Health, Relationships, Self Awareness

3 Ways Comparison Kills the Christian

Did you know that there is something out here killing Christians? No, not literally killing us— but attacking us from the inside out.

I’m talking about COMPARISON— something former President Theodore Roosevelt actually called “the thief of joy”.

To compare, by definition, means to estimate, measure or pinpoint similarities and differences between two or more things. In some cases, comparing two things isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Noticing differences is not bad. Focusing and obsessing over those differences is bad, however. The danger comes when we as Christians begin to participate in unhealthy comparison. For example, if we frequently compare, intensely compare, or make comparisons that lead to feelings of greed or even envy. This is when unhealthy comparison takes place and begins to kill us softly (*insert Lauryn Hill song lol).

 

With the rise of social media, the concept of “keeping up with the Joneses” (the neighbors) has now been heightened to “keeping up with any and everybody on Facebook or Instagram”.

When unhealthy comparison occurs, we unknowingly are weakened in areas where God has called for us to be strong. We are bound by things that we are called to be free from. And this phenomenon is slowly killing us ya’ll— causing us to be more conformed by the world than transformed by God.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. –Romans 12:2

Now you might be saying “Dana, that’s pretty extreme—- to say that comparison is killing us”. I have to disagree. Let’s look at 3 WAYS COMPARISON KILLS THE CHRISTIAN:

  1. Comparison discounts our uniqueness. 

  2. Comparison emphasizes outward appearance. 

  3. Comparison fuels idolatry.  

Let’s take a look at these one by one, shall we?

Comparison discounts our uniqueness. The Bible says that before God formed us in our mother’s womb, He knew us (Jeremiah 1:5). We are all unique. We have different gifts, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. That was God’s intention– His original design. When we try to be EXACTLY like someone else, we discount the uniqueness God has placed on us. Psalm 139:14 reminds us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Let’s truly believe and embrace this scripture. Let’s be bold and content with who we are and whose we are.

Only God’s evaluation of us matters— no one else’s.

Instead of constantly comparing ourselves to someone else, let’s focus on becoming the best version of ourselves. Our beautiful, wonderful, unique selves.

 

Comparison emphasizes outward appearance. Scrolling on social media can definitely leave you feeling like a hot mess. (*raises hand; guilty as charged). Beautiful woman, (double tap), rich man, fit celebrity, (double tap). We now have access to everyone all the time because of the internet. Let’s be honest, seeing what’s on the outside of people can sometimes have us feeling some kinda way on the inside.

The Bible reminds us so many times that it’s our heart that matters most— not outward appearance.

Please stop saying “I’m not as pretty as such and such” or “I don’t make enough money as such and such”.  So what?! You’re pretty enough for your husband (or future husband) and your God. You make enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle for you and yours. There will always be someone who looks better, makes more, or does something better than you. Don’t obsess over trying to be like everyone else. Again, just be the best version of you.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” — 1 Samuel 16:7

 

Comparison fuels idolatryExodus 20:17 reads “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” This is so plain and simple, there’s really no interpretation needed but let’s discuss…….

When we want something that someone else has we are placing value on that thing. That thing can be a car, a relationship, a job, a house, whatever. We are saying that thing has value in my heart and I want it. But how much value does it actually have? What lengths are we willing to go to get that thing? Are we willing to work ourselves to death to get it, ignore our priorities and responsibilities for it, steal it? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then we are making that thing (whatever it is) our idol. God is clear that there should be nothing before Him (Exodus 20:3). The Bible warns us that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24)

Paul writes in Philippians 4 that whether he has or does not have, he has learned to be content. This is a true lesson on being grateful for what we already have and not focusing on what we “lack”. We’ve placed a lot of value on earthly things these days when our hearts should actually be set on Heavenly things instead.

 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. –Philippians 4:11

 

 

Before you all come for me (ya’ll better not lol), let me be very clear again and say that comparison is not all bad. In fact, comparison in some instances can be healthy. It can be a catalyst for growth for areas that we may not be the best in. It can provoke positive change. However, when comparing yourself to others (or comparing your performance to other’s performance), be sure to ask yourself specific questions such as these:

  1. What urges me to make this particular comparison?

  2. Why am I comparing myself to this person?

  3. Do I often compare myself to others about this?

  4. What does comparison between this person and myself breed? (self pity, envy, jealously, shame, regret, frustration, anger, growth, motivation etc)

  5. Is this a healthy or unhealthy comparison I am making? 

 

Examining ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) will help us determine if the comparisons we are making are actually helping or hurting us on this Christian journey. Stay LIFTED ya’ll!

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “3 Ways Comparison Kills the Christian”

  1. This is so true sister!!! I’ve conciously cut down on my Instagram use as I find myself comparing myself to everyone. And my comparison quickly become coveting. It’s a downward spiral from there!! Thank you for sharing this and pointing out that there is benefit at times too. That’s good for me to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I totally understand about cutting down social media usage. I’ve done the same with the IG timer feature. It really is a slippery slope sis. Continue to be encouraged! God bless ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reminder! I think in order to free ourselves from this we have to be honest that we do compare ourselves which is sometimes hard to admit. Thankfully the scriptures and reflection questions you shared can help led us to walk in the freedom we have in our King. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great article!! I’m actually getting ready to film a video on spiritual comparison !!! I’ve learned that you have to set boundaries in order to keep your mind healthy. This is so good queen! Loved reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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