comparison-trap-blog

THE COMPARISON TRAP

It is so easy to fall into this trap!  It doesn’t matter how spiritual you are, nice you are, trained you are, we all are susceptible to the lies that entangle  us when we compare ourselves to others.  I’ll give you a current example from my life.

My family and I have recently moved and started attending a church where we live.  We are not on the worship team right now, because we are having a sabbatical break.  The first couple of weeks I was just so happy to be apart of the congregation worshipping Jesus.  However, when I finally decided it was time to see if I could serve, I started mentally gauging where I would fit in, comparing myself to the other worship team members leading on stage.  Lies filled my mind like; you are much older than they are; your voice doesn’t sound like any of theirs; I don’t like the way I look on camera; I lead differently than they do, and so on.  It was because of these lies that I began to shut down and become fearful.  I was allowing these lies to cloud my judgement and push aside the knowledge of WHOSE I was; that God had made me uniquely the way I am for a purpose and I didn’t have to apologize or compare myself to anyone else.

Satan is extremely sneaky.  Scripture says in John 8:44 that he is the “father of lies.”  He will do whatever he can to make us ineffective for God’s work.  When we start comparing ourselves it leads to pride and selfishness.  In God’s Kingdom, He is not looking for what the world looks for, no, He is looking for someone after His own heart.  Yes, we need to do all we can to train and condition our voices to be the best that they can be, but that is not the most important factor in God’s eyes.  He wants us to reflect His character and traits by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He also wants us to be submissive to His leading.  As worship leaders, we need to be ready to serve our church in any way we are asked.

It might be more glamorous to be asked to lead on stage in front of the entire church, but God might need you to lead at a funeral, a bible study, a moms group, a youth service; who knows.  We need to be ready with a “yes” God.  He needs worshippers who are servants first!  This is such an important lesson to learn.  The sooner we learn this the more effective worship leaders we will be.  Plus, God has hidden blessings in the places He asks us to serve in.  I was asked to lead the music at a memorial service for a dear friend today.  I was honored and extremely blessed by the experience.  Was it in front of thousands?  No.  Was I on camera, surrounded by lights and smoke?  No.  I was in the exact place, at the exact time, with the exact people God wanted me to be with.  And because I said yes, I was able to sense God’s incredible love and presence.

Is comparison worth it?  NO!  When we have those thoughts creep up on us we need to speak out scripture and fight back with the sword of the Spirit.  We need to remember we are God’s servants, fulfilling His purposes not our own.  His ways are ALWAYS higher than our ways.  Let’s get excited about where God will have us serve next and say, “Yes God!”

Embrace Me

This is the second song I wrote.  You see, I was a singer, not a songwriter in 2005, however through a sequence of events, God specifically asked me to write.  Because I was a singer and I never, ever ran out of things to say, I thought being a songwriter was exactly what I needed to do!  One thing I love about this song is that I was child-like and expressive with my lyrics and delivery.  You can listen/buy it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beginnings/id438824578

 

Embrace Me

© 2005 Lara Marriott

Walking up the stairs, casting all the world’s cares

Upon my shoulders

Searching for a place to find a peaceful state of mind

to get away

I shut the darkest door to hide for awhile

I need You Lord to comfort me

I close my eyes and try to think about You

Oh Lord, what should I do?

Embrace me, taking

all of my fears, my worries, and my tears

I’m feeling inside

Embrace me, flowing down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Gazing at the sky nature’s calm I find

that You’re all around me

The sun glistening the trees, clouds are changing what I see

a place of wonder I’ll never leave

I find a shady place to stay for awhile

I know You Lord are here with me, yeah

I close my eyes and start to dream about You

Is this what heaven’s gonna be?

Embrace me, giving

all of Your joys, Your wonders, and Your glory

I need inside

Embrace me, shining down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Day or night, by Your side

You have revealed

You are real and I feel you inside

Day or night, by Your side

that’s where I’ll always be

You are real and I feel alive

Embrace me, shining all of Your love, Your love

Embrace me, fill me up with Your love, Your love, Oh how I love You

Hate & Love Come In All Forms ~

My husband came home last night and asked if I had heard of the riots that were going on in different states around the country.  I had intentionally decided to stay away from the news to focus on the tasks that were in front of me.  When he shared the synopsis, I turned on the tv to find an active shooter who had targeted, killed and wounded police officers, with a bomb in a parking garage in Dallas, TX.  My heart became heavy with a deep sadness. As I watched live as well as recorded video footage, I saw a multi-colored, peaceful protest frantically disbanded into a multi-colored police force protecting their city.  This situation was not about color or culture.  This was about good in a standoff with evil.

This morning I woke up to find out the latest reports through the news outlets, Periscope, and Facebook.  I was intrigued by all of the opinions and prayers I scrolled through on my IPhone.  One stood out to me among the rest.  It talked about the fear for the safety of a black family.  As I read the post, I related on a different level.  There was a fear for my family’s safety, but we are white.  I realized at that moment, that this wasn’t a battle against color.  Our country is fighting a battle against the dark forces of this fallen world.

