Comparison is Dangerous
Comparing yourselves to others is a risky and dangerous business. But it happens, and more often than we want to admit. I can tell you from personal experience that I’m good at beating myself up and wondering where I messed up when something doesn’t go as planned.
Even though I pray about every decision and ask for His guidance and His will, it hasn’t always worked out like I thought it would. There have been more than a few times that I have walked away from an experience or opportunity having compared myself to others, only to end up feeling like a nobody, defeated and a failure.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the pity party, but none of us need to stay there for very long. We should remember instead how much trust, faith, and growth has occurred in our ability to stay the course. God provides us personal protection and He knows what’s good for us and what isn’t. My friend, Kristine Brown and author of Over It: Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan says that, “Taking our focus away from God and placing it on other women diverts our course.”
Why do we do that? Why do we compare ourselves to others and use it to deflate ourselves? How can that be good for anyone? Why must we always want more, do more, and take on more?
God’s word tells us, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 ESV
Be Aware of the Trap
That’s when the prince of darkness swoops in and tries to take advantage of the ‘beating ourselves up’ syndrome. He knows when we are at our lowest. He knows when we question ourselves and have a weakness for wanting to measure up to others.
It is so easy to be deceived by Satan as he impedes our thoughts with his lies and deceptions. That’s his job—to try to take over our minds, find ways to discourage us and lead us astray. He wants us to believe that we are not worthy of God’s unconditional love.
But what he’s not counting on is our ability to look up and take hold of what the mighty one has equipped us with and that is His strength, love, grace, mercy and peace.
Believe in His Promises
Comparisons lead us to feelings of discontent, defeat, and doubt. God’s word tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “Comparing ourselves to others is not wise and using others as the standard measurement can lead to jealousy, discouragement and discontent.”
In the past few weeks I have encountered people who were beating themselves up over the smallest of things, instead of using those opportunities to grow in faith, strength and character. I believe God uses everything He gives us in a big way and that we should ‘love who we are.’ I don’t mean that in a boastful way, but in a way that is pleasing to Him.
I can promise you that while we are far from perfect in this world, God created each of us with special talents, characteristics, personalities, and qualities that make us who we are. He created us with a special blend and make up that is solely unique. We have to believe He loves variety since He made all of us so different. So trust Him; He knows us inside and out.
Embrace the Real You
A few years ago one of my ‘twenty’ something friends on Facebook posted a George R.R. Martin quote: “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one else can use them against you.” That’s a pretty powerful way to look at things. And, it tells us that we can love ourselves just the way we are.
We need the courage to be who God wants us to be. We must forgo the world and the constant reminders to keep up with others. Instead we should be looking for our unique purpose and determine what’s important.
Here are four points to strengthen you in your journey.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others –focus on Him when you feel tempted to do so.
2. Have the courage to be yourself. Seek His approval first for where you are wanting to go.
3. Guard your heart against the negative and that includes people who are mean-spirited.
4. Focus on your personal worth. Embrace the things you do well.
Yes, I am strong, confident, sure-footed, positive and faithful. But I’m also human and subject to the occasional low point which exposes vulnerability and weaknesses.
So as we look to the week ahead I encourage you to pause when you have the urge to compare yourself to others. Focus on your potential. Try to only speak good things about yourself and concentrate on your strengths. Look to God and thank Him for all of the wonderful things He has done for you. Be that woman after God’s own heart. After all, He wants us to ‘love who we are.’
| To read more on comparison, check out Kristine Brown’s book and her blog at www.morethanyourself.com
I’ll be praying for you.
*Images from www.morethanyourself.com have been used with permission from Kristine Brown