Comparison is a struggle for most of us. What starts off pretty innocently can turn into an unquenchable force in our lives. Today, I’m sharing the pitfalls of comparison and how we can finally get out from under it.
Your Identity Podcast: https://ashleyvarner.com/your-identity
Video on the Dangers of Self-Help: https://youtu.be/WdF3kt_FWfg
Allie Beth Stuckey’s Book: https://amzn.to/3uob11a
Mindset Reset: https://ashleyvarner.com/mindset
Get Ashley’s ground breaking program The Mindset Reset. It is a self-paced program made to guide you to taking your thoughts captive and finally control your emotions, so they stop controlling you!
Highlights from the Episode:
Comparison Starts Off Innocently
Comparison can start off innocently. We admire someone else doing something really well and we wish that we were better at it. Whether that’s a particular talent, or success in business or money or family.
The problem comes when learning from them becomes wanting what they have. We start to only see what we want to be instead of looking at the whole picture.
We don’t see the journey they’ve been on or the lessons they’ve learned.
You miss your journey because you’re focused on someone who is a little further ahead on the road.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And I’ve definitely found that to be true.
I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I enjoy finding recipes and decorating ideas, I like putitng a piece of clothing I have in the search bar and getting new inspiration for what to wear.
But if I spend too much time on Pinterest, I start to feel so much discontentment. I start to feel like maybe I should redecorate my entire living room or go out and start a juice cleanse.
I see the beatuiful photos of homes or yards or outfits and all of a sudden, the home and body I’ve been happy with now feel inadequate.
It’s all in our thoughts.
Part of taking our thoughts captive is realizing when we need to stop the in flow of information.
We live in a world where we’re getting so much information, our minds start to shift to believing that our identity is the accumulation of all our posted photos, statuses, videos, and likes.
So we’re comparing our real selves to someone else’s curated profiles. And that’s not a fair comparison.
When we compare ourselves with others it distracts us.
We’re so focused on how we weigh less than someone or how their hair is longer than ours, comparison is a way the enemy uses to distract us.
We tend to think that comparison is actually a tool we can use to better ourselves, but really, it only distracts us from our present life.
In 1913, a man named Arthur Momand created a comic strip that ran for almost 30 years in The New York World and a few other newspapers.
The comic is about the McGinish family who struggle to keep up with their neighbors, the Joneses. The strip was called “Keeping Up with the Joneses” and ever since then, that phrase has become an idiom for comparison and trying to raise your social status.
But did you know that the Joneses never appeared in the comic strip?
It used to be that social status was dependent on your family name. But now, it’s all in things. The stuff.
Trying to “keep up with the Joneses” turned into Keeping up with the Kardashians.
And all of it distracts us from what’s really important.
Comparison keeps us from serving God in the ways He’s called us to serve.
Make sure to check out the epsiode titled Your Identity, because I talk about how we are members of Christ’s body and how He prefers diversity. If we were all eyes, where would the sense of smell be?
I’ve shared before about when I stepped down from a position in church. Iknew I would be prone to comparison, so I actively fought against it.
Every Sunday, I would remind myself that it wasn’t about one person being better or more talented than another. It was about lifting up God’s name. As long as that was happening, I was rejoicing.
Comparing You to Yourself
There’s one other danger related to comparison that I want to talk about before we get into how we can break free from comparison.
And that is the danger of comparing ourselves to ourselves.
I’ve seen plenty of pins on Pinterest that say something like, “My goal is to always be better than I was yesterday.”
And I can appreciate the idea behind this thought. They’re trying to fight off comparison of other people by just looking at themselves.
The problem with that is that any kind of growth, whether it be personal growth, financial or otherwise, is never in a straight line.
Think of people like Moses or Abraham. Great heroes of the faith. And even they weren’t better everyday. They were imperfect just like us. They made mistakes just like us.
You’re setting yourself up for failure if you expect yourself to be better everyday. There will always be set backs.
And this is what the world of self-help thrives on. It wants you to strive for perfect so when you have setbacks you go buy the next book. It constantly puts you in competition with yourself, and it’s a dangerous mindset.
I know because I got caught up in it a few years ago. There’s never an end result.
There’s only guilt and self-condemnation.
Allie Beth Stuckey nails it right on the head in her book, “You’re Not Enough and That’s Okay,” when she says, “Self cannot be both the problem and the solution.”
You can only go so far without the Lord.
How to Rid Yourself of Comparison
See comparison is all about looking outward or even inward to better yourself.
We look outward to Pinterest or magazines to tell us what our homes or bodies should look like. We look inward to figure out how we can be better.
But if you want to get rid of comparison, you need to start looking upward.
Focus your attention on who God is. Read His Word to find out who you are.
We begin to be thankful for the gifts He’s given us and content with who we are. We begin to let His Word guide us to what changes we need to make in our lives.