‘Our neighbors hen seems a goose’. Have you ever heard of this proverb? What it is really saying is that what others have always seems better than what we have, even when this is a mile away from the truth. Isn’t this a common position that many people take though?
We often think that what someone else has is better than what we have or we are envious of where someone is in there life. I’ve come to realize that this is often a tool of the enemy to distract us from God purpose for our lives. If he can get us to take our eyes off our prize, we waste time focusing on situations that will not benefit us in the long run.
In the recent Olympics, much was made of one swimmer who took his eyes off his race to look at his fellow competitor, Micheal Phelps, as a result of this, his pace was slowed down. The split second decision he made to shift his focus cost him in time elapsed.
The same can be said for us, when we take our eyes off our purpose. We lose valuable time that could be use to become better at what God’s path is for us. Robert Rothwell speaks about this, “taking our eyes off Jesus is the most dangerous thing we could ever do. Paradoxically, it is also the easiest”.
Comparison is focusing on two different set of circumstances and attempting to get the same result.
The idea is that we are running two different experiments and are expecting to see the same result. We are all created individually by God and are put through different life processes that lead up to his purposes for us. On this basis alone our achievements will differ.
What the enemy wants is for you to look at where you are and use the barometer of someone else to judge your achievements. The enemy wants you to start critiquing your journey and become disturbed when you cannot match up to others.
When we compare ourselves we end up with two dilemmas.
We become prideful if we decide that we are better off than the person we are comparing ourselves to or angst sets in when we do not match up to the standards of others. Luke 14: 4 reminds us that, “..everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” We must be careful not to seek to exalt ourselves over others by making comparisons. We are to be proud of our achievements but avoid putting our value in them.
On the other hand we become envious when we see others having a level of success that we desire and we are not there? One of the things that comparing ourselves to others does is, it causes us to think that what or where we are is not good enough.
We eye the accomplishments of others through our subjective lenses and make uninformed judgments and then decide that there must be something wrong with us. Without any concrete knowledge of their journey, we bemoan why we are not at a similar point in life and tie our souls in all sorts of knots.
When you compare yourself and calculate all your deficiencies and become hard on yourself, this stance misses the truth, God works best in our weaknesses. He is truly ready and able to help us in our weaknesses. When we don’t subscribe to this, we validate the thought that only through our strengths God work and not his strength working through your weaknesses.
Everyone has their struggles so its unwise to compare.
Everyone has a journey that God is taking them through or has taken them through. Others may have arrived but it wasn’t without molding from God. In Luke 7: 36-50, we learn of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with a very expensive perfume. The Pharisees complained that Jesus should know who she is and not allow her to do such a thing.
Jesus used a parable to demonstrate that for those who have sinned greatly and received forgiveness they express their gratitude more willingly than those who might not consider their sins to be as great. We can never fully tell what struggles someone has been through on their journey. Their success may be the end of a period of struggle. Since we do not have access to behind the scene we should stop making comparisons.
Comparison indicates that you don’t believe that God has something good in store for you.
It indicates that you believe that he is giving his best to someone else and not to you. We are all special and unique in the eyes of God. I love this verse Psalm 17:8 where David is telling God to keep him as the apple of his eye. We are precious in his eyes.
Let us look to Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith and focus on what he has for us. Let us stop comparing ourselves and accept that God has a great plan for us all, it is just different from anyone else.