When you compare yourself to others you end up feeling pretty awful. But God can help you learn how to stop comparing yourself to others so you can find JOY!
But before we dive into this topic a little deeper, can I ask you a quick question?
Why did Eve eat the fruit?
Listen to this:
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”-Genesis 3:4-5 NLT
Eve ate the fruit because she thought it would make her like God. She compared herself to God. Found herself lacking. And decided to do what she could to change that.
Which led to her downfall.
And quite honestly, the sin of comparison has been plaguing women ever since.
What is the sin of comparison?
When we compare ourselves to others, we tend to feel either superior or inferior. We either look down on others. Or look down on ourselves.
And both of these feelings keep us from the joy Jesus died to give us.
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”-Proverbs 14:30 ESV
And that is what comparison does to us. It eats away at us inside.
Comparison is the death of joy.
Which is exactly what our enemy wants to happen. His goal is to destroy us. In whatever way he can. And he knows getting us to compare ourselves to each other is a great way to bring us down.
But God came to bring us an abundant life. (John 10:10) Which is why we should pay attention to what He says about this.
“Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.”-Romans 12:5 MSG
What are the dangers of comparison in the Bible?
When we compare ourselves to others. This leads to us feeling like we need to compete with them. And this often then leads to us criticizing them.
I like to call these words the 3 Evil C’s.
We tend to engage in all of these things in a desperate attempt to get ahead of others. To prove we are better than them. Because then maybe, just maybe, we will feel like we are enough.
But in the process, we destroy any hope for connection and friendship.
Comparision Leads to Competition
When we compare ourselves to others, then inevitably we feel the need to compete with them. To try and prove we are better than them. Because then we think we will feel better about ourselves.
We may find ourselves secretly cheering when they fall down. Because now we can get ahead.
Which is really quite sick when you think about it.
When we find ourselves competing with others it’s generally because we have fallen for the enemy’s lie that there isn’t enough to go around.
In those moments, we’ve forgotten that we don’t serve a God who divides . . . we serve a God who multiplies.
Comparision Leads to Criticism
After comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves competing with them, criticism is naturally what follows.
And it’s another destroyer of friendships and connections.
And the even scarier truth is that when we choose to criticize someone, we are actually partnering with our enemy.
We make his job easy when we choose to wound or tear down another human being. A person made in the image of our Savior and King. A son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. Someone Jesus loved so much He was willing to die for them.
This is why before we open our mouths to criticize someone, we need to ask ourselves:
Who do we want to partner with? God? Or the devil?
Because it’s never really you against me. Or you against them.
It is us against Satan. He is the REAL enemy.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”-Ephesians 6:12 NLT
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
When we look at what others have it doesn’t take long for our own blessings to pale in comparison. And our enemy loves to encourage us to focus on all that is wrong because then we lose sight of all that is right in our lives.
And unfortunately, social media makes his job quite easy these days.
This is why we need to deal with our feelings of inadequacy by doing 3 things.
1) “Pray up before you scroll up!”
If we spend time with the Lord before we scroll, we will be better equipped to remember who we are in Him and the many blessings we have because of Him.
Which will in turn help us combat the temptation to compare.
2) What Would Jesus Do?
When tempted to compare ourselves to another person, what if instead, we choose to think about how we could act and look like Jesus around them?
Maybe instead of being jealous, we would invite them in and welcome them.
Maybe instead of giving them the cold shoulder, we would let compassion and love motivate the way we treat them.
Maybe instead of trying to be better than them, we would do what we could to encourage them.
Rather than focusing on comparing ourselves to others, we can choose to focus on becoming more like God. And when we choose to do that, we will become exactly who God created us to be.
3) Spend time with our Heavenly Father and King.
I love this quote by Lysa Terkeurst.
“Behind every harsh critic is usually a broken-hearted person desperate for love.”-Lysa Terkeurest
And I think she’s on to something.
Because the truth is we feel the need to compare to, compete with, and criticize other women when we’re feeling desperate for love. When we feel like we don’t measure up. That we’re not good enough.
And the best way for us to deal with these feelings of inadequacy is to spend time with our Heavenly Father and King.
We learn to fight better against comparison when we take the time to pray, meditate on God’s Word, and sit still in His Presence. Because in these moments, our Father can help us have more godly thoughts and He can remind us of who we are.
We are His beloved daughters.
He loves us more passionately and intimately than we could ever imagine. He not only created us. But He was also willing to go through an agonizing death for us – all because He loved us so much that He didn’t want to live without us.
Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross so that by choosing to believe in Him we could spend eternity with Him.
