Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Apples to Oranges…Why do we compare ourselves to others??

Soapbox….and life lesson. Here goes!

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I saw this on Pinterest the other day and it really resonated with me.  It is so right on.

I think half of our problems….relationship issues, drama, jealousy, pride, arrogance, debt, insecurities, materialism…..are rooted from the fact that we compare ourselves to others.

That’s how we measure our worth. We compare everything about our lives. We want better clothes, hair, cars, houses, vacations, bodies, personalities, jobs, creativity, husbands, kids, abilities, gifts, talents, everything… and we spend so much time comparing ourselves to our friends, siblings, co-workers, and even strangers. 

How many conversations have we heard about women comparing weight or figures (“is my butt smaller than hers?”); moms comparing kids accomplishments(“my kid came out of the womb potty trained”);couples comparing “stuff” (we have been on 18 vacations this year, and it’s only February!). I know that’s a little extreme, but you get where I’m going with this.

Even if we don’t vocalize it, we are mentally measuring ourselves and making everyone else our competition. We want reassurance that we are “better”- smarter, wealthier, funnier, skinnier, prettier, more talented, better parents, have more friends, etc., than others.

If someone else has something we feel is better, we either become jealous and want to one up them,  or talk about them to justify our own insecurities. If we  have something we feel is better, we take a lot of self pride in that and think it’s because of something WE have done and deserve.

Even in reading this, I bet many of us are thinking about other people we know who really struggle with this. They are WAY worse about comparing themselves to others than we are…..(the irony in that, right?).

Can you imagine if we all just focused on our own selves? If we were thankful for all of our blessings, and content with our lives? If we had goals for the sole purpose of helping others rather than trying to outdo them? If we could TRULY be happy for others accomplishments of others and rejoice with them?

I really want to start focusing on being truly content and stop comparing myself to others (even if just in my mind). I want to have enough courage to remind others of this when I hear them comparing themselves to others. I think there is such a freedom in NOT doing that.

We are put here for two purposes: to serve others and to glorify God. Of course He gives us lots of opportunities to do that through our many roles in life.  But there is no way we can fulfill our purpose if we have so much self- interest that we are focused on what we (and others) do or do not have.

It’s important to recognize sin as sin. Comparing ourselves to others is actually a form of judging them, and we know what the Bible says about judging. That long list of “issues” (sins) at the beginning of the post are a result from comparing ourselves to others. We just get all tangled up in lots of things the Bible warns us about…

Everyone knows you can’t compare apples and oranges anyway…..

Now, just have to apply this wisdom,

I LOVE the Message’s version of Galatians 6:5…“Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

And some other great reminders from Scripture:

“Be content with what you have” –Hebrews 13:5

“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.” –Galatians 6:4

“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” –2 Corinthians 10:12

“For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” –Matthew 7:2

15 comments:

JPeace said...

Wow, girl! Have you been in my head or what??!? I'm ALWAYS comparing, without even meaning to...Like the weight issue. Thank you for posting this because I honestly think God gave this to you to speak to me, directly!

P!nky said...

What a great great post! Thanks for sharing!

Really makes you look in the mirror.

Hope you have a great day! xoxo

Emily said...

something i struggle with is being a perfectionist. i have ALWAYS dealt with this battle, probably due to being a first borne or my daddy issues...who knows! it may not seem to relate to this post but it SO does!!! because what is perfect? what perfection am i trying to seek? i was just thinking the other day that my life would be so much less stressful if i could just take my mini family and live on an island. then perfection would be simple to obtain b/c the ONLY thing i'd be able to focus on would be the things that matter right? while there is no such thing as perfection, as we are all flawed sinners, we should only use God's word as the guide book to the "perfection" that we seek. not the "american dream" not what so and so has or even what so and so doesn't have just what God wants us to be! no influences from the world, society or the devil...just God. that's a perfection I need to be working towards :) thanks for the great scripture to focus on! love you!!!

Ashley said...

"Even if we don’t vocalize it, we are mentally measuring ourselves and making everyone else our competition." - how true is that statement! Wow! We try sooo hard not to do things like comparing our lives to others, but we do. We're human and at times we forget that God has blessed us all with what we have and what we don't have. I certainly agree with trying to be more content with your own life....I struggle with this very thing, but everyday is a new day to try! Beautiful and truthful post!

Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

Awesome post! This is something I definitely struggle with, and this post is a great reminder how I really need to not let myself get caught up in this comparitive mindset! Thanks for sharing your heart! :)

Maggie said...

So true. I struggle with this SO.MUCH. I wish I could turn something off in my head that makes me think I have to compare to other girls.... wouldn't it be nice if things were that easy?! Great post :) xo

Kim Harner said...

Thank you for this. It is all totally true. It is in our nature I think to compare ourselves to others. We just can't seem to help it. But maybe this will help us all be more conscious of it and try to control the evil. God doesn't intend for us to "covet" thy neighbor. We could all learn a thing ot two from this, me included!!

Kae* said...

This is a wonderful post and how true that is. I think sooo many problems come from comparing, when really no one is the same and thats a good thing! :)

Jessica Washburn said...

Yep, we all want what we can't have and think the grass is greener some where else. I need to constantly remind myself of my strengths and talents and not beat myself up over things I cannot change. Being grateful for what God has given me is one of the best ways to thank Him for all I have. I wish I'd learned that earlier on. Jessica

runningtobeskinny.com

lovingsimplemoments said...

This is SO true and such a great post!

softballmom said...

This is so true. I have always been one to compare. Thank you for the post. It really hit home.

Erica said...

I agree! Although difficult at times, we need to find ways to become content with our own lives instead of always comparing ourselves to others.

LiaKini said...

Girl!!!!! I do this ALL THE TIME!!!! Thank you again for sharing the wisdom God is revealing to you :)

specialkkluthe said...

I struggle with this frequently too and have found that saying out loud what I'm grateful that God has given ME in MY life helps me be more content and stop wishing I had "more" or "better" things. If you haven't, I'd recommend reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. A great book focused on being thankful to God for all things.

Beth said...

I've been pondering the evils of comparison lately too--not that I'm trying to "compare" myself to you! Lol! I just think that what you're saying is so right on!! :)