“There is no beauty without some strangeness.” – Edgar Allen Poe
“We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated with purpose.” – Bob Goff
TONIGHT I WAS walking into the back of the Chick-fil-A where I work, and my eye caught upon a little flowered note sticking out amongst the many signs on the wall. It was hiding there for someone like me to see if you look just close enough. In flowing, colored letters it had the words:
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
The thought grabbed hold of me as I realized that’s exactly true. Comparing myself to others is a day-to-day distraction I face at school, at work, and all through my life. I see others and automatically struggle with how I cannot live up to their appearance, talents, skills, and personalities. How everyone else —but me— seems to be athletic, or musical, or pretty. I admit I have had the thought, that no matter how hard I try I can never be “good enough.” That’s why comparison is a thief. It takes away the joy of living when you’re always trying to be like someone else. It takes away the fun of perhaps cheering your athletic friends on from the bleachers. And it takes away the beautiful contentment of living the way God made you.
Don’t focus on trying to live just like someone else, look like someone else, or have the same exact talents they do. Almost all throughout my high school career I focused on how I was not athletic like my friends. I wasn’t on the volleyball team, and because of that I became quite insecure. It was hard for me to be happy for my friends, when all I did was focus on how I wasn’t like them. When they would talk about volleyball, I shut them out. I admit I was jealous and even made myself feel left out… on purpose. It was an easy trap to fall into, but a shameful one.
It has been years of growing, praying and working on this, before I finally made the decision (with Jesus’ help) to be content with where I was. I decided to simply be happy for my friends, and be interested in what they were doing. It made such a difference when I stopped focusing on how I was “inferior” to them. I started cheering them on and it actually brought real joy to me too. Comparison is still a daily struggle for me, but I am truly happy for them now. For real. God has been faithful to me to show me how much I needed to let go of my selfish feelings. I believe with His help we are capable of growing and overcoming struggles like these. Big or small. We need to stop comparing and start building each other up.
Galatians 6:4-5 says, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.”
This verse is such a great reminder that we can be proud of how we have grown in our accomplishments — without the thief of comparison. Stop setting your mind into the trap and set into things above, asking God for both humility and confidence to live the unique life you have. A perfect quote for this occasion is from Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Now I know this isn’t easy; it’s not something you can stop doing in a flash of a second. The distractions of comparing can be the worst cause of having insecurity, believe me. But remember, you don’t always see the behind-the-scenes of others.
Comparison is a real-life problem most people struggle with and we all need to rely on God for our true focus in life.
Stop looking at that cool person’s Instagram feed and comparing it to your own. Will that all matter in the end? Don’t become caught in the trap of comparing in the here and now! Because God, who made you uniquely your own person, is the only one who can help you be content. He made you with a purpose. He gave you a passion for your own skills, and your own talents. I can’t count the number of times I wished I could have had something like others had. Better clothes or straighter teeth or whatever other things. But you know what? When we start counting our blessings of what we do have our focus changes. Our true joy that we get from Jesus comes out. And then we can grow with our different potential He gives each one of us.
This article was written by an anonymous Guest Writer. We thank her for her transparency and willingness to share!