There’s danger in comparison.
For weeks I’ve pondered this idea. I’ve thought about the words I would write, the verses I would use, and the advice I would give to you about this simple concept that can be so difficult to grasp. For weeks I’ve focused on all that I wanted to say to you, when I’m the one that’s needed to hear it the most.
For many of us, the battle is between our ears. We entertain thoughts that cause us to think of ourselves as less than and we compare our lives, our accomplishments, and our relationships to those around us. We stand on the battleground of our mind ready to fight, but we do so with a measuring stick instead of the sword of the Spirit.
One of the most well known stories in the Bible, the story of Cain and Abel, not only tells a story of envy, jealousy, and resentment, but reminds us of the consequence of falling into the comparison trap. Cain, the firstborn of Adam and Eve, shook his fist at God in frustration when he began comparing his efforts to his younger brother. He envied Abel and blamed God for not giving him what he thought he wanted and needed, which led to his own destruction and separation from God. (Genesis 4:1-16)
Do you find yourself falling into the same trap of envy, jealousy, and comparison?
“I wish I looked like her.”
“Their relationship is so much better than mine.”
“I wish I had someone love me like that.”
“They’re so much farther in life than I am.”
“I’ll never be able to do that.”
“If only I had ____ like ____.”
Many of us go through life letting these thoughts inhabit our mind, not fully understanding the weight they truly carry. The problem with letting these thoughts camp where they don’t belong is that through them we begin to define ourselves. Rather than reminding ourselves we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we live at the mercy of our insecurities and believe because we’re not ‘them’ or don’t have that, we’ll never be enough.
Living a life of comparison, as Paul said, is living without understanding. (2 Corinthians 10:12) When we choose to let our insecurities, envy, and resentment take hold and define who we are, we dishonor our Heavenly Father by our self-pity. When we fix our eyes on ourselves and what we do or don’t have, we can easily lose sight of God and of others. Celebrating our friends and their victories will become more difficult because our attention will be soaked up with jealousy, and our harmony with those around us will be swept away by thoughts and negative feelings.
Friend, you are His chosen treasure (1 Peter 2:9) and He wants to use you just the way you are. He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) His love for you is so great, that He sent His Son to die and give Himself for you. (Galatians 2:20) Who are we to question who the Creator of the universe has made us to be?
The fact of the matter is, we will ever be enough. We’re flawed creatures in need of a Savior, and if we are going to compare, we must compare ourselves properly. Not against one another, but toward Christlike imitation and fear of God.
With love, Miranda