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Have You Ever Compared Yourself to Someone Else?
I mostly try to avoid being assumptive, but this time around, I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s answer to this question would be a “Yes.” No matter how prominent or how insignificant of a struggle this is for you, you are not alone in your struggle with comparison. Reading this blog post is a clear and tangible reminder of that. Recently, I’ve been forced to explore the “root issues” of comparison in my own personal life, and this is what I’ve come to find/re-discover.
Someone Will Always Be Better (At Something) Than You.
There will always be someone more put-together, more sophisticated, more professional, more eloquent, more athletic, more affluent, more “holy”… more whatever. You name it. You get it. The list goes on and on. You will never be the best at everything, and THAT’S OKAY! Because being the best at everything is literally impossible. You and I were never meant to be the best at everything. We were uniquely designed with different sets of specific gifts and talents, and God blessed you with those things. No gift or talent is lesser because it may not seem as desirable according to the world.
“Just Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. It Doesn’t Matter What They Think.”
I couldn’t quite figure out why, but I was always bothered when people would say to me. The people that gave me this answer are right. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter what they think. But this answer still irked me so much because, well… At the time, it did matter to me. It doesn’t matter if it was the right or wrong response or thought; That’s just how I felt at the time. I felt like my feelings were being invalided by that answer. Plus! If it were really that easy, then I would’ve already tried to just “stop” and would’ve already succeeded by doing just that – stopping. It’s not like I didn’t know that it was unhealthy for me to compare myself to those around me, but I would continue to do it anyway.
I think the deeper issue for me was that I didn’t believe that God fully accepted and loved me. No amount of ground-breaking advice was going to do it for me because I wasn’t able to see God the way He really is. This issue of comparison reveals way more than trivial insecurities; It reveals where your faith foundation is not sound.
God’s #1 Concern for You Is Your Spiritual, Emotional, + Physical Health.
(Personally, I believe it’s even in that order). God wants you and I to succeed. Not only to succeed, but to thrive – He really does! But often, our perceived image of success is not the same as God’s version of success. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but succeeding in the Kingdom of God comes with a lot of sanctification that usually involves a difficult process that requires you to be resilient and steadfast thru trials and tribulation. The way I see it, this life will always bring hard times. I would rather go thru those hard times with God rather than go thru hard times without him – because either way, I’m gonna get owned… So I’d rather get owned with God there to pick me up when I’m wrecked by life because God will never leave us or forsake us.
God has an individualized plan for you.
God doesn’t compare metrics of our growth to other people’s growth. He has an individualized and purposeful plan for each one of us, and oftentimes, we (me definitely included) need to have greater faith to believe that God is for us, not against. That His ways are higher. That what He has in store for us is far greater than we could ever ask or imagine. That it may not look like what we had in mind. This world is not our home. All earthly success is temporary and fleeting. In a few weeks, you’ll probably forget about the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl. Fleeting. It’s all temporary, but our reward in Heaven is not. Focus on what is eternal – invest in treasures that are being stored in Heaven. (Matthew 6:19-22)
Also, your progress may look drastically different than someone else’s journey – and that’s okay. Some people get miraculously healed from disastrous injuries when they first believe in Jesus, and others who have been in the faith longer never see physical healing. God’s ways may are collectively the greatest mystery of all time. Trust that He is who He says that He is and that He does it all for our glory – which is simultaneously for our good. Not for our glory – His glory.
My Simple, Gospel-Centered Epiphany
God’s been striking this cord with me with this thought – it’s not that we should care less about how we are perceived, but it’s about WHO we are striving to please. When we channel that insecurity and fear into pleasing the Lord – who has already accepted us for who we are (He’s the one who KNIT us in our mother’s womb!), there’s a shift that occurs in our hearts where we begin to enjoy the FREEDOM that God has given to us thru Jesus. The end goal is God. How to get there is Jesus. How we continue to pursue holiness to be (eventually) forever with a holy God is the Holy Spirit. God is our reward, and Heaven is our real home.
Of course, this will be something that is a process – It’s not like I didn’t feel tempted to compare myself today. BUT today, I found myself recognizing the lies that come so quickly after the comparison. Find freedom in that there is nothing that you can do to change the fact that God is ALREADY pleased with you because He is pleased with His Son, Jesus – who robes us with His righteousness and is our forever advocate.
These days, it’s been especially hard for me to be vulnerable because after I post – I automatically feel stupid for sharing because it feels like “What’s the point? Why do I even write these posts? People will just know more about my life and judge me for it or something because I’m putting my life on blast.” I would encourage you to share openly and honestly with someone you trust about tough stuff that’s going on in your life. One of the things that the enemy does to make us feel alone and depraved of community is to make you believe that you shouldn’t share. “Your sin is too promiscuous to share. It’s taboo to talk about (insert struggle here) or (insert struggle here).” I think I’m more of a unique case – seeing that people have access to my thoughts thru this public forum, that is my blog. I’m not saying that you should specifically blog (You totally can if you want to!), but find some accountability – and encourage + pray for one another thru your struggles.
Kinda Selfish Plug: I love when people comment/message me about these posts, not because I want to receive the glory, but because the whole purpose behind this blog is to encourage others with what God has encouraged my heart with. My vision behind The Fight for Blessing is for this blog to be a space where people leave this domain being encouraged (hopefully) by what God spoke to them thru my mediocre writing. Whether you leave with a feeling of hope or having head nodded in agreement to something silly or something “deep” (lol), I would love to hear those testimonies or even thoughts on any of the blog topics!
I received someone’s comment today on a previous post, and I was so encouraged to know that God was reminding someone of His goodness thru my blog. This blog “evangelizes” for me even when I’m sleeping or at work! Praise God! Not to say that we shouldn’t evangelize – we totally should. I am planning on coordinating with our Creative Team at church to make business cards for year long outreach – especially as the Lenten season is quickly approaching. Keep me accountable y’all.
Love you, brothers and sisters. Never stop fighting for the faith!