One of my loved ones was in a car accident last month.
Thank God, he is fine. However, the car is not. But that’s another story.
The accident occurred because two lanes were merging into one. Of course, we all know most lanes are designed for one car at a time.
Things can go awry when we attempt to drive in someone else’s lane.
I’m not just referring to the road. I’m talking about comparison—specifically comparing yourself to others.
Comparison started when we were toddlers. “His piece of cake is bigger than mine!” And we felt less than. Sometimes our comparisons put us on top. “I’ve got a nicer car than his.”
The trap of comparison becomes so embedded in our daily life, it’s often unintentional. Before we realize it, we’ve measured ourselves to someone else using our own standard and deemed ourselves either inferior or superior.
But however you slice it, comparing ourselves to others is either rooted in envy and jealousy or pride and arrogance.
“But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” 2 Corinthians 10:12
Not only is comparing ourselves to someone else damaging to self-esteem, but it’s also damaging our relationship with God.
Envy, jealousy, and pride are sinful— and sin always causes a breakdown in a relationship, whether with God or people. But another eroding factor of comparison is we are essentially telling God what He made isn’t good enough.
I’ve been thinking about comparison lately because God has helped me see I do it waaaay more than I realize. He has brought to my attention how often I attempt to drive in someone else’s lane.
God has given each of us gifts, talents, and a purpose. He has designed a path for you and for me that no one else will travel.
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Romans 12:6
But let’s face it, the temptation to compare is only one click or swipe away. And ya know what?
Comparison is making us sick.
“Comparison is the thief of Joy.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
So, what’s the remedy for the trap of comparison when it’s so ingrained in our brains?
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What to Do About Comparison
Be on the lookout for ways you compare yourself—maybe while on social media, at work, while watching TV.
2. Disown it
Once you’re aware of a comparison that has snared you, try this:
Take the sinful thought captive, disown it, and bring it into submission to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Here’s an example. I see so-and-so’s vacation pictures on Instagram and feel jealous and sad. I compare my measly stay-at-home vacation, my not so tan or slim body, and my not so well behaved children. I stop right there and pray!
“Father, I admit the sin of these thoughts. Forgive me. Help me turn my focus back to the many ways you have blessed me.”
3. Replace it
Now that we’ve disowned the sinful thought by giving it the Jesus, it’s time to replace it with the truth. In this way, we allow God’s word to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). Scripture tells us to “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8).
Sometimes I simply sing a song like Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus to get myself centered on truth once again.
It’s when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we veer into another lane.
Bonus tip: Complement rather than compare.
Let’s say someone at work receives a promotion and you find you’ve been hijacked by the green-eyed monster. Go tell your co-worker congratulations and bless them in their new position.
Dear ones, there’s always going to be someone more attractive, wealthier, wiser, and whatever else. But there is only one YOU.
There is one thing that you’re better at than other people—being you.
Be you, stay in your lane, and see what God will do!
♥Please share your comments and prayer requests below.
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