The Ugly Truth about Comparing Ourselves

Why do I do it?  Why do I allow myself to compare myself with someone else and then feel like I’m not enough?  Why do I put myself through it?  Why can’t I just accept who I am, what God has called me to do and who He has created me to be and be satisfied with that?  Ever have those thoughts?  Me too.

Over the weekend I spoke to a lovely group of ladies at the Ladies of Freedom Brunch in Edmond, OK.  I spoke for a portion of my message about comparison.  Then Sunday evening at church I led our women in a discussion about comparison.  What I surmised in those two encounters with bright, successful, passionate, God-loving women was that

Comparison is an Equal opportunity destroyer

In the women’s meeting at the church we had a heartfelt discussion about how we compare ourselves to others.  The realization that bubbled to the surface was that when we compare ourselves with others, it has a detrimental affect our lives.

 

We often look at someone’s life and feel like our life doesn’t measure up.  (The flip-side of comparison is that we feel we’re better than someone else – however, we’ll save that for another day.)  Often we feel like our looks don’t measure up.  Our home doesn’t measure up.  Our car doesn’t measure up.  Our job doesn’t measure up.  Our family doesn’t measure up.  Our prayer life doesn’t measure up.  When we compare, we begin to feel like we’re just not enough.

When I slip into the trap of comparison, (And it IS a trap.  It will snag you and keep you from moving forward.)  I can always trace it back to losing focus.  When I start focusing on comparing what I’m doing to what others are doing, I can always find some way that I don’t measure up.  But Galatians 6:4,5 has a remedy for us.  (Thank you, Jesus)

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.  For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”  (NLT)

When I keep my focus on what God’s called me to do, and not measure myself against what God’s called someone else to do, when I’m careful to “pay attention to my own work”, THEN I’m satisfied with the job I’m doing.  When I keep my focus on my own calling, my own work, the results of my own conduct, then I don’t feel the need to compare myself to anyone else.  I’m too busy trying to be successful at what I’m doing.

Dear friend, can I reassure you of this one thing?  You are enough.  God has given you a work to do.  He has built satisfaction into the work He’s called you to do and the satisfaction comes when you focus on His plan and work to complete it.  What God has called you to do isn’t dependent on what He’s called someone else to do.

So let’s stay focused on our own work and stop comparing ourselves to our sisters.  And someday we will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”  Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

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2 thoughts on “The Ugly Truth about Comparing Ourselves

  1. I’m so glad your talk went well. I am grateful for this conversation/post today. I, too, find myself comparing and it is not a good thing. God’s call for me doesn’t belong to someone else and if it’s the same call, it’s a different approach all together. Glorifying Him is #1. Even in the small tasks of washing dishes. Thank you, Jesus, for the promise that we are precious in your eyes. Have a blessed week, Gwen!

  2. Thank you, Carolina. It’s difficult to keep the perspective on our own calling sometimes – especially when we get on our eyes on what others are producing through their calling. But the word God gave me at the beginning of the year “others” (like your “whitespace”) really helps me. It helps in the way of… I’m fulfilling my calling so others will come to know Christ. If I get my eyes on what others are doing or what I’m not (as in I’m not enough), I won’t fulfill my unique calling and therefore, I won’t have done my part for the kingdom of God. Who suffers? The people who need to know Jesus and will find Him through my calling. Thank you for stopping by! Blessings to you!