When my oldest daughter was in the 4th grade, we started rewarding her for her grades. She received $5 for each A. (I had some friends that challenged our decision to do this. They argued that study efforts should be a given and that nothing should be expected for it. But then they gave allowances and paid their kids to do certain chores around the house, and I considered those to be a given…do what works for YOU)
One quarter she made 5 A’s, so she received $25. My youngest was in the 2nd grade, at the time, and only received numbers (1=Satisfactory, 2=Needs improvement, etc.). We gave her $10 for her efforts.
“No fair!”, “I study too”, “Why does she get more?”
We explained that her situation was not the same and that, one day, she would have more subjects, more teachers, and receive letter grades. She was never fully convinced, and she was bitter the entire evening.
…and then she lost her $10…
Later that night, she left her money on the dining room floor. I picked it up and “kept it” for her.
The next morning, she came running into my room with tears in her eyes saying that she couldn’t find her $10. I asked her where she left it last. She told me she couldn’t remember and that she ‘looked everywhere’.
After it became obvious to me that she did not leave her money on the floor intentionally, I took a moment to reiterate the importance of appreciating what you have. I told her that comparing herself to her sister was not fair to her or to her sister.
I then walked over to my dresser and graciously gave her the $10 bill from my jewelry box. Her excitement was the reaction I had hoped for the day before.
Grace is what we are given when we don’t deserve it.
We are all guilty of comparing our gifts of grace to other’s gifts of grace. Why does this person have more than I do, and I do the same thing? Why can’t I have that job when I’m just as qualified?
When we are on the receiving end of grace and overflow, we feel good and warranted. We may even become so entitled that we don’t understand how others could begrudgingly regard our position.
I have often heard the phrase, ‘favor ain’t fair’ and I never liked hearing it. The context I would hear this phrase was frequently used to tantalize either the giver or receiver of the message. I consider it offensive even if I am the one who is favored.
“Favor ain’t fair” suggests comparison and competition, and neither is required for us to walk in our purpose or pursue our dreams.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says:
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Everything that we have is a gift from God. Who are we to compare our gifts with someone else’s? We will always have more than someone and we will always have less than someone. God has given us all grace, and if he doesn’t do another thing for us, we have all received more than we deserve.
No, favor ain’t fair, but GRACE is!
Little POW-wow, Pearls of Wisdom
· Have you ever received a gift and immediately compared it to someone else’s gift? Did that make you feel better or worse? God wants you to focus on the gifts he gave YOU. There you will find joy.
· If you have a sibling and you are guilty of comparing yourself to them, first forgive yourself and release yourself from that burden. Then give them a call and encourage them to embrace their gifts and talents that are similar, yet DIFFERENT, to your own.
· Write out 3 ways you can show gratitude for your gift of grace. Make those things a priority on your “To Do” list today.
Tune My Heart…
Jonathan McReynolds is an American gospel musician. He began his singing career in 2012 with the release of Life Music. He has had two No. 1 Billboard Gospel albums and received three Grammy nominations.
He was shy to sing as a child and teenager, but now, at the age of 30, he has fans that include Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Lalah Hathaway, CeCe Winans, Justin Bieber, and Nicki Minaj.
“Not Lucky, I’m Loved” was released on his 3rd album, Make Room.
There were many songs about grace that I was considering, but this one pinpoints the sentiment of my message of grace without ever mentioning the word.
Our blessings and gifts should never be compared with others because they are all given, in grace, to us from our Heavenly Father. We are not lucky, we are loved.
Traci D. Fuller, Pearls and Pretty Pens © 2020