It can start as something so simple you don’t even recognize it. It’s just something that causes you to stop and think for a second before you disregard it as you go on about your day. No big deal, right?
Ahhh…. But it is a big deal because it fills your heart with discontentment. The seed is planted and it grows. It’s one of the enemy’s favorite tools to use against you. I’m talking about comparison.
Comparison isn’t just looking at someone else and seeing the difference between our lives. Comparison works its way into our hearts and expands, squeezing out what we know about ourselves and our God as we focus on what others have or feel. Comparison causes us to focus on our lack.
We all battle against ourselves. We want what we don’t have. We imagine “that pretty girl” would never understand how it feels to be rejected because she is so beautiful (yet people want her only for her looks). “That rich boy” never knew a hardship (but he lives a private life of abuse).”That popular girl” never met a stranger and is so outgoing (but her parents haven’t looked at her in weeks). “That poor kid” has no idea what a good life means (yet laughter echoes throughout the home).
The truth is we all make assumptions that are inaccurate, unfair, and judgmental. We have no idea what is going on in someone’s life.
Personally, I compare my body type, appearance, intelligence, marital status, parental status, style (I have none and I’m okay with that), occupation, house, name, foot size, skin tone, transportation, etc. to everyone around me.
“Well, they are a dual-parent household with two incomes” is a personal fave of mine. Just because they have two people in their household doesn’t mean their lives are any easier. It doesn’t mean they have more money. What it does mean is that they have multiple people working in their household. That’s it. Yet I can come up with how they should be living on a tropical island like they are part of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”! Remember that show? Oh. No? So I guess I’m old. Moving on…..
When I start comparing, I get jealous. “See? They’re better at [insert task] than me! I’ll just let them do it and I’ll quit.” But, friend, there is such a huge issue with that approach!
Point one: our God is the God of Abundance. There is more than enough to go around. He doesn’t take from me to give to you! He gives to both of us. Abundantly. When we use the gifts He has given us, there is always more to come.
Point two: God created you for a unique purpose. He created me for a unique purpose. You can’t fulfill my purpose any more than I can fulfill your purpose. He is counting on your flavor of doing something to reach some people while He is counting on my twist on a task to reach other people. Your purpose is specific to you. Nontransferable. You cannot give your purpose to me because your experiences are not mine. He will use our unique experiences to reach different people.
Point three: comparison paralyzes us. When we focus on what we cannot do rather than what we can, we lose our edge. We are too focused on what others are doing to work to complete our assignment.
Point four: so many people are counting on each of us. When we delay or forfeit our purpose, there are Kingdom impacts. We must focus on God’s will rather than our own and clear our minds of comparison so that we can reach who He intended us to be for His plans.
When we focus on who He created us to be – without giving in to the temptation to compare ourselves to someone else – it’s so much easier to remember that there is more than enough to go around because we serve a generous God. The God of Abundance is in control.
“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”
Galatians 6:4 NKJV
“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