The Comparison Trap
Do you ever compare yourself to others? I think we all do sometimes. We compare careers, houses, bank accounts, talents, abilities, cars, bodies, weights, relationships... you name it and we've probably compared ours to someone else's.
Sometimes, comparison is good. It can motivate us to try harder or to keep moving forward.
But, there are times when comparison can also be very discouraging, leaving us feeling not quite good enough. If that's you- I'm writing to you today.
The Bible tells us in Psalm 139:13-14 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And in Ephesians 2:10 that God created us for a purpose. When you compare yourself to someone else, you are comparing how God made them to how God made you. You are comparing their purpose to your purpose. Apples to oranges so to speak.
It's like Albert Einstein once said, "if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
Yet we do this to ourselves all the time. The Lord has gifted each of us with different talents and abilities to accomplish His plans on earth. Each of those gifts are different, but they are all very important.
The next time that you are tempted to compare yourself to someone else, try doing these 4 things instead:
1. Thank God for that person and tell them how great they are. Instead of being jealous- be encouraging. Does she have great hair? Tell her! Did he get a promotion? Congratulate him! You will find that celebrating and affirming others actually feels good and makes you feel better about yourself. As you encourage others to become all that God created them to be, you will be becoming more of who God created you to be.
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11
2. Seek to learn from them rather than comparing your season of life to theirs. How can you learn from them? Do they have a great marriage? What are they doing to invest in their marriage that you could be doing to invest in yours? Are they succeeding in something you wish to succeed in? Ask them for some guidance.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
3. Focus on running your race at your pace. The Lord has a plan and a purpose for your life. Don't squander it away by seeking after someone else's. Seek Him and serve Him with your whole heart in the season you are in.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11
4. Last but not least, be yourself. Be the best self that you can be. God created you to be YOU! Not someone else. And YOU are the only YOU He made!
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14