I have been thinking about the comparison game quite a bit lately. If you know me, you know that I struggle a lot with feeling like I’m not good enough. Like I should be less and like I should be more at the same time.
Maybe it is because summer is the time when there are notifications of engagements and weddings all over the social media. People are graduating or traveling on the most beautiful summer vacations — and I cannot help but feel the twinge of jealousy as I compare all of this to what my life looks like right now. Not because I don’t like my life right now. Honestly, I so enjoy it on most days. But my life very rarely looks like Instagram perfect.
The trap of the comparison game
A few weeks ago, I substituted at a daycare and found myself constantly telling the children that they were not in a race. Because these kids would turn everything from eating lunch to putting on clothes, into a race. They would be racing to see who was the fastest or who would be the first to complete the given task. Soon, there would be tears as disappointment took over the ones who were not the first or who didn’t even know there was a race going on.
I couldn’t help but think of how often we do just the same.
Every area of life suddenly becomes a race when we look at people’s lives over social media. Who has the best marriage? The cutest, sweetest kiddos? Who eats the healthiest, is doing Whole30 for the second time in a row or eats all vegan and gluten free? Who goes to the gym or runs 5 miles every day? Who is the most successful at school or at work? Who just got a raise? Who preaches the best sermons? Who dresses the best and is able to buy whatever is in fashion right now?
I can do none of that, in all honesty.
Why we need to stop the comparison game
We so easily forget that we are not in a competition with one another. Life is not a race. We were put on this earth to complement one another in the body of Christ, our gifts and talents working together to build up and edify. So we need to be aware of the competition game this life so easily turns into — and instead choose to compliment one another. We all have purpose in our being, and that doesn’t take away from you or me. It all works together in unity, to bring something beautiful and glorious when we choose to compliment instead of compare, to encourage instead of discourage.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)
Dear friend, our God and Maker has created you so beautifully and wonderfully with a purpose. You have a purpose that only you, just as you are, can fill. We all have our parts, like different instruments have their own part in creating a symphony. It all works together in unity, creating something glorious and miraculous. So you can let go of comparing, trusting that the Lord has given you enough for the moment. Choose to compliment the beauty you see in others, as the same can be seen in you.