“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt, my second favorite former President of the United States, is attributed for the six words above that put into perspective for me how vile it can be when we compare ourselves to others. Stemming off from my post from last week, this week’s focus is how to combat that disgusting desire of comparing ourselves to those around us.
“She’s skinnier than me.”
“He’s better at a sport than me.”
“I can’t do anything as good as them.”
We’re all guilty of saying these things to ourselves. There’s always going to be one person who does something better than you, or seemingly does everything better than you, or who you think looks better than you. There are going to be things you want in life that are going to be rewarded to other people rather than you, and it’ll spark your jealousy. You’ll start to think, “why did they get that promotion over me?” or “why does he like her and not me?” The questions will flood your mind to the point that you’ll drown out every good thought you’ve ever had about yourself, replacing them with toxic thoughts of comparison. Comparison is a bully, a bully that has been pounding my mind, and the minds of many, for years.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
-2 Corinthians 10:12
Comparison is a product overthinking, and overthinking, (though at first glance of the word, you would think it would produce intelligent thoughts), more often than not produces nothing but absolutely detestable filth that will rot your mind to the core. Overthinking takes place when we try to take the wheel for our lives rather than allowing God to steer us clear of the pitfalls we will inevitably fall into if we choose to ignore Him. Comparison, overthinking’s spawn, is a deeper version that tells us that we can’t succeed in our lives because we aren’t as amazing as other people. In actuality, comparison is one of the stupidest things we can use our minds for, as Paul points out in the verse above when he says, “but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise”. Overthinking a situation usually does not improve the circumstances, but making false comparisons will lead you to become insecure, anxious, and will virtually ruin the said situation with all of the negative thoughts that have been compiled. Overthinking is bad, comparison is worse, yet we still continue to feed those demons. Why?
What we aspire to be like is what we aspire to please.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
When we dig in deeper at the root of comparison, we find that it’s not merely a mind problem, but a heart problem. Society manifests in the minds of millions daily that we should aspire to keep up with the Joneses if we want to fit in, and I’ve heard that it only takes around twenty-one days to form a habit. Multiply the twenty-one days that made constant comparison a habit by the average lifespan of a person, and that perspective is no longer the product of a habit, but the product of a deeply-rooted belief. The belief that we should compare ourselves to others, model their behavior, and chastise ourselves for not living up to their standards is not how God calls us to live. In Galatians 1:10 Paul tells us that if we strive to please others, we are not serving Christ as we should. When we compare ourselves to others, we are basically marking a set rubric created by society up with red marks in ways that we pale in comparison to those who have set the bar; however, socialites and bigwigs didn’t set the highest bar. That, my friends, was Jesus Christ.
Conform Renew Your Mind!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
That Paul guy was a pretty smart dude, but not because he compared himself to other apostles. Paul was a pretty smart dude only because he constantly strove to perform the will of God in all that he did in order to please Him… not the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Romans, or the world for that matter. Paul didn’t conform to this world full of empty aspirations, but was steadfast in the word of God and His teachings. Paul was transformed, literally from Saul to Paul, by the grace of God. When has society ever transformed someone for the better, especially when comparison is involved?
One last thought…
“ I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” -Psalm 139:14
You is fearful. You is wonderful. You is marvelous.
God made you *YOU* for a reason.
Stop comparing yourself to the devil’s lies.
Goodnight, and God bless!
Featured Image found at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/316307573804088905/