Has comparing yourself to others kept you from enjoying something? Because you weren’t particularly good at a certain skill, you gave it up completely? I have done that more times than I can count. It’s so easy to look at what others have like their talents, their wealth, their progress and think you will never achieve what they have. In life, we measure our value by success and look to others to know whether or not we have made it. We are left feeling empty and unfulfilled because we aren’t content with what we do have.
Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Comparison keeps you from what God has for you. It leads to jealousy, judgment, and bitterness. So why do we do it? Why do we compare ourselves to the point of complete misery? The answer is simple. We are flawed human beings. Since the beginning of time, the battle with comparison started with the first man and woman. They compared themselves to God and wanted to be the god of their lives and because of that, they fell into a world of sin.
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
~ 1 Timothy 6:6
God never intended for us to live our lives in comparison to others. He wants us to be like Him, to strive for godliness, be content, and live our lives pleasing to Him. The challenge now is, how do we strive for that contentment when the world says we need more? Here are three reminders I need in order to stay content:
1. Seek out God’s truth.
The first thing I start doing is asking myself, “who am I in Him?” That’s a tough question to answer if you don’t fully understand who He is. When I struggle, I go into His word and talk to Him. I ask God to show me who I am in Him. My identity is not based on my past, present or future. I have to fully embrace my identity as a daughter to my Father. Once I remember my true identity, that desire to compare begins to vanish.
2. Remember no one is perfect.
It’s easy sometimes to forget how every human being on this earth is on the exact same level as me. We ALL sin, we ALL fall short, we ALL have the same struggles. There is no need for me to compare myself to imperfect people.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
3. I’m on my own journey.
I know I am on this earth for a reason. God isn’t going to give me the same plan as someone else. That would be boring and predictable. I am unique, I have a purpose, and only I can do what God has designed me to do. I need to stay on the path that has been made for me. I
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
~1 Peter 4:10
These are my struggles, what about you? Have you found that you’re comparing yourself to others? What has helped you in your life and walk with the Lord?