I found myself time and time again comparing myself to others and found that I really do it quite often. I will look at people and think how I wish I was that pretty or talented and the list goes on. I have even went as far as wishing I was them! Isn't that crazy? I am not talking about fatal attraction but that subtle self talk we have with ourselves in our heads. Come on, I'm not the only one right?
I have been thinking about the subject of comparing myself with others for about a week now and I have realized that I've put it in the category of normal in my mind. Doesn't everyone compare themselves to others? How harmful can it be? I mean isn't a "normal" thing to do? The answer is no, it's not normal and most of all, its not healthy for our spirit, soul or body. It's actually a trap and it stops all the creativity and the individuality of person. It's also one of the the Ten Commandments that was given to us....."Thou shall not covet."
He even went further and told us what not to covet.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17).
You may not be coveting your neighbors donkey but put it in todays light. What about cars, houses, clothes, body shapes, talents, celebrities and some have gone as far as wishing they had someones spouse. Some things we desire aren't bad things and God want's us to have them but when it becomes an idol is when it becomes coveting. I personally had to get honest with myself on this subject and I made a list of as many things/people I could think of that I covet or compare myself to. I encourage you to do the same. It was quite eye opening. I was going through life consciously/subconsciously comparing myself to others and it has been producing bad results in my life and I didn't even realize it until God brought it to my attention.
Some of you like me struggle with low self esteem so you are constantly living in a state of fear to step out and do things that you have on your heart to do because your self talk is this, "I could never do it like this person, I'm a failure at everything I do." "He/She has it so good, I wish I could be as bold or talented as they are." "Good things never happen to me, only to people like them." Come on..... please don't leave me hanging, like I'm the only one with that kind of self talk at times. Guess what? That is the trap of comparison. It paralyzes you into thinking you aren't good enough and what someone else has is better. It's a lie, even if someone does has something similar to what you desire, it does not mean it's over for you. There is something for you Dorthy but it's not in that black bag. It's right on your feet, with your cute ruby red shoes. In fact only YOU can do what YOU do and the quirky way YOU do it. It may be similar but it won't be the same exact because you're unique and God made you that way for a specific purpose on this earth.
Not everyone will like the way you do things but we must not let that be our problem. We must be God conscious and not people conscious.. His thoughts for you are the only thoughts that matter. You won't stand before people when it's all said and done anyways. You will stand before God! We are the body of Christ and there are many parts to the body. The head can't do what the hand can do and the foot can't do what the knee cap can do but the beautiful thing is, when you put it all together it works so beautifully.
Now that we have identified what comparing yourself to others looks like, lets take a look at what it does in our lives.
Coveting is a sin and the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Death in your finances, marriage, health, relationships and much more. Heck, in extreme cases some have even killed over envy. We see it in the bible and on the news all the time. It's what I believe to be plaguing our country today, wanting what others have so bad that it leads to jealously and rage. We don't call sin what it is anymore for fear of backlash and offense but unless we get honest with ourselves and others it will keep producing death in our lives. I don't know about you but I want my life to flourish in every area. The wonderful thing is Jesus took care of it at the cross, we just have to believe it and allow the Holy Spirit to help us to overcome the sins that so easily trip us up. Believe me, I have many but its alright because this is what love looks like! When you love your kids you want them to stop doing things that bring harm and hurt to themselves and that's why He is dealing with me on comparing myself to others. He doesn't want me to live in this trap any longer.
You may say, "I would never murder someone over wanting what they have."True, you may not physically murder them but what are your thoughts towards them? If you dig deep down would you say that you would be upset if they failed in that business venture or laugh when their faults get put on display? Let's get real. Sometimes we deceive ourselves into thinking our hearts are pure as gold but we have all felt jealousy and anger at times. We ALL are a work in progress.
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith let's strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
Comparing yourself to others is a weight and it's time to lay down that weight so we can run our race in life.
We can't run our race well when we are comparing ourselves. God has taken care of sin when He sent Jesus to die for our sins and we are saved by the grace of God not by our works but we still must work out our salvation daily and allow God to strip away our old nature. It doesn't happen overnight and He does not want us to live in condemnation over it or do it in our own strength. He wants us to come to Him and ask Him for His help. Ask Him to help you see yourself as He sees you. To paint a beautiful self image on the inside you. We were made in His image and we will be perfecting that image until the day He comes back but let's not be lazy. Lets get the image of Christ deep down on the inside of us so the world can see the real us. The creative and beautiful us and not someone trying to keep up with the Jones' or trying to keep up with the image someone else thinks we should be but the image God gave you and I specifically. You have a special fingerprint all of your own and so does your destiny. It's yours and not one person can take that away from you. Focus on what you do have and thank God daily for what he has given you. Even if it doesn't seem like a lot, thank Him for it, give it to Him as an offering and He will bless it and multiply it. Just ask the little boy in Matthew 14:13-21 what happens when you give the very little you do have to Jesus. His small lunch fed 5,000 people. The awesomeness of God is that He doesn't just add to what you give Him, He multiplies it.
If there are things you desire then just ask Him for it. Go to Him for it! Matthew 7:7 - "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Ask Him and then have patience in the waiting. His timing is always perfect. He isn't like others, He only sees good. Isn't that so amazing and that's the image He wants you to see in yourself as well. You are more than enough.
So here is a little Q and A......
Q:Who compares to you?
A: No one!
-Dale Ann Ross
"Changing our world, one blog at a time"