The comparison trap--we all get caught in it at some point, if not many. It’s why we say things like “keeping up with the Jones” and see teenage girls binge on fashion magazines and reality shows to make themselves “perfect.” It’s as if we are nurtured by our culture to evaluate others and elevate our lives beyond that.
Wanting what others have is the ultimate thief of joy and will leave you in utter disappointment with your life. Compare yourself to others and you’ll take for granted your own gifts and opportunities. Early on in ministry, as a young twenty-something, I use to get caught up in the promotion of others around me. It caused me to be discontent, jealous, and oblivious to what God was doing in my life. I’m thankful He changed my heart, and can now celebrate in other’s blessings.
Galatians 6:4-5 is a stunning statement to combat comparison, especially in The Message translation.
Scripture instructs us to take inventory, examine, and dive deep into who God has made us as an individual. What talents and gifts do you have, not your co-workers? How can your experience and testimony be used, not your neighbors? God has designed you with a particular story and skillset that He wants to use in a very particular way.
Once you are aware of your dreams and purpose, focus on that. Not on your friends, or the co-worker down the hall. Jump into what God has for you and give it your all! Verse 5 says to, “take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
Christine Caine shared a powerful phrase I reflect on in my moments of comparison, “Someone else’s success does not rob you of anything.” If we can remember this, we can remain confident in the calling God has on our own life. You see, God has a special plan just for you! When the time is right (to which you’ll see the time was indeed right), everything will come together as it should because God did it. That way we can boast only in Him and His power, as opposed to thinking it was our will that made it happen.
Lean into Galatians 6 today, trust that the dreams God has placed on your heart are there for a reason and sink your teeth into what is right before you!