We have all been there, coveting what another person has. We wish we could be as skinny as the fitness influencer on Instagram, have the Pinterest perfect house, have money to afford designer clothes and travel everywhere, or be as far along in our careers as someone who is our age or younger. For me, growing up in Orange County, CA, it is hard not to compare myself to others because the consumerist standard is set so high.
Truly, we want to be any number of things that the world says we need to obtain to be successful. And when we aren’t, we ask ourselves why can’t we be that way or have that life?
This is the toxic cycle of comparison and negativity. We compare to justify our own insecurity, hoping that in some aspect of life we will come out ahead. We have a desire to be perfect and better than the next person in the eyes of the world.
The fact is someone will always be better at something than you are or have more than you.
Isn’t one of the 10 commandments: “thou shalt not covet?”
If you find yourself doing the comparison dance, you must ask yourself:
“For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.
The Root of Comparison
Pride is at the root of comparison because it turns our thoughts on ourselves, and ultimately leaves us in a place of self-loathing and hopelessness. Satan loves it when we reveal our insecurities and focus on what we aren’t or what we don’t have. He uses our feelings of inadequacy to prevent us from realizing our full potential as a part of God’s Kingdom.
When we compare ourselves to others, do we really have confidence in the fact that God has made us in His image and empowered us with unique gifts? And do we believe that He is our provider and gives us exactly what we need?
“We, however, will not boast beyond measure but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned to us, which reaches even to you.”- 2 Corinthians 10:13.
God has a plan for you and has endowed you with the gifts and resources needed to accomplish those plans.
Five tips to stop comparing yourself to others
1. Be Prayerful
- Ask God to remove those thoughts of comparison and jealousy from your head.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
2. Remove the Temptation
- This may sound like a silly tip but stop following people on social media who cause you to compare yourself. These days it is so easy to get caught up in scrolling through Instagram wishing we had someone else’s body, house or life. Even if you know them, you can take a break from following them until you are in a better place, both mentally and spiritually.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
3. Rely on God’s Opinion of You.
- Like I said above, Satan loves to infiltrate our minds with the lies of comparison, hoping we will continue down the negative downward spiral of comparison.
- God believes we are worthy just as we are. He “wonderfully made” us in His image, and has entrusted with His kingdom.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” John 15:16.
4. Be Humble
- As mentioned, pride is at the root of comparison. It wants us to not see ourselves or others as vital parts of Christ’s body carrying out His calling but as a threat to our own self fulfillment.So we must pursue humility in all circumstances.
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:3-6
5. Be Imitators of Christ
- The only standard for self-evaluation should be the Gospel, not comparing ourselves to others.
- We aren’t called to glorify ourselves but to love one another.
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us.” Ephesians 5:1-2.
It’s not easy but I hope you learn to appreciate the gifts God has given you, which will ultimately allow you to live the life He has called you to live for His glory.