We’ve all been there, that moment when we judge ourselves by what we see in others. We compare ourselves by what we don’t have with what the other person has accomplished, lost to, or attained in goals in their lives. We put our self-esteem on the line when we fail to measure up to man’s standard.
On the inside though, we just want to be liked and approved. Am I the only one who has ever wrestled with this? It’s time to take the days of “wrestling”, like a schoolgirl, and just cheer ourselves past those days of feeling insecure. It’s time to get a grip on those fear-laden comparisons, to free ourselves from this line of thinking.
SO, how do we kick this bad habit of self-comparison thinking?
What teaches us to measure ourselves as unacceptable, unworthy, unloving, and always seeking new discovery for our place in this world? It’s because we pin our hearts on what the world says about us instead of believing what God says about us. We look to Pinterest.com to find our best look instead of seeing God’s reflection of His deep love for us as recorded in Psalm 139. We train by imperfect sources. God longs to perfect us and longs for His creation to know and live for only His approval.
Our worth is from Jesus who has already compensated for our imperfections. Your worth was worth dying for. This changes everything! It changes the way we see ourselves, the way we think about ourselves, the way we view others. Or, so it should! It all depends upon the lens in which we decide to view ourselves and the world around us.
Comparisons are deadly. Comparison breeds discontentment.
2 Corinthians 10:12 states, “We do not compare ourselves with those who think they are good. They compare themselves with themselves. They decide what they think is good or bad and compare themselves with those ideas. They are foolish.” It’s not a good practice to measure yourself to the standards of man. The danger of comparison is no matter who you compare yourself to, there is always someone whose prettier, skinnier, smarter, faster, more connected, reads faster, blogs better, works harder or is in a more prominent position than you.
Comparisons create pride. “We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or clever, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking, there would be nothing to be proud about.” ~ C.S. Lewis. Comparing only makes us think that we have to measure up to man’s imperfect standards of success. It leaves us wanting more of what man has accomplished.
Comparison leaves us resentful. We become resentful of God’s blessings when we compare His goodness at work in our lives. We ignore God’s mercy with the idol of entitlement. We receive God’s grace and mercy by faith in the proven worth of Jesus. In knowing that, it should drop all the competitions for the blue ribbon comparisons that we seek.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. ” Philippians 4:11-12.
Know who you are. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God loves you, and has chosen you to be His child before the foundations of the world were created. Accept that He loves you uniquely just like He has gifted you individually and with a specific purpose. We are to use what He’s planted inside of us to bring Him glory.
Stuff or people will never fill the need that only God can fill. God doesn’t compare His children. In fact, God hates comparisons. We are created and gifted individually by God who loves us the same. Knowing who are in Christ means knowing, also, who you don’t want to be.
The danger of comparison is that we find ourselves looking to other people for our value and determining our worth by how we compare with other people. It’s fine for bargains, cars, apples and shoes, but not for people. When we compare, we become the focus. We hang ourselves in the noose of man’s judgement, a quick death, as it’s the opposite of God’s proven love for us. Our long lists of who gets the “what”…the car we wanted, the job we needed, the spouse we desired, the most gifted children, the better body, the bigger ministry, the greener grass on the other side of the prettier fence, this dwelling in the land of shiny things is meaningless. Searching for our dreams at the mercy of man’s measurements will never satisfy.
Sign up to be a member of God’s Triple A-team: Accepted. Approved. Anointed! His stamp of approval is ALL that matters.
What sorts of comparisons seem to have the most negative impact on your life?