Why is it that we feel the need to compare? We compare things we have and things we do not. And what are we left with, but an inflated temporary assurance that we are better than we actually are or have it worse than we actually do. Both are lies to our souls. We compare our bodies, kids, marriages, house, job, cars… You name it; we’re looking around to assess how we stand against someone else.
God’s Word is very clear about the trap of comparison—we shouldn’t do it!
- “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves they are not wise.”—2 Corinthians 10:12
- “If I were still trying to please men I would not be a servant of Christ.”— Galatians 1:10
- “Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each should carry his own load.”—Galatians 6:4-5
The Lord’s desire is that we are content, completely satisfied, with what He has graciously provided. Comparing is a snare the enemy uses to entangle us and question our worth, drawing us away from the Giver. But in Christ we know we have everlasting life. When we start to compare we are our ultimately doubting God’s goodness and our divine placement in Him and the world. We know God has a plan for each one of us. And we know His plans for you are different from mine, but we are all to bring Him glory and He invites us in to partner with Him. We are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ!
His Word also warns against comparison for our own sake. “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2). When we compare we set ourselves up for judgment from others and can fall into hypocrisy.
Jesus’ words have a promise. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25). Jesus invites us in to think about how valuable we are to God, to trust in Him that He will provide all we need.
Any man or women out there thinking, “Man, those are the EXACT things I worry about”… this is written to you! God’s Word is alive and active today! Comparing only leads us down a path of worry, anxiety, regret and envy.
But God wants something more for us… He wants us to see His goodness and how good He is to us! When we say to ourselves, “If I only had…” or “If I was only… then I’d be happy” we can know we are headed down a dark path. I challenge you to stop and pray when those thoughts come into your mind. Pray for God to show you His goodness and blessings, pray for God to change your heart from hardened to soft and content. He doesn’t want us to only be happy; He wants us to find contentment leading us to a joyful heart! These things are abundant in Christ.
When we ask God to refocus our minds on thankfulness and cast our burdens on Him, He not only carries away our pain, but also deposits His righteousness in us. The apostle Paul knew the secret of contentment, “…for I have learned to be content with whatever 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 everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).