Comparison is something that we as human beings will constantly struggle with. It is hard when we see someone get the job we applied for, when someone is able to start a family first, when others have the one thing we have been working so hard for, etc. In a world that is substance driven, it is hard to get away from the feeling of wanting more or needing more. Now that social media is something we spend a lot of time on, seeing the things that others are doing, it doesn’t help, and in fact makes it so much easier to start comparing.
I feel like comparison can come in waves. Especially when we are trying really hard for something that we want. I have fallen so hard into the comparison game. It is so easy to look at other peoples lives and ask questions and have thoughts like, “I wish I had their job, then I would be happy” “I wish I lived in a house as big as theirs” “I wish I was a strong as them” “Why can’t I have the things they have God?” The list goes on and on and on.
When we start to focus on the things we DON’T have, comparison hits the hardest. Our minds tend to want to focus on negative things rather than the positive. It fixates on the one thing we aren’t happy with and can become all consuming of our thoughts.
We live in a world that is broken. A world that wants more, needs more, and is always searching for the next best thing. But, if we look at scripture, and how God wants us to live, we can rest in the fact that he will provide for us what we NEED. He will lead us on the path that is for us, and us only. He knows what is best for you. Maybe that job you want that your friend got, wasn’t meant for you. You could have a bigger house, but will it actually make you “happier” or is it just for earthly reasons and not heavenly reasons?
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of christ.” Galatians 1:10 ESV
“Lets just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully competing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t” Romans 12:6 MSG
I struggled with comparison A LOT in college. It was a time where I was finding who I truly was. I felt lost. I wasn’t sure who I was, what I liked, what I truly believed, and who I wanted to be. I would try my best to fit in with my friends, to like the things they liked, but when I was honest with myself, I didn’t always like the things they like and that is okay. It can be challenging to not compare in a time where you are trying to find yourself. It can be challenging to not compare in a time like college where you are constantly surrounded by others and what they are doing.
Throughout the end of college and into my now post-college years, I have learned quite a bit about comparison. I have learned some tools and gotten advice that has helped me and I want to share those tools with you.
- Celebrate others. As hard as it can be and even when our selfish selves don’t want to, ALWAYS celebrate others. When we choose to celebrate others, even when they got what we wanted, it changes our hearts posture. There is a choice we can make to have bitter feelings toward a person or to celebrate them in their accomplishment. It is okay to sit with the feelings of being bummed, sad and upset. You are allowed to feel those feelings. But, don’t let your feelings over take the fact that just because you didn’t get what they got, doesn’t make you ANY less-than. Trust the process. Remind yourself that God has you where you are to be. He will guide you through the hard times and give you peace.
- Evaluate what it is you are really wanting. Is it for earthly reasons or is it to further the kingdom of God? Is it to just “fit in” or is it for heavenly reasons? At times when I am comparing and really wanting something, asking myself these questions really helps. yes, it can be very convicting at times. But, growth always comes from it and my mind is enlightened to the worldly tendencies my mind has.
- Are you staying true to who you are? Or are you trying to conform to someone else? This one is SO hard. It is so hard when you feel a little lost or like who don’t fully know who you are. But, listen to your heart, pray about it, ask God to reveal to you what you should do.
We are all unique. Not one of us is the same. And we are going to want what others have, but sometimes that isn’t what God wants for us. We are to trust Him in that, even when it is hard. He will provide for us our very needs. He will lead us where we will thrive. He knows our hearts better than we do. He wants us to celebrate others and he wants us to be celebrated. He also wants us to remember that there is grace. We are going to compare, we live in a broken world, we are broken people, and this isn’t something that will be fixed over night. What matters is that we become more aware of when we are comparing, and we do our best to take these steps and ask ourselves these questions. In doing so, we are protecting our heart and we are furthering His kingdom. Bring your thoughts to Him. He sees you, He hears you, he wants to comfort you. Let Him guide you. As you trust in Him, he will help you overcome comparison.