Today’s Scripture: But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Galatians¬†6:4-5

The ground viewed from 5,000 feet in the air sure is beautiful. Fields look perfectly landscaped. Houses look neat. Life looks great . . . until you reach ground level. Once we see everything from the ground, we notice all the problems: cracks in the driveway, dents in the fender, buildings in need of repair, bugs and weeds in the garden, health issues, financial issues, emotional issues, social issues, political issues, and personal issues. At ground level, we see reality.

From a distance, it may look like others have much better lives than we do. They may drive better cars, wear nicer clothes, have more friends, or look happier; but a closer look often reveals their lives aren’t as glamorous as we thought. Others have to deal with the painful realities of life just like we do.

In her Huffington Post article “Why You Should Stop Comparing Yourself to Others,” Daniela Tempesta states, “What people present to the outside world is usually an edited version of their reality. . . . People tend to overestimate the presence of positivity in the lives of others, while they misinterpret or fail to detect negative feelings in others. So not only is what’s being delivered an incomplete picture, we tend to distort the information we do receive . . . .” How foolish we are to measure ourselves against such an inaccurate standard.

The day we stop comparing ourselves to others will be the day we start living life to the fullest, the way God intended for us to live. So what’s keeping you? Are you ready to break free from jealousy, envy, lack of love or acceptance, inferiority, shame, guilt, and insecurity and serve God faithfully with a grateful heart? Start by thanking God for the unique skills and personality He has given you. Then use these gifts to their fullest potential. Soon you will learn to see others – and most importantly, yourself – at ground level.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder