Have you ever caught yourself envying someone else's gifts or talents? I know it's a constant struggle for me. For as long as I can remember sports have been important to me. I love to play for fun, for competition, and I enjoy watching great athletes perform. I've always wished I were taller...thinking, "If I were just a few inches taller, I could..." But comparisons don't stop there: they exist in school, work, hobbies, etc. It seems I'm always comparing myself to others and rarely satisfied with myself.
"So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, 'You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.' " - 1 Samuel 8: 4 - 6 (bold added)
Israel struggled with a similar problem. The people searched for an identity and desired what they did not have (and thought would make them better...more legitimate): a king. This desire consumed the people and caused them to forget the blessings of their uniqueness. Instead, they became self-conscious and viewed their special relationship as an hindrance and an embarrassment. In haste, Israel asks for a king to rule over them, forgetting that (as the Lord tells Samuel in verse 7) they are not rejecting Samuel as their leader, but instead are rejecting God as their king.
Comparing your gifts with others can be a dangerous thing. It can lead to forgetting your own gifts and blessings. Instead, celebrate the gifts of others and rejoice that you are unique!