Soapbox….and life lesson. Here goes!
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