Playing the Comparison Game

Playing the Comparison Game

I confess. I struggle with comparison.

I wish I were as pretty as she is.
I wish I was as funny as she is.
I wish I could dress as cute as she does.
I wish I had what she has.
I wish I could sing like she does.
I wish I lived in that house or that neighborhood.

And on and on it goes.

To be honest, I think most of us struggle with comparison. We look at others’ gifts, strengths, personalities, and life situations. Then we look at ourselves and feel inadequate or less than others.

When I find myself playing the comparison game, I get discouraged and feel like a failure. But that isn’t God’s desire for me.

The truth I have to keep going back to is: God made me who I am for a reason. He gave me the personality He wants me to have. He gave me gifts and strengths to best carry out His unique purpose for me, not someone else’s purpose.

Paul addressed this in 1 Corinthians 12. I especially love verse 18:

“But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”

Instead of comparing myself to others, I need to learn to be content with who God has created me to be, instead of wishing I was someone else.

Paul also exhorted the Galatians (and us) in Galatians 6:4-5. Listen to these verses from The Message:

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

It’s easy to look at others’ lives and compare.

But comparison takes our eyes off Him and places them on others and ourselves.

Instead of playing the game of comparison, let’s give thanks to God for who He has called us to be and the way He has uniquely designed us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Why do you think we get caught up in the comparison game? What are some ways to avoid comparison?

  1. Another way to view comparison is discontentment in who we are and what God has chosen to give us. We fear of missing out, of being looked over, of not having as much value as the other person. Our view of God is not big enough and our view of self is too big. More of God and Who He is and less of self and what I want….but how difficult that is in this culture that says self is number 1

    I love the Galatians scripture, particularly in the Message… Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

  2. Dianne, great thoughts! You’re right – it’s so hard not to compare in our culture today. I miss you, my friend, and I do hope to get down to Dallas this coming year! We need some face-to-face time! Merry Christmas!

  3. “Comparing” is akin to “covetousness” – and one of the Ten Commandment states, “Thou shalt not covet” – as one has said: today we have people “spending money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people who don’t care.” Bottom line: self; and another has defined “sin” as “sin is self – it is serving self in God’s place.” The enemy would put thoughts and comparisons before us. May we walk in contentment.

  4. Well said, Hickman! And you’re so right, the enemy knows how to get our eyes on self and away from being content with where God has us. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I was doing this recently, and it was ugly. I found I wasn’t trusting that where God had me was a good place. Confessing it to God, my husband, and a trusted friend changed my heart, praise God!

  6. Heather, I’m right there with you. When I play the comparison game, it’s ugly! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  7. Great post, Crickett! I have struggled with that all my life. I’m grateful to be able to say I’ve come a very long way in recovery. I believe, for me, it’s origin is insecurity. Thankfully I cannot point to some traumatic experience that caused it. I’m not sure why it has been a problem for me.
    You’re so right that when we play the Comparison Game, it is truly self-focused. Turning our gaze to Jesus and His Word is the best way to pull out of that trap.

  8. Thanks, Connie, for sharing! I agree – the origin for me is also insecurity. But, I’m learning in this area. I think most of us struggle with this area in some way. Thanks again for sharing!

  9. Crickett, Oh, how I need this reminder. I KNOW it in my heart, but sometimes I lose sight of it. I have discovered some triggers: TV, movies, and even Facebook. It helps to identify the triggers so we can use caution.

    • Beckie, That’s a great suggestion to identify the triggers. And I struggle with the same triggers. Thankfully, when I feel those thoughts of comparison creeping in, God shows me, and I have to turn back to His truth. But it’s not always easy. Thanks for sharing!

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