One of the perks of having a sister, especially a fashionable one, is the benefit of receiving hand-me-downs. If you were to look inside my closet, you would find that my wardrobe mostly consists of clothes my sister once wore. I am not complaining; she has exquisite taste in fashion, and I am more than happy to receive the blessing.
Thankfully, our clothing size is close enough where we have always been able to share clothes, well at least in our adult years. Our shoe size, on the other hand, not so much. But this hasn’t kept me from trying to make my sister’s shoes fit my little feet. But despite my best efforts to double up on socks and reposition my heels and toes, the fit has never been just right. The truth is, no matter what I do, her shoes are never going to fit my size 6 feet.
While you may not have ever tried fitting into your older sister’s shoe size, you probably have, at one time or another, tried fitting into someone else’s gifting, calling, personality, etc. Most often, it is comparison that drives us to insert ourselves into something that was never given to us to walk in. And as you probably have experienced several times throughout your life as I have, when trying to operate outside of what God has specifically given you, you are left dissatisfied and frustrated.
Comparing ourselves to others does not only lead to a life of discontentment, it is also one of the biggest purpose killers out there, and the enemy uses it to his full advantage whenever he can.
Satan knows comparison leads to inadequacy, jealousy, envy, inferiority and pride, thus, causing us to either shrink back or puff up. Neither of which are healthy for our heart, mind and spirit. When left in this state, the enemy knows we are less likely to impact eternity for the glory of God. This is why he does his best work to keep us looking side-to-side instead of straight ahead as we run our God-given race.
“Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” Romans 12:6 (MSG)
So, how do we fight this urge to compare? How do we position our heart in such a way that we aren’t tempted to fill it with envy or pride? How do we ensure we aren’t held back in our race by the potholes and detour signs Satan has set in our lane?
Scripture tells us to guard our heart for everything we do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).
If I am being honest, most of the times when I have compared myself to another person’s gifting, calling, personality, etc. were due to my heart not being fully guarded. And I am confident the same is true for you, also. So, let’s discuss some practical ways we fight comparison through the way in which we guard our hearts:
- KNOW GOD’S TRUTH AND BE ROOTED IN IT.
Often, when trying to fit into someone else’s (fill in the blank), it is because we are looking to compensate for something we feel as though we are lacking. However, Scripture tells us that we are enough in Christ, our identity forever secured because of the cross. And the more we immerse ourselves in God’s truth and take root in it, the more quickly we are reminded and recognize that our identity is not tied to anything other than Jesus.—not our calling, not our gifting, not our personality nor anything else. We are enough because Jesus says so. Period!!!
- BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU ARE EXPOSING YOURSELF TO
Another way we gauge our heart’s healthiness is by taking inventory of what we are exposing ourselves to and cutting out the junk that leads to comparison.
Recently, I have found myself spending a lot of time on social media. (Quarantine may or may not have something to do with that. 🙂 ) I started to notice the more I “scrolled” and “clicked” the more tempted I was to compare myself to others. As a result, a feeling of discontentment took hold of me. Let’s face it, shopping through swimsuit ads on Facebook right after having a baby (a fourth baby at that) is a quick way to derail one’s self-esteem….
Jokes aside, I decided it was in my best interest to limit my exposure to the social media world.
So, what is it you need to limit or maybe completely eliminate in efforts to fight comparison? Is what you are exposing yourself to life-giving or life-draining?
- LIVE A LIFE OF THANKFULNESS
Recently, through a conversation with my mom, I was reminded that living a life of thankfulness is not merely a suggestion in the Bible, it is actually God’s will for our life (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And as we walk in the will of our Father, there is peace, contentment, safety, joy and so much more to be found; all in which help guard us from the temptation to compare ourselves to the runners in the lanes next to us.
I encourage you today to start shifting your thoughts from “What am I lacking?” to “What am I thankful for?”. You might just be surprised how God uses it to change your heart.
Friends, before I sign off, I want to leave you with this truth and plea:
If you are too busy looking at other people’s lives, you are going to miss opportunities to bring God glory in your own. Let’s stop comparing and instead, start running!