Jeff Manion completes his study of comparison in Chapters 6 (“Ice Cream Bowls”) and 7 (“The Spending Gap”) of Satisfied. He begins by stressing our need to understand that when our hearts believe God has ripped us off or is holding out on us, we can justify anything and rationalize any behavior. Furthermore, the deeper our flirtation with comparison becomes, our trusting relationship with God grows more tenuous. Quite simply, the author states, we can’t follow a God we can’t trust- at least not for long.
Pastor Manion notes that it’s easy for us to talk about comparison in abstract terms, reasoning that it’s a poor idea. But since we live in the midst of a comparison-driven world, extricating ourselves from the comparison trap is not a simple thing.
So, the author asks, what’s in your ice cream bowl? He encourages us, as Ann Voskamp does in One Thousand Gifts, to itemize blessings for which we can be deeply grateful. Calculating God’s goodness in our lives unleashes a giving spirit.
This is difficult to attempt if our once-full bowl is now empty. When this is the case, Pastor Manion entreats us to flip our bowl back over and look inside. Are we still able to experience God’s presence, care, and friendship? Are we open to the prospect that when our hearts are broken and our lives interrupted, we still can experience God’s presence and goodness more profoundly? As the author concludes, God is “with you even when you get emptied out. He is with you and he is enough.”
Today’s question: What are you most thankful for at this stage of your healing, transformational journey? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “Pulling Out All the Stops”