Comparison Traps You
Comparison is a trap. It’s a never-ending measuring stick. It deceives you into thinking you’re behind, inadequate, deficient and inferior to someone else. It causes you to overlook your own giftedness and greatness, value and worth. It causes you to focus on what you lack rather then what you have.
Often times, we compare our personality, position, profession, possessions, popularity, power and performance to that of those around us. We compare our appearance/bodies, families, spouses, children, talents, gifts and socioeconomic status too. And oftentimes we find ourselves stuck in disappointment and discouragement because we compare our successes and achievements (or lack thereof) to the highlight reels and success stories of those we see and follow on social media.
Comparing Likes and Follows
For example, we compare the number of likes, comments and follows we receive on social media to that of those we admire, desire to be like or look like. And if our numbers aren’t measuring UP, we feel inferior, insignificant “not good enough.”But here’s the thing.
Comparison is deficit focused instead of strengths-focused. Often times, we struggle with comparing ourselves to others because we haven’t learned to fully accept our selves as we are. Fully loved. Fully accepted. Fully belonging. And Fully embraced by our Creator. When we fail to remember the divine image we bear, we will constantly chase after counterfeit images in our culture of. Images that can never satisfy our deepest needs and longings for unconditional love, acceptance, belonging and worth.
Comparison Discourages You
When we measure or compare ourselves to others around us, we‘ll always stay stuck in disappointment, discontent, discouragement, depression and wrestle with thoughts of deficiency and feelings of despair. We will always find ourselves coming up short in some life area. Honestly, I think comparison comes down to unchecked disappointment in God.
We somehow think God missed the mark when he made us. We think he short-changed us. Left some things out. We think He’s somehow been unkind to us because he chose not to give us (x, y, and z) like so and so or make us more like so and so. Now, of course, we’d never say these things out loud to God. But if we’re really gonna be truthful and transparent, this is a core belief many of us have. It’s a hard thing to acknowledge. But it’s often so true.
Comparision as Self-Hatred
I think comparison is also a form of self-hatred because we find it hard to love and accept ourselves as we are. It’s like we just don’t want to celebrate the way God made us. And we can’t seem to enjoy and appreciate the life we’ve been gifted because we’re so focused on what we perceive is lacking, inadequate or ‘wrong’ about us.
If we truly believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made; if we truly believe we are who we are and we have what we have because of God’s grace–and if we believe God wants us to ONLY measure ourselves according to His righteousness (or the right way of living and being), then we would STOP the comparing.
Comparision as Egocentrism/Narcissism
But if you want my honest opinion on this whole issue of social comparison–here’s a big take away you may not want to hear.
Constantly comparing yourself to others is a form of EGOCENTRISM or narcissism because it focuses exclusively on the SELF. Self- interests. Self concerns. Self wants, needs, desires, and happiness. This is the HUGE trap of comparison. It keeps you fixated on yourSELF. And you remain fixated on what you think you lack, where you think you’ve come up short, and what you wish you had SO much that you can’t focus on all that’s good and right in your world.
Comparision as a Scarcity Mindset
Comparison truly is the thief of joy, gratitude, and self-acceptance. Truth be told, people who are comparison focused have a scarcity mindset because their minds are constantly being flooded with thoughts like:
- I’m not ______enough
- I don’t have enough ______
- I’ll never be _______ enough
- I just don’t measure up
But the reality is God has given each of us different gifts, talents, and abilities according to a specific measure of grace (Romans 12:6). The same goes for the type of life we have. When you catch yourself in a cycle of comparison again, I want you to think about this following scripture:
On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers [arrogantly] back to God and dares to defy Him? Will the thing which is formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21Does the potter not have the right over the clay, to make from the same lump [of clay] one object for honorable use [something beautiful or distinctive] and another for common use [something ordinary or menial]? (Romans 9:20-21, AMP).
So. Who are we to question why God made us the way we are? And who are we to question our divine gifts, inherent worth and divine identity? I truly believe we can become free of social comparison by doing these 3 simple things:
- Recognize all God has graciously given you and deposited in you. Count your blessings. Daily.
- Express gratitude for God’s goodness in your life. Celebrate His provision and the gifts in your life.
- Accept who you are, where you are, and what you have (Matthew 5:5, MSG). Command yourself to be satisfied in Christ because godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6-11, NIV). A few other ways to communicate this thought is this.
“A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God that leads to the greatest gains in life”
“But godliness is actually a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment (that contentment which comes only from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God).”(1 Tim.6:6, MSG)
My prayer is that you will be convinced of your value, significance, and worth in God because in Him–you are MORE THAN ENOUGH.
And my prayer is that you will learn how to increase your GOD-confidence based on the sufficiency and adequacy of God–and God alone. The cure for comparison is actually quite simple. Cultivate your God-confidence and you’ll have everything you need to succeed and be you—authentically and unapologetically. xoxo