A Guest Blog by Glenda Gordon
I’ve always been a WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) kind of girl, preferring to wear comfortable clothes and no make-up. I see myself as more down-to-earth than pretentious.
Though it seems clear on the outside I know who I am, I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll be learning about myself for the rest of my life, as there is so much to know.
As I follow God around in this crazy world that tries to look so picture perfect, I often find myself needing more of God’s help to remind me who I am and what I should be doing with my life.
The Game of Comparison Confuses Our Identity
Comparison particularly confuses my identity when I see others in my age range—what they have and what they’re doing in their careers or personally at this stage of their lives.
I notice when they have nice cars, big houses, enormous retirement investments, and the ultimate prize: grandchildren.
When I dwell on what others have and accomplish, without acknowledging God’s leading, I feel like I’ve fallen behind and I’ll never catch up.
If I’m not careful, I’ll start asking myself worrisome questions that can make me anxious or bitter about where I am at this parallel stage of my own life:
Should I start coloring my hair again, before it goes completely gray?
What sort of car should I get next?
Will I ever get married?
Should I have owned a house by this time in my life?
What they have is so nice. What I have is so shoddy.
Comparison is Common But Destructive
Can you relate?
Maybe your questions are different, but the experience is common.
Comparing what we have and who we are to what others have and are is common, but very destructive past time, particularly among us women.
Often, looking at what others have compared to what we have (or don’t have) drives away any sense of the peace, love, and joy which we might have — even when we sense others may even be making their picture look more perfect than reality.
Simply put — if we want to keep our awareness of the peace and love which Christ died to give us freedom, we have to give up the comparison game. Comparing apples to cats does our souls no good.Looking at what others have compared to what we have drives away any sense of the peace, love, and joy we could be experiencing in Jesus.
6 Strategies to Fighting Comparison
If you also struggle with comparison, here are six strategies, reminders, and realities I’ve used to guard my soul when comparison tries to rob me of the peace and love Christ offers.
1 – Remember you are made in the image of God.
Suggested Reading: Psalm 139
God started each of us in a different place in life, and He has a different journey for each of us to go through on our way to heaven. Despite our differences, His goals for us are the same: to glorify Himself, and to conform us to the image and character of His Son.
2 – Remember everyone is at a different place in their lives.
Suggested Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1
You are not behind. You don’t need to let culture, church ideals, family of origin, current family, circle of friends, or anything else dictate where you should be at any stage of your life.If you also struggle with comparison, here are six strategies, reminders, and realities I’ve used to guard my soul when comparison tries to rob me of the peace and love Christ offers.
3 – Remember each of us has something to be thankful for.
Suggested reading: 2 Corinthians 9:8
You can even be thankful for things you don’t have that you don’t want! Practice being grateful for your own blessings instead of fixating on someone else’s blessings.
4 – Remember to let go of the things that you cannot change.
Suggested Reading: Galatians 1:10
Rather than fixating on things and people that you can’t change, focus on the areas you can. Consider the skill sets you’ve been blessed with, set goals, and stay connected to Jesus and others.
5 – Remember social media is not your source of validation.
Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:12
Are you seeking self-validation from social media? Stop yourself from checking the various outlets of other’s platforms so that you can more clearly see what the Lord wants you to do instead.Are you seeking self-validation from social media? Stop yourself from checking the various outlets of other’s platforms so that you can more clearly see what the Lord wants you to do instead.
6 – Remember to rejoice with those who rejoice.
Suggested Reading: Romans 12:15
Instead of envying what others have, rejoice with them for the blessings God has given them. When you don’t doubt God’s love for you based on how God is blessing someone else, you can be genuinely happy for the blessings they have.
Do you already feel better?When you don’t doubt God’s love for you based on how God is blessing someone else, you can be genuinely happy for the blessings they have.
Armed with these reminders and relying on Scripture, I am becoming increasingly comfortable in my own skin again, content with the life and pace the Lord has brought me to.
My prayer is that you’ll join me in the fight against comparison.
That you wouldn’t need to compare or measure yourself against others, but would increasingly trust God in his unique plan for your life.
– Glenda Gordon
Glenda Gordon, MSW, has a heart for God’s singles, especially His daughters. She is always on the lookout for opportunities to share the Word, pray with others, and explore new restaurants with friends. She has a passion for writing, photography, the outdoors, traveling, dancing, baking, and reading. Glenda writes a weekly blog for single Christians called, “For Single Christians: One is a Whole Number” and she is a contributing blogger for Single Matters. You can follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.