“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
“Comparison is the death of joy.” ― Mark Twain
“I cannot say this too strongly: Do not compare yourselves to others. Be true to who you are, and continue to learn with all your might.” ― Daisaku Ikeda
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. — Steve Furtick
These are some of the quotes most of us can resonate with. As humans, we are always comparing ourselves to each other. We choose someone else’s standard of living or success, and we attempt to hold ourselves accountable to it rather than focus on our uniqueness or distinct individual characteristics given to us by our Creator. We are made in our God’s image, and He gave us a standard in and through Christ, so ultimately His likeness should be our goal. We should strive to be Christlike, not copycat versions of each other.
If you stop and think about the lack of joy you may be experiencing in your life, likely you will be able to attribute it to comparison.
You might be unhappy about your physical appearance because you are comparing it to someone else’s standard of size, shape, weight, athleticism, etc. You might be unhappy about your career because you are comparing yours to the standard of professional success you witness all around you. Or maybe you can’t find joy in your relationships because you are comparing them to everyone else’s.
Many people are quick to blame the media, TV, magazines, Facebook, Instagram, the Internet, and the list could go on. But, in the end, we get to decide our standards. We get to choose joy or misery. It’s easy to point the blame elsewhere, but we can only blame ourselves for not choosing to live the unique calling we were wonderfully made us to live.
So, are you unhappy? Do you struggle with finding joy and rejoicing with others? Are you always comparing your life’s successes or failures with someone else’s?
If the answer is yes, maybe it’s time to do a spiritual inventory within your own heart. Here are some suggestions to reflect upon:
1. Talk to God about His unique purpose or calling for you. God wants to guide you. He wants you to seek His direction.
Ask God where and how He wants to use you, and then open your eyes to where He’s leading you.
2. Spend some time reading and meditating God’s Word. We seem to forget, but God gives us the answers to life’s greatest questions within Scripture. Sure, the Bible may not always be clear or make sense to the complex human mind, but there’s a great consistency throughout the entire message of the Bible. Don’t just chew on a few tidbits, really dive deep into Scripture and wrestle with it. Just be ready for God to wow you.
3. Redirect your worship to God Himself and away from others or the things of this world.There are distractions at every turn, but stay focused on the Lord. Don’t let the Enemy cleverly and cunningly win your full attention and keep you from being able to live a life of worship to God. Offer God the glory for what He’s doing in your life. Embrace an attitude of gratitude daily.
4. Find ways to serve and encourage others.
The greatest joy is often found in investing our energies into serving and encouraging those around us.
Use your words to uplift, not criticise. Celebrate others’ victories and successes rather than allowing yourself to be jealous or envious. As you lift up others, you will also find encouragement for yourself.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others. Just be the very best version of you.
At best, you will only be a poor imitation of someone else, but you can be the greatest you that has ever lived.
Comparison is a brutal attack on oneself.
Stay in your lane.