We’ve all heard it: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And yet we do it! We compare ourselves to our girlfriends, to strangers, to people on TV; we compare our jobs, clothes, houses and GPAs. Sometimes we even compare our walks with God! Comparison is sneaky because it can come clothed in genuine admiration or harmless Pinterest scrolling. But if we let it grow out of control, it eventually starts controlling us.
Comparison can cause us a lot of pain. It’s a big motivator to overspend. It makes us insecure in friendships and unwilling to welcome new women. It makes us jealous of girls we think are prettier than we are, and competitive about boys. It’s not godly, and it’s certainly not harmless!
Like any spiritual issue, this isn’t overcome quickly. It requires consistently walking in the Spirit of God, not in the natural desires of our old, pre-Jesus selves. But as you start this journey, here are four things to remember when comparison comes to call.
Your Calling Is Unique
Your calling is not another woman’s calling. It’s that simple. Her life is different because God has a unique way to use her: her talents, gifts, background and personality. And He intends to do the same with you, if you’ll align your heart with His will instead of looking to the left and right!
It’s healthy to learn from others, but we can’t expect our lives to follow perfectly after their pattern. We best serve the kingdom of God when we embrace our unique place and talents, improve where we can and move forward into God’s will for us today.
Others Have Challenges You Don’t See
We often forget that everyone experiences some degree of pain in this world. The girl you think “has it all together” has struggled in some area of her life. She may have dealt with more pain than even you have—you don’t know her story! That’s why comparison is such a liar. It tells us that we don’t measure up or that we should be insecure, without all of the information at hand. It pits people against each other instead of drawing us into unity.
You can trust that every person is facing or has faced challenges just like you have. Choose compassion, not comparison.
Life Is Not a Competition
Comparison makes life a competition. I once knew a girl who was insecure about her weight, but who was also a runner. When she went to the gym and saw girls who were skinnier than she was, she told herself that she could probably run circles around those girls. She was trying make herself feel better because of the insecurity she felt.
The problem with this method is twofold. First, it doesn’t deal with the root problem of insecurity and comparison. Second, it makes life a competition. Instead of respecting those girls for their achievements and being secure in her own, she created a rift between them in her mind—all because of comparison.
You Are Most Useful as Your Authentic Self
When you are content as your most authentic self, it doesn’t matter who is skinnier, faster or more trendy than you. You can rest in the achievements and talents you already have—while learning from those more advanced in their journey.
God doesn’t need you to be someone else; He wants you to be the holiest, most loving version of the person He made you to be. You can only be that person by abiding in Him! And when you abide in His love, you will find comparison less and less appealing. You are most useful to the kingdom of God as your most authentic self. Don’t give comparison a foothold; rest in who He says you are.