It’s easy to feel like everyone is doing better than you are; especially and most acutely when you are trying your hardest at something that matters a lot to you.
When I was in junior high and high school, I spent a lot of time playing the violin. I loved playing, but violin was hard and I worked hard at it. You’d think those things (loving it and working hard at it) would have been enough to help me feel confident in my abilities, but they weren’t. It seemed like all around me there were people who were having so much more success than I was. It seemed that they had an unexplainable wind in their sails that propelled them past my sluggish rowboat. I felt discouraged and despairing.
But, as I was studying my scriptures for seminary one day, I read this:
“For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.” D&C 88:33
As I read, I felt a warmth, a little chastisement, and a new focus. My ability to play the violin was a gift from God. It didn’t matter where I stacked up against anyone else. In feeling discouraged or self-conscious about my abilities, I was not rejoicing in the gift of music that I’d been given. This scripture reminded me to rejoice in every gift from God and that divine gifts aren’t measured against other people.
With Thanksgiving approaching, take some time to think about the gifts God has given you. How can you rejoice in them more?