Everyone is different. That’s a given. We all know that. So why do we continue to compare ourselves to others? In today’s world, advertising drives our lifestyles. Whatever the latest gadget is, we think we have to have it. Or we have to “look” like that, or dress like that, or whatever…”like that”! The problem is…WE AREN’T ALL “LIKE THAT”!!! We are individuals who look different, act different and think differently. You are you….not Sally, not Tom, not Mary, Dick, Harry or Jane….you are you. And you want to know something…that’s exactly how God intended you to be!
When we start comparing ourselves to others it is never a good thing. It opens the door for jealousy, low self-esteem, or pride. All which are negative emotions. Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy.” So let’s look at a few things to see what happens when we compare ourselves to others and how to avoid it.
Jealousy – When others are more successful than we are, we have a choice. We can rejoice with them in their success or we can become jealous because they are doing better than we are. Why should they get that promotion anyway! I work hard, I deserve it more than they do! Let’s face it…number one, you may not know EVERYTHING about the situation. Maybe they DID do more…maybe not. That’s not for you to be concerned with. In John 21: 22 Peter wanted to know what would happen to John and Jesus replied “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” In other words, don’t concern yourselves with how well others are doing. Rejoice with them and leave the rest to God. How they got to where they are is not YOUR concern. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is your actions…what you do. You do your best and know that in your heart…and be satisfied!
Low Self-Esteem – One of my favorite sayings is “Do your best, let God do the rest.” I don’t even know where I first heard it, but it’s something I try to live by. Some people are critical of others because they want to make themselves look better. Others just want the reassurance that they are doing well. When you are tempted to compare, look to Jesus Christ. His example will inspire you to do your best and YOUR best is all God requires of YOU.
Pride – Pride in itself is not a bad thing….In Galatians 6:4 it says “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.” It’s when we start thinking we are better than others that pride gets ugly. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride in this respect leads to destruction….eventually….always. When we start thinking we are better than others in any way, shape or fashion, we are exhibiting pride. So again, look inward. Did you do your best? Are you putting your best foot forward? Striving for YOUR best? That is the ONLY thing you can take pride in. One more thing about pride. Another form of pride is to not want to ever ask for help. Yes…this is a form of pride. When you think you don’t ever need help….you are on some seriously shaky ground!
Some may ask the question, “What about role models?” Role models may be beneficial but only if you realize you can’t be just like that person. There is nothing wrong with admiring someone else but when you start comparing yourself to them…one of the above negative feelings can take a stronghold in your life and that’s what you want to avoid.
We want to make sure we are not comparing ourselves to other people. People have faults…including you…including me! There is ALWAYS going to be someone who can do the job better, looks better, has more or does more. We all have different personalities, temperaments and minds. We think different, act different, talk different, and look different. So don’t compare or try to be something or someone you were never meant to be! Be yourself, do your best and let that be enough…for you.
Be the very best “YOU” you can be and don’t concern yourselves with what others are doing and you will have a whole lot more peace and joy! Let’s take comparison, “The thief of joy”, captive… not allowing it to rob from us any longer. I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or contact me.