A friend brought up this saying to me a few weeks ago, and it’s been rolling around in my head. The truth is, I’m realizing more and more how true it is. Comparing myself to others either leads to feelings of arrogance and pride:
“I’m better than so and so at _______.”
“I would never do __________ like so and so.”
or leads to feelings of envy, self-doubt, and discontent:
“I’ll never be as good at ________ as so and so.”
“I wish I had _______________ like so and so.”
“I’m not good enough at _________________. So and so makes that obvious.”
The problem with both of these lines of thinking is that they just aren’t in line with the Gospel. I’m not loving myself or others as Christ calls me to. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the giftings of others or the great things happening in other people’s lives, but making a judgment call about those people or myself leads directly to sin. Similarly, it is wrong to disregard the needs of others or to ignore opportunities to help someone else. If I turn that into thinking I’m better than those people simply because I have ______ and they don’t, I’m headed down an ugly path of sin.
All of this to say I’m asking God to help me kill the practice of unhealthy comparisons and to replace comparison with contentedness–true contentedness. Embarking on this journey has made it clear that I make sinful comparisons A LOT. I don’t expect this to be a “quick fix”. In fact, I kind of expect it to be a lifelong thing that I wrestle with to various degrees during different seasons in my life. A lot of society is built around comparisons. It’s difficult to avoid both envy and arrogance. I’m asking God to replace the sinful comparing with a heart more like His–one that acknowledges and treats both myself and others as His creation and that shares and practices the Gospel rather than my own self-serving fleshly thoughts.