“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
As I’ve gotten older and now have kids of my own, I just assumed the petty comparison-game that was such a big deal in middle and high school would just get easier. I just assumed that everyone (myself included) would just kind of grow out of the way girls can sometimes treat each other. Boy, was I wrong!
Get a group of women in a room, and it can get downright vicious. It almost feels like the amount of ways you can compare yourself to others has just increased as I’ve gotten older – who has the bigger/better house, whose job is more prestigious, whose kids are better behaved or doing better in school, whose family is involved in the most charitable organizations…it is flat ridiculous! While the things we are comparing have slightly changed, it is no different from what I have been doing since I was young – looking at those around me and trying to figure out how I measure up to them.
And gosh oh golly, it is just flat exhausting. As soon as I feel like I get caught up in one area, I fall behind in another. It also feels like the “bar I’m trying to reach” just keeps changing – it’s just unattainable.
I heard a speaker recently says that, “comparing yourself to others is going to absolutely kill the work of God in your life. When I am looking at her, I am not looking at Him.” That hits hard for me. Do I really want to kill what God is doing in me because I am just so busy wishing I had what she had or that I was doing what she was doing?
There are many things that God calls us to do (instead of comparison): to be kind to others, to speak with love, to go out of your way to do good to others, to lift others up by pointing out the good in their life. And, “to keep our eyes on Jesus” most of all (Hebrews 12:2).
Whenever I find myself starting to feel down because I just don’t measure up, or when I start feeling the prickle of jealousy reaching into my life, I try to take one of these things that the Lord calls us to do and focus on that thing. For example, when I get jealous about a friend who gets to take lots of amazing and lavish vacations, I instead remember that my eyes are to be on Jesus and he calls me to speak in love. I go out of my way to say nice things about this friend to myself (usually making myself name 3 wonderful qualities I can think about her on the spot!) and then I also try to go out of my way to compliment this same friend when I see her next. It’s amazing what speaking kind things (whether in my head or out loud) can do to change your perspective.
Now, I think you could be kind of insincere with this kind of thing, making it pretty obvious you don’t mean what you are saying. But, I challenge you to give it a shot – if we really have our eyes on Jesus, we can look to Him for the good in our life and see the good in others’ lives as blessings instead of ways that we don’t measure up. Don’t let comparison kill what God is doing in you!