MONDAY MUSINGS

Stay in Your Lane: The Dangers of Comparison and What to Do About It

 

Road

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

1.Own it

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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14 thoughts on “Stay in Your Lane: The Dangers of Comparison and What to Do About It”

  1. Comparing ourselves with others is as deadly to our spiritual selves as not forgiving others, Beckie. Thanks for reminding us how to best stay in our own lane, and be happy with the “who” God made us.
    Blessings!

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  2. Good word, Beckie. Comparison is a trap the enemy wants us to fall into often. And it does damage our self-esteem and our relationship with God. I like how pastor Andy Stanley calls it the “land of er.” Someone is prettier, wiser, etc., as you pointed out. But when we look at the parable of talents in Scripture, we understand how one day we will stand before our King. We won’t be able to say I wanted what you gave to her, then I would have stewarded it well. God’s going to ask, “What did you do with what I gave you?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said Ms. Beckie. One of the most difficult things I try and do in this life is to walk on the path God has laid out for me. I think one of Satan’s greatest temptations is to encourage us to sneak a peek over at the other person’s path. “She’s a Christian writer” he says. “Look at how beautiful and success she is. I bet she has 50 times as many followers as you have. Maybe more. Perhaps you aren’t a writer after all.” I hear these thoughts, some days much louder and more clearly than others. When I can catch myself, I cover them instead with God’s words. Many of them the very ones you included here. I sense, somehow, you were writing this to me my friend. God’s blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie, I was stepping on my own toes with this one! But God is so good to help us see where we need to be focused on Him. And when we focus on Him, we aren’t swerving into someone else’s lane 🙂
      God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am glad that your loved one is okay. I like your example – “when we attempt to drive in someone else’s lane”. I’ve learned something similar as an artist. Some people are discouraged and upset when their art doesn’t seem “good” compared to someone else’s. I think it is a matter of style and preference. People might be raving about a piece that looks weird or strange to me. They might love one of my “bad” drawings that I almost threw in the trash. I try to apply that lesson to life in general. Someone might envy me for not being homeless, or not having cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

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