If you were to take a survey of our generation, and ask the question “What is the biggest social struggle?” one response would likely be comparison.
Sure, comparison isn’t something new. Comparison is something that has been around since the beginning of time. But the issue with comparison is that often times it will lead us to a place where we care more about becoming the person we are envying, than becoming the best versions of ourselves.
Ann Voskamp wrote this addressing women in her blog:[lborder]
Comparison is a thug that robs your joy. But it’s even more than that. Comparison makes you a thug who beats down somebody—or your soul.
Scales always lie. They don’t make a scale that ever told the truth about value, about worth, about significance.
And the thing about measuring sticks, girl? Measuring sticks try to rank some people as big and some people as small, but we aren’t sizes. We are souls. There are no better people or worse people—there are only God-made souls. There is no point trying to size people up, no point trying to compare—because souls defy measuring.[/lborder]
We live in a society where comparison is the fuel of our social media accounts. We strive to have more likes on our Instagram pictures and more followers on Twitter. We look at the fun things our friends are doing (or it at least looks like they’re having fun with their smiles and filters) and we become envious and desire “a life like that.”
My biggest fear is that we would become a generation that cares more about becoming the better version of someone else than becoming the version of ourselves that God has designed us to be.
In Galatians, Paul is addressing a group of Christians who have begun to believe a Gospel contrary to that of which he had taught them. They are most likely following a false gospel that comes across more appealing to them. Paul threatens that anybody who preaches this false gospel should be cursed and then makes this statement in Galatians 1:10:
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
As a Christian, if we live a life where we attempt to seek both people’s and God’s approval we will never succeed.
Here are three reasons why comparison is deadly in the life of a Christian:
Comparison will lead you to lose sight of your purpose.
When you were created, God did not design you to be like someone else, He designed you—period. Now don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly fine to have people in your life who you look up to, but don’t try to be someone else. If you allow comparison to dictate your decision-making, you will end up making decisions out of envy of others, rather than out of pursuit of your purpose.
Understand this: God created you for a purpose. Your purpose is not to attempt to live a poorly copied version of someone else’s life, but to experience your life in a way that brings God glory and points people to Him.
Comparison only breeds jealousy.
Sometimes I will see myself envious of Christian preachers; maybe it’s because of their platforms, their talent or their influence. I find myself wanting to preach like then, write like them, lead like them. This comparison turns right into jealousy, and I begin an eternal battle of competition against them.
The Christian life means that we die to ourselves, and come alive again in Christ. This means that we have nothing to boast about, but only to boast in Him.
The thing that I have to continually remind myself of is that I shouldn’t desire to preach, write or lead like certain leaders. I should desire to preach, write and lead as the Holy Spirit equips me to.
Comparison only breeds jealousy. It leads us down a road where we attempt to become impersonators of others rather then our true selves.
Comparison is costly.
The more we attempt to be like someone else, the more we lose sight of ourselves. The danger of comparison is that it will cost you a lot. When we try to live lives that measure up in our expectations to that of someone we envy, we will often come out dry.
We will spend time, energy and money attempting to fit a mold of our best idea of our own lives that we will miss out on the live God created us to live. At the end of it, we will only find ourselves in a place were we don’t know who we truly are, and have attempted to become just like someone else.
My encouragement to you is a lot like Paul’s. Seek to please God, rather than man. God desires a relationship with you, not you attempting to be someone else.
serves at the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries at Bayside Chapel in Barnegat, NJ. He is happily married to the love of his life Danielle and believes God has called him to bring the truth of the Gospel to millennial around the world in any and all means necessary.