The Comparison Trap

We’ve gotten so used to saying things like “They’re not really that happy. They’re just pretending on social media” in a bid to console ourselves when we see people on our instagram feed who seem to have perfect lives.
This is true to a large extent because “perfection” in the real sense is an illusion. Also, a lot of people online today pretend to be what they’re not, and show the world only what they want them to believe.

However, the truth is, a lot of people are genuinely happy.

Yes.
Not everybody is pretending. Not everybody is living a fake life. They definitely have their own challenges here and there but they are happy and content.
Possessing the ability to be happy for people when good things happen to them, without feeling sorry for yourself is pertinent to your peace of mind.

Comparison is called a trap because it may start off as an innocent comparison between your life and someone else’s. But as soon as your mind identifies a couple of areas where the person’s is better, you slowly begin to feel angry, discontent with your life and frustrated and may even wish them evil, hence falling into the trap.

It’s either they have a better body, source of income, family, friends or even life. Comparison makes you feel discontent and not enough. It makes you feel like your life isn’t moving properly and it all stems from discontent. Comparison is deadly because it first attacks your mind, then it attacks your life. You start off by mentally demeaning yourself and feeling sorry for your life, then it begins to affect your efficiency at work, excellence at school, consistency at your endeavors etc because you’re more focused on another person’s life.

Comparison gives you a yardstick with which you measure your success based on the lives of other people. This breeds anger, envy, hatred and offense.

If you are jealous of other people and you want to make yourself important, that will cause trouble. People will argue and fight against one another. They will do all kinds of bad things.

James 3:16 EASY

Another thing comparison does is that it turns you into a copy cat. Every other person’s life looks right to you apart from yours. You find yourself attempting to match up to their standards at all costs, imitating their lifestyle because it looks more pleasant to you, there by, strolling right out of God’s purpose for your life.

In whatever way it comes, it is clear that comparison is a thief that comes to steal your joy and essence.

But each one must carefully scrutinize his own work [examining his actions, attitudes, and behavior], and then he can have the personal satisfaction and inner joy of doing something commendable without comparing himself to another. GALATIANS 6:4 AMP


Comparison is at its core selfish and prideful because it takes the focus of God and others and keeps it on ourselves. – Crosswalk.com

Quit trying to match up to the standards humans set; there’s only one blueprint which is our reference and that is Jesus Christ

How to overcome Comparison and Unhealthy Competition as a Christian

Be content with your purpose, portion and the pace at which God is moving you:

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6 KJV

There is a sphere for everyone and a time for everyone too. You must discover your portion and become content with your pace.
God’s dealing with men is personal. So you must never try to imitate the unique strategy or dealing God has with another Christian.
This is not to encourage laziness and complacency or isolation. It’s okay to learn from others and get motivated by how much they’re doing but their life is not your reference. God is. And he has endowed you with amazing qualities and potentials which will never develop if you keep comparing yourself to a friend and a colleague.

Be Thankful:

In all things, give thanks. A life void of gratitude is one that will be withered. Life is full of opportunities and everyday holds promises of numerous benefits. Learn the art of giving thanks to God even for your 5 loaves.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Compliment and celebrate people often:

Every time you see someone or something you admire, verbally appreciate it. Say it out loud to them and mean it, this kills jealousy fast.

Understand that they probably worked hard for what they have and may still have challenges in that area.

Also, you attract whatsoever you genuinely celebrate and honor but whatever you dishonor depletes in your life.

Pray over your heart

The first place jealousy is conceived is in the heart and our thoughts really matter to God. Whenever you find yourself comparing yourself to someone and getting bitter, immediately pray and declare God’s Word over your heart. Ask God to vet your heart and help you think only godly thoughts.

Recognize that they have struggles too

They may look like they have it all figured out but that’s a mirage. They have their areas of struggles too, they just don’t project and magnify it.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise -2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV

Finally, I’ve come to learn that every person on earth carries a dimension of God; not even our fingerprints are the same. As a Christian and a child of God, you must recognize that you carry a unique ability in you, you have a sphere, and a portion has been allocated to you.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
Romans 12:6 NIV

You are not a biological mistake; if you weren’t needed, you wouldn’t have been created.
Our God is one that is very intentional and pays attention to details. He is very precise and thorough about everything down to the strands of hair on our head.

Your life may not be perfect but that’s ok, nobody’s is!
You may not be there yet but it’s also okay, it’s a process.
The only competition you have is yourself; ensuring you are not the same person as time passes, by constantly improving.
The first step to overcoming comparison and unhealthy competition is discovering and concentrating on what you’re called to.
You’ve been called to do something only you can do. There’s only one of you.

Comparing yourself with someone else and feeling inferior is downplaying all that God has invested in you.

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