It seems to be part of our human nature to compare ourselves with others. We tend to compare the best things we know about someone with the worst part of ourselves. No matter how good you strive to be, if you are comparing yourself to others as a measuring tool to evaluate your value, you will always find someone who appears to be better than you. It is a never-ending destructive cycle.
I think it is a distraction, because we waste so much energy comparing ourselves with others that it allows us to think we can never measure up and so we stop working on ourselves. We are saying, I do not like who I am, I can never measure up, I am not good enough and the destructive self talk continues. We choose to compare ourselves with others so we do not have to take responsibility for who we are.
I love the story in my “Streams in the Desert” on January 7th.
A king went into his garden one morning, and found everything withered and dying. He asked the oak that stood near the gate what the trouble was. He found it was sick of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine was all out of heart because it could not bear grapes, like the vine. The vine was going to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and have as fine fruit as the peach tree. The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac; and so on all through the garden. Coming to a heart’s-ease, he found its bright face lifted as cheery as ever. “Well, heart’s-ease, I’m glad, amidst all this discouragement, to find one brave little flower. You do not seem to be the least dis-heartened.” “No, I am not of much account, but I thought that if you wanted an oak, or a pine, or a peach tree, or a lilac, you would have planted one; but as I knew you wanted a heart’s-ease, I am determined to be the best little heart’s-ease that I can.”
“Others may do a greater work,
But you have your part to do;
And no one in all God’s heritage
Can do it so well as you.
If only we could see how no matter who we are, if God has put us here, we have a unique job to do. We have value not by what we do, but by who we are. There is so much peace in that. If we focus on who we are and stop comparing our life with others we are filled with joy. Nothing can discourage us, because God has equipped us to fulfill the purpose we have in Him.
Comparing ourselves with others can suck the life right our of us and so much energy is wasted on distorted lies about ourselves and others. An attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for who we are can lift us up from discouragement and give us hope and energy to live a life worth living. Trusting God and believing He does not make junk is the TRUTH and He loves us just the way we are.
If you find yourself comparing, stop and redirect your thoughts. It takes time and practice, but the more we do it the easier it becomes and the more fulfilling our life is. Make the decision and choice to accept and love yourself and stop comparing!