Comparison is a killer.
It kills your joy.
It kills contentment.
It kills perseverance.
It kills relationships.
How do I know this? I’ve done it. So much. Here are three ways to stop the comparing game.
1. Don’t compare to others and think you have to be that way to be spiritual or successful or right.
I watch others. I am not a creeper (I hope), but I do watch. I see how some people reach out to others with joy, having hospitable homes, or block parties, or themed birthday parties at school for their kids. When I watch, I begin to think that to be a good wife/mom/friend, I have to be all these things. I convince myself that I’m not what God wants me to be because I’m not doing A, B, or C like my friends are.
Or I watch other writers who market like crazy, or podcast their way to the bestseller list, or find a dynamic formula to influence sales. And then I think I need to be doing all those things. Except that God often won’t let me. He often thwarts my efforts when I try to be someone else. His reasoning? If I find a formula that will work for me, I’ll praise the formula instead of trusting in Him to bring sales.
This is why comparison kills. It shortchanges me. It undermines the Me God wants me to be. And it diminishes trust. It also breeds a great animosity toward myself. Which brings me to point number two.
2. Don’t compare to your past self.
There were times in my life I was SuperMaryChristian. I could leap tall spiritual obstacles in a single bound. I would pray like the dickens, share Jesus with anything with a pulse, and ask God for revival. I’ve looked back on me back then and worried like crazy. Am I growing? Why am I not as zealous? What’s wrong with me?
When I do this, I forget that God often does His greatest work, not in the spectacular, but in the hidden. He HAS grown me. Way deep inside. But if I look backwards, I’ll miss that.
3. Don’t compare to what you think is your ideal.
Which is similar to looking back. We can project an ideal of ourselves into our heads, always berating ourselves because we don’t measure up to our idealized self. This is fruitless, freedom-killing work, though. God is not interested in some pie in the sky you. He is interested in you right now. And You Right Now is wholly loved by Him. We only have now. We only have the choices we make today. We can live free by letting go of that ideal, then humbly asking God to change us the way HE wants to change us.
Truth: It’s not up to us to run our relationship with God. It’s up to Him. He’s the boss.
For more hope and humor, visit marydemuth.com