Ladies, we are loved more than we could ever dare to dream.
And when we learn to embrace and live out of our identity as dearly cherished and beloved daughters of the King – we will no longer feel the need to criticize, compare, or compete.
Because in Jesus we are complete.
How Do You Fight Against Comparison?
When we choose to fight against comparison, we can then begin to focus on ways we can instead engage with other women as we work together for the good of God’s Kingdom.
And learn how to live with 4 much better “C” words.
- And Compliments.
What if we chose to stop and CONSIDER what other people are going through?
What if we chose to have COMPASSION for what other people are facing?
What if instead of competing with them, we chose to COLLABORATE with them?
And what if we chose to give them COMPLIMENTS in an effort to encourage and inspire them?
What a beautiful world that would be!
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”-Psalm 133:1 NIV
Fight Comparison with CONSIDERATION.
Disunity forms when we act selfishly or consider ourselves better than others. Unity forms when we learn to consider others first.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves.”-Philippians 2:3 NASB
The word consideration can mean “thoughtful or sympathetic regard or respect; thoughtfulness for others.”
When we take the time to consider what other people are going through it helps us feel more sympathy for them.
Everyone deals with storms and rain. Everyone goes through heartache and pain. Everyone has had moments where they have felt unloved, overlooked, forgotten, or alone.
Everyone has turned away from Jesus. Everyone has sinned. And everyone desperately needs to run back to Him.
The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
And when we consider these things, we realize we can have compassion for what the other person is going through.
Even if we don’t always see eye to eye with them.
Fight Comparison with COMPASSION.
The word compassion implies pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare.
When we have compassion for each other, we want to help one another. It doesn’t matter if we come from different backgrounds, denominations, or nationalities. Because all that matters is helping another human being with the heavy burden they are trying to carry.
Because we all know how painful those things can be.
We have all at one point had to taste the bitterness of suffering. Having compassion for a person in pain, motivates us to do what we can to make a change.
That is the heart of compassion. To help someone else breathe a little easier.
Fight Comparison with COLLABORATION.
Instead of competing with each other, we can see each other as allies. We can help each other, support, and collaborate with each other. We can use our differences to complement each other which will help us accomplish more than we ever could alone.
Our culture preaches individuality but that was never the way the church was supposed to operate.
Our faith is personal but it is NOT private.
It was meant to be shared. To help us form a bond with other believers so that we become a force to be reckoned with.
Because we all have strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths can combat my weaknesses. And my strengths can combat yours.
We all have something to bring to the table. We can use our gifts and then invite others who are different from us and have different skill sets to the table. And then we can watch miracles unfold as we see the power of unity at work. Because something magical happens when we come together.
The simple truth is: WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER!
Fight Comparison with COMPLIMENTS.
Finally, we get to the last “C” that can help us stop comparing ourselves to each other so we can instead fuel our connections and friendships with each other.
And that is the word “compliments.”
Rather than criticizing each other, we can learn to complement each other. To look for the good in each other. And call it out.
When we choose to compliment the good things we see in someone, it motivates them to do more good things.
Because we are more likely to inspire change in someone not by tearing them down . . . but by building them up.
What Happens When We Stop Comparing Ourselves to Others
Our natural intuition and tendency to nurture can be used for good. When we choose to offer advice and guidance, a helping hand or a listening ear to each other.
We all know how incredibly reassuring it can be to know someone else understands what we’re going through. It can boost our self-confidence and even improve our physical and mental health.
Having a strong network of godly women in our lives can make it easier:
- To take risks.
- Make big changes.
- Go for our dreams.
- And feel more confident in taking a leap of faith to do what God has called us to do.
It won’t be easy. Because people are sinful, selfish, and messy. But investing in relationships with other women will not only help you reach your goals . . . but it will also help them reach theirs.
Which is a pretty amazing feeling. That leads to a lot of JOY!
What Happens When We Stop Comparing Ourselves to Others
Our enemy would love to use comparison to destroy the friendships and connections between us. So, he can rob us of our joy.
But the One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world.
And as we lean on the Holy Spirit, He can help us learn how to stop comparing ourselves to each other, work through our differences, forgive each other, and move on.
As women, we have the power to influence the lives of those around us for God’s Kingdom when we remember that as slaves of our new Master Jesus, our task is to reflect His grace and love. Not to compare ourselves with each other and quarrel with each other.
Because when the world sees Christians getting along and loving on each other, it makes them want to be like us. To have what we have.
And it makes them want to take another look at Jesus.
If you find this inspiring, then please share it so it can inspire others as well!
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