• Gail Armatys


Do you have a habit of comparing yourself to others? Most of us do at one time or another. Maybe it’s a fleeting though—or maybe it’s a lifetime way of being.

Either way, comparison stifles our uniqueness and misdirects us causing us to wander for years.

The Problem With Comparisons

We learn to compare at a young age. We compete to prove ourselves to be good enough all the way through school. Sometimes we come up the winner and sometimes we don’t. If we aren’t careful when we don’t win, meet our goals or someone else’s expectations we often feel defeated and inadequate. Someone was better in some way than we were… again.

Do you remember feeling like that? I do. In fact, I spent most of my growing up life comparing. Not because anyone told me I didn’t measure up but because I compared my sisters’ successes against what I felt I lacked.

Whoa ... if there's such a thing as Classic Comparison Syndrome, that has to be it!

My own thoughts made me feel not pretty enough, not smart enough … not good enough. Yes, I was a good student, in lots of activities in high school and did well in college. But the comparisons I began in my young years continued and cropped up in nearly every situation. The envy and the lie I wasn’t good enough held me back later in life. Every time I played the comparison game, I lost.

So do you.

Comparisons Can Keep Us From Our Purpose

Remember in the bible how the people compared David’s victories to then, King Saul’s. They proclaimed David winner and it stoked comparison and envy in King Saul’s heart and mind. Or, there’s the comparison between Cain and Abel, Leah and Rachel, the brother to the prodigal son, and even between the disciples.

In the disciples’ case, Jesus, just after having the “Do you love me?” conversation with Peter (John 21:15) and Peter wanting the scoop about the future of a disciple he noticed following behind them, said this: If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me! In other words, stop comparing. I have a purpose and plan meant for him and one meant specifically for you.

Basically, comparing ourselves to others can keep us from knowing and pursuing our purpose.

Do you have a habit of comparing yourself to others? Most of us do at one time or another. Maybe it’s a fleeting thought—or maybe it’s a lifetime way of being.

Comparisons are destructive in so many ways. Comparisons can cause us to stop personal growth and spiritual growth. While we try hard to prove ourselves, our comparisons easily destroy relationships. How?

Our comparison driven envy reveals our disbelief and even pride.

Disbelief in that when we compare ourselves to others, who they are and what they have we basically tell God, who created us, he didn’t do a very good job. We’re saying we want to exchange at least some of who we are, what we have, and what we’ve been given to do for who he made someone else to be, what they’ve been given, and what they’re called to do.

In some cases, we can go so far as to act like we’re someone we’re not and live a life that doesn’t fit us at all. Been there, done that. You, too? How’s it workin’ for you?

How does comparison expose our pride? When we compare we’re saying we want to be in control. I know what’s best. It should be me, not them.

Not exactly a humble attitude. In my experience, God remains pretty silent during such prideful, comparative rants.

So how can you stop comparing and start living true to you?

Here are four quick tips to help you.

Four Tips to Help You Stop Comparing and Live True to You

1. Pay attention to what you’re thinking. Thoughts of comparison sound a lot like complaints. “Why don’t I ever get to …” “How come she never …” “Why didn’t they ask me to…” “Why can’t I do anything right like she does…”

2. Be grateful. Instead of comparing and complaining give thanks for who you are and for all God’s given you … name the things you’re grateful for. Write them down or speak them aloud. But name them. Name your friends, your family members, your health, your food, your car … the hair on your head! Notice your attitude to begin to change. God loves a grateful heart.

3. Know God More. The more you spend time in God’s word and in prayer the more you’ll understand his unending great love for you. Yes, you!

4. Know Yourself More. Get to know yourself. Your preferences. Your gifts and talents and strengths. Discover how God made you—your personality. God made you to be different and unique because he has special reasons for you being here … not so you could attempt to be just like someone else. Only and utterly so you could be you.

Remember this. You are the only one of you God made and the rest of the world’s got. Stop comparing, wishing, and striving to be someone you’re not. Live your life. Be you. Follow Jesus as he reveals his purpose and plan meant just for you!