Can I be honest? I have been on this comparison cycle for years – probably the majority of my life. Last night, I was invited to a jewelry show. When I walked into this girl’s home, I was enamored by her fashion sense and the beautiful décor throughout each perfectly designed room. I was in awe.
At that moment, I had one of two choices. I could have let inferiority destroy my self-worth. Or I could enjoy the warmth of her home, gather ideas, and thank her for a beautiful evening.
I chose the latter! And for that I had a wonderful time of fellowship and I made some new friends.
As a speaker and Bible teacher, I’ve often compared my writing style and speaking ability to others out on the Christian circuit. Over the years, I’ve compared my marriage, my parenting, and my gifts and talents, among many other things.
Something tells me that you’ve been on this comparison cycle more than once as well. In our minds, there is always someone prettier, smarter, more talented, thinner, wealthier, more athletic, and has more friends. We will always find people with shinier hair, whiter teeth, a bigger house, better behaved kids, friends with more attentive husbands, and the list goes on and on.
But here’s the thing: Comparing ourselves to others is a lose/lose situation. No one wins! You have nothing to gain, but everything to lose.
Comparison depletes our joy and causes feelings of resentment.
We may ask ourselves what causes us to compare ourselves with others. It’s usually an issue deep within us, like: insecurity, low self-esteem, bondage caused by rejection, something from our past, etc. It really could stem from any number of things.
What’s important to know, though, is that we don’t have to live in this cycle any more. We can abound in freedom and joy. In fact, Jesus came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18).
Let’s observe three vital truths that, when applied, can break us of the cycle of comparison.
- Understand your worth! You matter to God. We read in Deuteronomy 7:6 that “[we] are a holy people, who belong to the LORD [our] God…God has chosen [us] to be his own special treasure.” Imagine that? You are His treasure. A treasure is something of value, with great worth. That’s who you are to your God.
If you are having a hard time grasping your worth, then think about this. Jesus left the glories of heaven, came to live in the unrest of earth, lived like a pauper, and was brutally beaten and nailed to a tree to die a sinner’s death, even though He was without sin. And the writer of Hebrews says that He did this with all joy (Hebrews 12:2). And He did this for YOU! Now, do you understand your worth?
I can’t leave this point without saying this: You are needed. You’re needed in your family, in your circle of friends, in your community, in your church, and in your sphere of influence. God created you with worth. And He created you to be useful on this earth and for the kingdom.
- See yourself as God sees you! When we look into the mirror, we usually don’t like what we see. We see our wrinkles, our extra flab, our messy hair, and our short eyelashes. We see every blemish. But that’s NOT how God sees us.
The Apostle Paul writes: “He [Jesus] gave up his life for her [the church] to make her holy and clean…He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead she will be holy and without fault” (Ephesians 5:25-27). This is how God sees us – without fault.
This picture of the kitty looking into the mirror is a perfect example of our view of ourselves versus God’s view of us. We see ourselves like a kitty – timid, weak and insignificant. But God sees us as lions – the power upon us, the anointing over us, the strength inside us, and the boldness the Holy Spirit gives us.
So, let’s ask God to help us view ourselves through His eyes, and not our own. When this becomes a reality, we will be greater vessels for the kingdom.
- Embrace your uniqueness! If you are thinking of memorizing a chapter in the Bible, let me encourage you to start with Psalm 139. Listen carefully to what David said: “You [God] made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous” (verses 13-14).
You know what this means? It means that God created YOU and YOU are a masterpiece. He designed you unique from any other person. Even your DNA doesn’t match anyone else on this planet.
Here’s the way Rick Warren translates this word masterpiece: If God were speaking to You, He would say, “I don’t want you copying somebody else. I’ve put gifts in you – heart abilities, personality, and experiences – and I want you to use them.” Let’s embrace what God has given us and use “our” gifts and talents – with our personality -, for the glory of God.
I trust that the truths presented through this post have helped you begin to break the cycle of comparison.
Upcoming Bible study topic
JOSHUA: HEAVEN’S MIGHTY WARRIOR
Begins January 8, 2016