THE COMPARISON TRAP
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.
Comparison can permeate every aspect of our lives:
All of a sudden you found yourself being discontent. That’s exactly what comparison does: Comparison kills contentment.
Philippians chapter 4:11b-13 (writing from prison)
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
**Contentment in life is simply accepting who God wants you to be and not who you wish you were.
Comparison has two very distinct outcomes when we compare:
- Comparison leaves us prideful.
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
C.S. Lewis said this: “…We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”
KEY: Finding contentment in life is simply about accepting who God wants you to be and not who you wish you were.
- Comparison can leave us jealous.
A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
But how do we get rid of it? That’s the question, how do we live without comparing?
First thing that we can do is recognize what you have.
4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else
Why? Because when you do that, it kills contentment, makes your eyes rove, you look around, you want other things, it becomes jealousy, pride, not a good situation. It kills our contentment.
THE POINT: When you truly thank God for all His blessings, you stay away from the comparison trap.
The second thing you can do is accept who you are.
Ephesians 2:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Last, I want you to do exactly the opposite of what I just told you!
4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,
Don’t compare yourself to others, instead, compare yourselves to what God’s best is for your life. What has he called you to do? How does your life measure up to that? How have you used the gifts and talents he has given you in order to bring Him glory?
KEY: We need to compare ourselves to his perfect standard so that we don’t grow to be content with the status quo.