Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. – Galatians 1:10
Comparison is an ugly game that we’ve all played at least once in our life (realistically, we’ve probably played it daily). Comparison leaves us envious of what we don’t look like but wish we did, what we don’t have and for some reason desperately want, and utterly drained from spending so much energy chasing after something that will only provide temporary happiness.
I’m sure you’ve all seen models, movie stars, and more and have just longed to look like they looked. They were skinny, with perfect white teeth, beautiful skin and flawless makeup, long blonde hair that was never out of place. They were perfect, and we were not. I used to think that if I could just look like that person, maybe some guy would call me beautiful and hopefully love me. Or, maybe, if was as smart as the guy sitting next to me in class, I wouldn’t be almost failing my math class and would have a chance at a good college scholarship. I’d think that if I had my life together, I would be able to find a career that I loved – or even just finish college. Maybe, if I was a better Christian and had a deeper relationship with God like the girls in my small group, then I wouldn’t feel so alone and depressed all the time. Trying to change who I was lead to trying to win the approval of others, not of God.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
– Theodore Roosevelt.
I don’t know when I finally realized it, but comparison was slowly killing me – eating away at almost all of my joy and peace. While I was busy longing for everything that I didn’t have, I was also busy wishing away the person that God had made me to be. I was busy listening to who the world said I was instead of who God says I am. I never thought of myself as something extraordinary or unique. I was just another person walking the streets, too plain to be noticed. In my eyes, I wasn’t exceptionally talented, beautiful, or vastly devoted to God; there was nothing about my personality that would set me apart from others. When I was living in comparison, I was seeing what I wasn’t instead of what I was.
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 12:6 MSG.
Friends, God made us something special. There is no one else on earth like you or me – even identical twins have vast differences that set them apart from each other. There is no one on earth that can do exactly what you can do and the way God has created you to do it. There is no one whose heart is wired the same way your heart is wired. You are one of a kind.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:13-14 ESV
Instead of spending time dwelling on what we aren’t, let’s praise God by spending time thanking Him for who He made us to be. We are, after all, very unique. We are special in every way, so why wouldn’t we praise Him for that?
“God, You created me to be a writer, thank You.”
“God, You instilled a quirky sense of humor in me. Thank You for giving me the ability to laugh and find joy in the odd things, it makes life so much more pleasant.”
“God, I may not look like that model on TV, but You say I’m beautiful. I know that’s true because You make beautiful things. Thank You.”
“God, You (fill in the blank). Thank You.”
If you struggle with comparison, try this. Try spending just a few minutes each day acknowledging who He made you to be and thanking Him for it – it’s a game changer. Living life in comparison steals joy, but living life thanking God for who He made us to be instills it.
1. Have you been living in comparison? If so, how is it shaping your view of yourself and of God?
2. Take a few minutes to list out some unique things about yourself and spend some time thanking God for each of them.
God, Psalm 139 says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I praise You for the way You created me. Thank You for making me exactly the way I needed to be made. Would You help me see myself the way You created me? Would You show me Your heart for me? Father, I love You and thank You for my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.