few articles that oppose this idea and I totally agree with them. We need to be open to other peoples ideas but I'm taking this idea in a different direction.

**Here's a link to read the context

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