You see, hate is able to come in all forms; within a police uniform, an american citizen, a teacher, a doctor, a mom with her child, a dad, a cleric, a government official, a neighbor, a family member, an employee, an employer, an organization, you get the picture.  I read about the black man being shot in front of his girlfriend and four year old by a white police officer.  What a horrific situation.  That poor mother and poor child.  The damage that was done to their eyes will forever be etched into their memories.  But I also read about the white officers who were trying to protect the innocent people who were protesting down the Dallas streets, doing what was right and good, being unrightfully targeted because of their color and killed.  The sniper didn’t know who they were, what their stories were, he just chose to be racist back.  I thought about their loved ones and how devastating and frightening that must have been for them to learn that the people they held so dear, who went to work everyday to protect their multi-cultural city, were killed in a senseless act of violence.  Both stories were unbelievable and unjust.

The focus of reconciliation and healing should be directed towards evil being brought to justice, instead of the color of our skin.  Hate is hate.  Love is love.  The bible says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9.  It also says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

multi colored hands

Let us not judge people for what they look like on the outside.  Let us not judge people period.  Love comes in all forms too! What we need to do is love our enemies, love the unloveable, pray for justice and peace.  What would happen if we fought back with kindness.  What would happen if we replaced our fears with faith.  What would happen if we looked past our differences and embraced our similarities? Would these horrific stories fade away?  Would the news be filled with stories of hope, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control?

I wonder…

Lara~

The Victim

mystery morningby Lara Marriott

My mind is playing tricks on me

even though I’m okay

I can’t be fooled; I’ve got this

Yet a dejavu takes me away

down the wrong path

To a place I wished I didn’t visit again

It is dark and deceptive

cold as sin

 

A spiral staircase leading to black

How did I get here?

I can’t walk back

It is drawing me in

I can’t get out

There is nothing I can do

I am the victim now…

 

No I am not.  I’ve been told a lie

I will take back my life

one step at a time

I can get back out if I climb

I am not the victim

 

I can see the light coming into view

It is getting bigger and strengthening my will

I don’t need to swallow the world

I can’t handle more

There are so many things to be thankful for

 

Just take one day to the next

God says to my mind

I need to trust that He sees;

There is purpose to find

I will not be the victim

I am climbing back up

My resolve is to reflect

my Creator’s love

I am not the victim…anymore!

(this has been revised) 😉

 

Have you ever dealt with mind games?  I have.  I do.  Some days are worse than others.  Today for some strange reason I allowed myself to be down and full of fear.  I felt paralyzed  and unmotivated.  Thankfully, a dear person in my life suggested I did something redemptive and purposeful to take my mind off of myself.  So this poem was what I came up with.  I don’t know if it will encourage anyone else, but it felt great to be creative and get my thoughts out.  If you ever need prayer, please let me know.  It is never good to go through these kinds of things alone.

Blessings,

Lara~

 

438 Words About Fear

My niece wrote this the other day. What she wrote about is so true and needs to be shared. It is a wonderful reminder when fear starts to creep into our lives. Remember fear can never survive around perfect love! ☺️

Lara ~

http://www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Wanderlust Leah

As I was packing this morning for my flight home, I had mixed feelings about stepping onto an airplane. Given recent events, flying from Spain to Germany isn’t my favorite idea right now. Statistically, it isn’t very probable that anything out of the ordinary will happen. But…BUT…if…maybe…

These are the words that plague my mind when I think about it too much. A museum shooting. A deliberate plane crash. What if it happens to me? What if it happens to someone I know?

I recently had the pleasure of sitting next to a priest on a trans-Atlantic flight. (For the second time – what are the odds?) I’m not sure how we arrived at the topic of fear, but we did and I remember he quoted a Bible verse that I knew from my youth. He said “Perfect love casts out fear.” It comes from 1 John 4:18. And as…

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A Spiritual Battle ~

Have you ever noticed that when you are doing what you feel God has called you to do, you get attacked spiritually? Last night I was listening to a Christian speaker give a message while I was drifting off to sleep and all of a sudden I heard a voice say, “Hannah is going to die.” It was so random and fear began to overtake me. That voice said it again, making me even more afraid. I then heard another voice that told me specifically to cast out the spirit of fear from my mind and bind it in Jesus name.

I was almost asleep. I didn’t want to work up the energy to speak that out loud, but the fear I was experiencing was tangible and overwhelming. So I verbally commanded the spirit to leave me at once. You know what? I felt peace right after I said those words and within a couple of minutes I fell fast asleep.

Hmmm…there are truly powers at work in our lives. Thankfully, there is a God who loves us and when we have a relationship with Him, He gives us the strength and the tools to fight off the spirits that come to destroy. Call on Jesus, He will help you!

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes