**I actually wrote this post three years ago because it was something I was actively struggling with at the time and I just wanted to get it off my chest. Recently I was going through my drafts and as I was just about to trash it, I got the idea to post it. I don’t claim to be some talented writer but my hope is that maybe some of the words in here will resonate with someone that’s dealing with comparison themselves!**
Whoever said, “Comparison is the thief of all joy”, was not kidding.
It was Theodore Roosevelt by the way.
Comparison steals your joy, your well-being, and your sanity. Comparison is the thing that lurks in the background and jumps out and says, “Ha! You felt good about yourself? Well, not today!”
So basically comparison is best if just totally avoided.
But how can you avoid something that tempts you at every corner?
She has more Instagram followers. Her face is always clear. Her house looks better. Everyone likes her kid more. She gets to travel and I don’t. She’s successful and I’m not.
Some people, when they compare themselves to others, try to turn it around so they look better in their own eyes.
“Well, she has more Instagram followers, but I still get more likes. Her face might be clearer, but my hair is better. Her house might be newer, but mine is bigger. People might like her kid more, but mine is easier to take care of. She might get to travel, but I have a house to come back to.”
I know I’ve done this. As soon as I start feeling a little bit less than, I try to think of something I have that they don’t. News flash: this is not trying to be content. This is called pride.
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God does not like pride and He does not like it when we compare either.
Because indulging in comparison does not say, “God, you made me perfect the way I am.” Instead, it says, “God, I know you’re good and all that, but you forgot to give me the rich husband and the super cute kids.”
When you compare, you’re saying God didn’t make you and your life good enough and He forgot a couple of things.
Comparison says, “I’m jealous.”
Comparison says, “I’m not content with my life.”
But the truth is, we can’t ever be at peace or feel content if we’re always comparing ourselves to others.
You either feel like you’re not enough, so cue envy, jealousy, and self-doubt…or you feel like you’re more than enough, so cue pride and arrogance.
Envy is a slippery slope of sin and there will always be someone that has a skill-set, talent, or possession that you don’t have. Low self-esteem fails to see the unique purpose God has made and designed you for.
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
– James 3:16 (NIV)
So what do we do? Instead of looking to other people, look to God. Our code of conduct for living is from God, not other people. Man is not the standard of excellence. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to Christ.
You’ve heard it all before, but we are all given different gifts and abilities. People will excel in areas you do not, and vice versa. You may not have the golden pipes that lead worship at church or the supermom ability that can take care of her kids and still have time to decorate her house, but I bet you have a different gift that can be used to serve God. Actually I don’t bet, I know.
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Satisfaction comes from doing our best, not doing the best of others.
“When you strive to be the person God made you to be, you’ll find real meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction. You can’t focus on your purpose while looking at other people.” –Rick Warren
So let’s just not compare at all. Easier said than done, right? 😉
Don’t compare your looks, your house, your car, your family, your relationships, your talents, or yourself.
If you must compare, compare yourself against the will and expectation of God and His word.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”- Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
Let’s start concentrating on who God wants us to be, not who we think we ought to be. Stop focusing on what others are doing around you and focus on what God wants you to be doing.
So here’s to letting go of envy and grabbing hold of peace.
Here’s to focusing on our purpose in Christ, because we’ll never be able to fulfill it if we’re always trying to live out somebody else’s.