Do you often compare yourself to others?
Maybe you compare your home, your car, or your clothes, your income, your husband, or your children, your homeschool, your talents, your lifestyle, with your friends.
"She always seems so patient, she is a perfect mom."
"Her children are so smart and obedient, what am I doing wrong?"
"I wish I had a beautiful home like that, we just can't afford it right now but I wish we could."
But playing the comparison game can be dangerous. In some instances, it can be a motivator or give us inspiration, but many times it destroys our focus and can lead us into the slippery path of sin.
Here are five reasons why we need to be careful comparing ourselves to others:
1. It Gets Our Focus Off God-It puts our focus everywhere else except to the cross. When we are focused on self we have trouble seeing all that God has done for us. We no longer can see things clearly but have found ourselves disillusioned by what how we "think" things should be. We also fall into the trap of "the grass is greener on the other side" not seeing things in a true light or considering that others might be going through challenges or difficulties as well.
2. It Puts Focus on Self--This is a wrong place to be because when we become to focused on self our happiness, our standards, etc. We can become consumed in our "wants", pity parties, pride by trying to impress others, and trying to be who we are not, that we no longer are living a life that brings glory to God, but instead trying to glorify self. It can make us miserable to the point of affecting our walks and even making miserable those around us.
3. It Sets You Up for Discontentment--Comparing doesn't lead to contentment by nature, in fact, in can lead to the ugly monster of discontentment and jealousy if we do not guard our thoughts properly. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6. This can set us up to sin against God because we are not thankful for what He has ultimately provided for us. It is shaking our fist at God and saying "What you have given me is not enough."
4. It Robs You of Joy-We can rob ourselves of the peace, priceless joys, and overflowing blessings that God has given us when we wrongfully compare ourselves to others. We need to take a step back from our situation and truly evaluate what the Lord has done in our lives or is going to do. Do we have clothes? Do we have a roof over our heads? Did we eat today? Our needs have been met, yet our "wants" don't ever seem, in our minds, fulfilled. His faithfulness is what we need to be focused on because He alone is truly enough.
5. It Gets You off Mission--How can we reach a lost world if we are so totally engrossed with what we don't have and how we stack up to others? God wants us to love others and do it well. He wants us to have an outward focus and not a selfish inward one. We can't love others well the way God intended if we are always comparing. We need to be sober-minded, knowing that the days are short, and purposefully live our lives for eternal rewards here on earth and not for treasure that moth and rust destroy.
The comparison game is never worth it, so if you find yourself moving down that path--turn yourself around! And if you do compare yourself to anyone, compare yourself to Christ Himself and His Word. He will never steer you wrong and His Word is a light to our feet and a lamp to our path. Only His ways are holy and and will lead you down to the path of contentment and righteousness.