As I grow physically and spiritually, I learn to accept who I am, appreciate what I have, grow where I am in life, and love how God made me. However, it is a process and at times, I am still tempted to compare.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” (Theodore Roosevelt)
The quote by Theodore Roosevelt sums up so well the danger or down side of comparison – it can steal your joy!
Comparison will cause you to overestimate/over value what someone else has and underestimate/devalue what you have or vice versa. You will miss the blessing and beauty of today if you are comparing yourself to someone else.
Just because someone has something you do not have or is different from you, it does not make him or her better than or more blessed than you are. It just makes them different. Our differences are what make us unique.
“Never compare your journey with someone else’s. Your journey is your journey NOT a competition.”
That woman or man you are comparing yourself to, I guarantee you is comparing herself or himself to someone else. The marriage you are comparing yours to, I guarantee you has its own issues to work out too. The job you wish you had may come with some stress that you are not ready and able to handle.
Think of it like this. When you see an iceberg in the ocean, you only see the tip or about 10%. You do not see the 90% underneath. The same is true when we compare. We only see the tip of the situation, the outside, or the mask that person chooses to show us. We do not see the work it took, the details of the situation, or the face behind the mask.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” (Steve Furtick)
Comparison steals our joy because, even if for a moment, it will make us forget about our accomplishments, achievements, and blessings. Always remember, “Someone is praying for the blessings you take for granted”.
“If only I” moments will cause you not to see or appreciate what you DO HAVE! Learn to bloom where you are planted instead of trying to bloom in another’s garden.
“Comparison says to God, ‘I want to limit Your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person.’ But God has an individual plan for each of us. His plan for you is greater than you could possibly imagine. Stop looking at His plans for others so you can walk in the plans He has for you and receive the blessings they bring.” (Joyce Meyer Youversion Devotional)
Here are some steps to help you overcome the trap of comparison:
1. Identify your own insecurities and weaknesses, for it is in those areas you will be more prone to compare.
2. Make a list of your accomplishments, achievements, blessings, things you love about yourself or your situation, and a list of scriptures that speak something positive about you or your situation.
3. When thoughts of comparison come up, cast down or reject the thought (2 Corinthians 10:5).
4. Replace the negative thought with something positive from the list you made.
For instance, if you are insecure about your body, make a list of the things you love about your body so when you see someone whose very presence makes you feel inferior; replace those negative thoughts with the things you love about yourself from your list. This will cause you to focus on the positive and not your “perceived” negative.
Life is a process and the temptation to compare will still occur, but you do not have to fall victim to it. Even the bible says that comparing yourself to others is not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). Learn to accept who you are, appreciate what you have, grow where you are in life, and love how God made you.
Lastly, do not allow comparison to steal your joy! You have so much to be thankful and grateful for. Focus on those things and keep moving forward!
If you liked this post, you may also like “Love the Skin You Are In”, “Giving Thanks: A Lifestyle Not a Holiday”, “Count Your Blessings, Not Your Problems” and “When Life Happens, How Will You Respond”
Image Credit: The above image was found here