The grass on the other side may look green and lush. It may not appear to have any dandelions or creeping charlie. However, looking at your neighbor’s yard can take away the enjoyment of your own. I think we can all agree that comparison is pretty silly. You have a purpose that no one in this world can fulfill but you. Your neighbor wasn’t called by God to live your life, so why are you fantasizing about living theirs? Just think of how many deep and meaningful friendships could blossom when we destroy comparison with the pure enjoyment of our differences.
There are times when I compare my gifting to the talents of others. But more often than not, I find that I’m playing a comparison game with my former self. I used to be skinnier, and my hair was never out of place. I never skipped a shower because of a crying baby with acid reflux. I had hopes and dreams for my future. I always had time to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was in the beginning of the best days of my life. Looking at pictures, I see a confident put together woman on the left and I keep comparing her with the other girls on the right.
But you see, that isn’t the whole story of that girl on the left. I was immature. I was unhealthy. I lacked grace for others and refused to forgive those who had hurt me. I was living lies that had been told to me my whole life. I was anxious. I was easily annoyed. I was selfish.
Once I started thinking back to who I used to be, the women on the right start to look more and more beautiful. They are filled with grace and mercy. They have chosen to forgive and let go. They are more wise, and know how to become humble when life throws them a curveball. They are making healthy choices. They are filled with God’s truth and can speak it whenever they are confronted with a lie. They are no longer prisoners of fear, but can walk boldly in whatever circumstance God has put them in. They are not easily angered, and have learned to hold their tongue. They have learned to become more and more self-less. Instead of settling for the role of a victim, they have risen to become overcomers of the very struggle the girl on the left found impossible to conquer.
The reason I share my own comparison is because I believe that the end to comparing others is to stop comparing yourself to who you used to be. We have to love ourselves in order to be able to love one another. Comparison does steal our joy without us even noticing it. So, I’m on a journey to get that joy back.
The wonderful thing about joy is that I’m not responsible for producing it. If I lack joy, it’s because I’ve stopped believing in God’s truth. Comparison does not fall into the realm of God’s truth for our lives. Do you remember the part in the new testament where the disciples were comparing themselves and deciding who was the greatest?
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” –Luke 9:46-48
Jesus put a stop to their comparison by speaking the truth. Children are free from the worries and mind games of adults. Their hearts are pure and lack pride. The truth is that when we act like the least of these, we will become great. It’s not about us, it’s about developing a humble attitude that’s only focus is to point others to Jesus. That is the truth in regards to us comparing ourselves to others. We must hold onto this truth and let it guide our hearts, minds, and each step that we take.
Another thing to remember is how we sound to God when we are comparing ourselves to others. We are telling Him that He made a mistake. But friends, God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you the way you are for a purpose. You may not understand why God didn’t equip you with talents of your neighbor, but that’s not for us to question. All will be revealed in God’s timing. Our job isn’t to have everything figured out, our job is to believe that God has the best for us and thank Him for how He has created us.
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? -Romans 9:20-22
Let us be mindful of comparison, and put a stop to it with God’s truth. Let’s start believing that we are a wonderful creation, as God’s word tells us. When we start to believe, joy comes in abundance.