There is a trap that is called the comparison trap. Chances are you have fallen prey to it before.
Comparison is dangerous. It is a silent, deadly killer that can take all that is good in your life and rip it apart.
Track with me for a minute.
Comparison takes place anytime you judge your life against some standard that God never intended for you to judge it by.
That’s comparison. And everybody does it.
There are at least two symptoms of comparison.
Symptom 1 – We distort other people’s success.
We have all done it. This distortion happens when we assume that everybody else’s life is better than ours. We believe their life is better than it actually is.
- We hear them describe their last vacation, and we think, “It must be nice to get that much time off.”
- We see the pictures of their house, car, or gadgets and think, “It must be nice to make that much money.”
- We see them post a picture of their family and think, “I wish my family had it together as they do.”
These thoughts indicate distorted thinking. We end up placing their lives on a pedestal and assume that it is better than it actually is.
There is a second symptom of comparison.
Symptom 2 – We discount ourselves.
These two symptoms often go hand-in-hand. When we distort what we see in somebody else’s life, we often discount what is going on in our own lives.
If we’re not mindful of this, we will develop catastrophic thinking. We anticipate the worse will take place in our lives.
“Things are fine now, but I know the other shoe will drop.”
“Things always fall apart at the last minute.”
“Nobody notices what I do for them.”
“Nobody gets me.”
“I’ll never have enough.”
“I don’t have what it takes.”
When you see these two symptoms in your life, its a sure sign that comparison is rearing its ugly head.
Comparison is a Thief
Here’s the truth: you don’t know what somebody else’s life is really like. You have no idea the pain, struggle, and heartache they are going through.
Don’t be fooled by what you see online. Most people post their highlight reels, not their day-to-day struggles.
I like what author Jon Acuff says, “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Comparison is poison.”
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of Joy.”
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt
I’ve seen both of those to be true.
Galatians 6:4-5 provides a great reminder to us:
“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.”
Paul points out that we all have our own work, our individual assignment. There is something that each of us is meant to do. Comparison causes us to focus on the work of others and neglect what he has intended for us to do.
By focusing on our own work and doing it well, we gain greater satisfaction and fulfillment. We fight our way out of the comparison trap.
Don’t Drink the Poison
Today, be grateful for what God has given you to do. Start and end your day with a time of gratitude.
Work hard today. Do everything you do as if you are doing it for the Lord.
Complete your assignment. This life is not about competing. It’s about completing what God has called you to do.
The world needs more of what you were uniquely designed by God to do! Don’t drink the poison of comparison.