From the first time we start looking to our left and to our right to see how we measure up to those around us, we enter into the comparison trap and a game where there is no real winners.
It’s starts early. We complain to our Mum or Dad at the dinner table that “It’s not fair, they got more ice cream than me for dessert”.
The temptation to compare ourselves to others is a constant battle in a world where we are bombarded by social media, advertising and the pressure to keep up with everyone else.
The game of comparisons is a trap. Sometimes we come up on top – our house is bigger, my grades are better, my job pays more.
When our comparisons end up in our favour, pride and arrogance can very quickly cause us to become judgmental and critical of others. “Our children are much better behaved, they should discipline their kids, they’re little “monsters”, or “They could lose weight if they exercised like I do”.
Sometimes we come up lacking – they’re smarter, skinnier, happier, their life looks so much better than mine.
When we don’t measure up, or we look on social media and see the photo’s of other people’s lives, then envy, jealousy, disappointment and discontentment starts to take root in our lives.
Instead of being thankful for all the blessings in our life, we can start to think that God’s blessings are in short supply, and that you are losing at life while others are winning.
Ugliest of all, comparison can cause us to be smug about the misfortune of others. Be honest – have you ever been a little bit happy to hear someone didn’t get exactly what they were hoping for, when everything else seems to go “their way”?
You may feel like you’ve been left behind while others get married, have kids, travel the world, or get that dream job. All the things you’ve been hoping and praying for. Except someone else is living “your” dream life. What’s worse it’s documented daily on Facebook!
But God says that He has a unique plan for your life. He promises that He will perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8), and that you are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), created with a plan and a purpose. Don’t get so busy looking and wanting someone else’s life that you miss the amazing life God has planned just for you.
Be aware of the comparison trap that easily let’s pride and arrogance creep into your life as you compare and judge, hurting others in the process. God wants us to be a blessing to those around us, and not to criticise and judge.
There’s no win in the comparison game. It brings envy, jealousy, pride, can cause us to make unwise decisions just to keep up with others and causes us to feel discontented. It strains relationships, creates gossip, striving and steals our joy.
Make a decision to trust God to finish the work that He’s started in you. Don’t look to the left or the right , but straight ahead running your own race.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:11)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. (Ephesians 2:10)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. (Matthew 6:33)
Prayer; Lord forgive me where I have fallen into the comparison trap. Help me to count my blessings, be thankful for my life and be a blessing to others. Help to me run my own race and to not miss the life you have planned for me because I’m too busy looking at others. Thank you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.