“Of course, we wouldn’t dare to put ourselves in the same class or compare ourselves with those who rate themselves so highly. They compare themselves to one another and make up their own standards to measure themselves by, and then they judge themselves by their own standards. What self-delusion!” 2 Corinthians 10:12
The great Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Over the last few months, I’ve become increasingly more aware of how I habitually compare myself to others, particularly my fellow musician friends and acquaintances. As a creative, I’m always observing the works, art, and performance of others, and then measuring it against my own. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve begun to realize the tremendous pitfall of this trap.
In a world consumed and driven by social media, it’s normal and, dare I say, comfortable for us to “scroll” through profiles, judging and comparing based on looks, appearance, and perception. It’s literally becoming second nature to want to know about and see into the lives of others, comparing it to our own.
Yet, while we are in comparison mode, we might be failing to realize that things we do and say, especially via social media may provoke comparison in others – creating an unhealthy cycle for many. When you come from a history of feeling as if you were never celebrated, it’s difficult to even know how to celebrate the joys and victories of others.
As someone who struggles with identity and insecurity, I’ve been working through processes of being able to recognize the truth about who I am. Now in my late 30’s, this has been a painful journey because I bought into the lies of the enemy, when he told me I was “worthless” unless I’m able to gain approval of others. This has been crippling, and the satisfaction of approval only lasts as long as the next time I get a chance to perform and earn acceptance.
Insecurity, if not addressed, provides fuel for the criticism of others and eventually demise of relationship.
If you’re like me, and at times find yourself drowning in the comparison game, may I invite you to dive into the Bible. Find scriptures about the truth of our being who Jesus says we are! If we take the risk of trusting Jesus, and can learn to recognize the lies when they come barreling at us, we may then begin to find the path to freedom and healing.
Psalm 18:30 tells us God’s ways are “perfect.” Psalm 139:14 tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are God’s unique creation. When we start to feel inadequate and are tempted to compare, may we run straight to the Lord, and thank Him for making us exactly the way we are.
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