Caught in Comparison?
October 10th, 2020
I have a love-hate relationship with podcasts.
When I am content in Christ, they are an excellent source of learning. Other times, I hear about someone doing something spectacular, I can be overcome with envy.
"What am I doing with my life? I must be an absolute loser"
These poisonous statements come from comparison.
Everyone wants to be valued. Everyone wants to be important. Everyone wants to be loved. It's the air that we breathe. Unfortunately, we attempt to find our value in all the wrong ways. Comparison is a tempting method to find value, but it always ends terribly.
Comparison is Deceptive
Comparison is an attempt at bolstering self-worth. It offers an ego boost, but it also crushes at the same time.
By comparing myself against others who I may consider of a lower stature, I might feel a tiny bit better about myself. But when I compare myself with someone who I see as having a greater stature, envy and jealousy ensue.
Comparison Leads to Sin
On the one hand, I become prideful. The Bible tells us that God detests pride. On the other hand, I become envious and defeated. Comparison puffs up, depresses, and enflames with envy.
Comparison leads to Instability
Self-worth based upon comparison is constantly in flux! On one day I feel good because I see myself as better than another. The next I meet a person who has more, does more, is better known, then the spirit is destroyed and overcome with envy.
How to Overcome Comparison?
Comparison is unreliable and poisonous. The Bible calls it unwise.
2 Corinthians 10:12 - For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
Some compared the perceived authority of different people. They said that Paul was weak and contemptible. They saw Paul as unimportant and commended themselves. They recommended themselves, lifted themselves up! They were self-approving. They compared themselves with Paul and said surely we are better.
Paul opted out of comparison and focused on this:
- What God has placed in front of me?
- Glory in the Lord!
The root of comparison is focusing on self. To cure comparison, the focus must be moved to Jesus.
God gave Paul a mission! That was his focus, it was not a game of comparing against what others did. God's mission was His sole aim. Paul focused on performing the work God had given him.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 - But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Second, Paul's joy was Jesus. He gloried in Jesus, not himself. Comparison really is an attempt to glory in self instead of Christ. For Paul, the focus was not himself at all.
We find our worth in the grace and the love of the Father. He values me, he takes care of me, he loves me, he's given me a work to do, and that's enough.