The danger of comparing ourselves to others is that our comparisons are never fair. Each one of us is a unique individual with characteristics and life events that are unique to only us. Unless you’ve been cloned at birth and your clone has been following you around and engaging in everything you have (down to your exact thinking), I’m pretty certain when I say that comparing yourself to another is a dead end. It is our entire life experience that makes us vastly different from those around us.[i]
In our series, No More, we have been learning from Moses in Exodus chapter 4. God wanted him to free his own people from slavery. God picked Moses for this task, so Moses readily accepted the task right? No. He made compared himself and said, “O Lord, please send SOMEONE ELSE to do it.”[ii] Surely somebody else can do this better!” In Moses we have seen fear, excuse and now comparing.
I think one of the best verses on why not to compare is found in 2 Corinthians 10:12.
Paul writes, “We do not DARE….
When we say the word dare, we usually put a little cockiness and a little attitude into it don’t we?
“Don’t you dare do that!” Why the strong language? Because Paul understands that when we compare it kills our joy, robs our meaning and destroys our self image.
We do not dare to classify or to COMPARE ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves. They are not wise.”
In other words, those people that are comparing, “they are stupid!”
What happens when we compare is that we begin to build a mirage of another person. We think, “I really, like their personality, “If I had their personality, I would be better off!” Or, “Their hair is really nice, I want hair like that!” Or “Their body is built nicely, I wish I had a body like that!” or “Their spouse is really affectionate! I want their marriage” And on and on we could go. All of a sudden we just have all of these inputs coming in and we build a mirage. It’s not complete picture. We see the good and compare it out of context. We don’t know what the rest of their life is like! We compare what we perceive are their strengths without knowing their real weaknesses.
I really feel bad for women who get compared with the mirages that sit on magazine covers at the grocery store. There are photo-shopped, airbrushed mirages that are not real at all. So in this case the comparison is not even against reality!
As you look in the mirror tomorrow morning, take a long, close look. That person looking back at you is unlike any other person God has created. You are unique. So are your talents and abilities.[iii] Since your worth is based on the price God paid for you, you cannot increase your value through comparing.[iv] Your life is hindered when you compare yourself with others. Confess each time you compare, it is not wise. Then thank the Lord for creating you the way he did.
Today, with God’s help, I hope you will join me in saying, “No more comparing.”
For more about the series, “No More” go to www.RidgeFellowship.com
[ii] Exodus 4:13 New International Version
[iii] Life Application Bible Commentary
[iv] Discipleship Journal