“When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
Comparison, envy and jealousy can all create havoc in your life and cause you to live a life where what you have and where you are is never enough. The addiction to have what others have, do what others do, be what others are, will leave you empty, lonely and unsatisfied. The devil is a lie.
There was a time when all I did was compare myself and measure myself against others. Not against actual facts, but what I saw, a perception I had obtained about what I thought was real. Transparency, yes, I once compared myself to others to dictate my worth and value. See, there is a difference between admiring someone and their successes, being encouraged by someone’s journey, being motivated by others to do better yourself, verses envying what someone else has, being jealous of what someone has or trying to make your life mimic another person’s life.
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” James 3:14-15
Satan’s job is to lie, kill, steal and destroy. His work brings doubt and fear into our minds and causes us to sin against God. But, when we know who we are and whose we are, jealousy and envy cannot uproot our lives. When we know what God has for us is for us and no one can ever take that away we can walk in confidence and security. God’s promises for our lives can never be altered or withdrawn by anyone.
It is foolish to live in comparison. All comparisons are. Yet we do it all the time. If only I were like her … if only I had a house like hers, a husband like hers, a job like hers … if only my children behaved like hers … if I only I could bear children…if only _______, then I’d feel significant, satisfied and secure.
As I grow in my relationship with God, the devil pursues me even more. Some days I have to really channel my thoughts upwards to God to control the lies from consuming my day. Things like: You are not worthy, you cannot have children, the past mistakes you have made will dictate your identity for the rest of your life, the past transgressions in your marriage will happen again, your marriage will fail, your friends will fail you or lie to you, your career will fail, your businesses will not start/begin/thrive……all lies, all the devil’s attempt to keep me in a pool of comparison, envy and jealousy. Further and further away from God’s truths.
Unfortunately, I have experienced more than I would have liked to with people in my circle who envy me, us, what we have or what they see. I’m not flashy, boisterous, pretentious or materialistic. I would give my last to help someone else. However, reality is, what people see of me, my marriage and my life gives a perception that has created jealousy from others. I have watched others speak lies to me, to others about me, try to divide my marriage, smile in my face while wishing I fail behind my back and being downright deceitful. It was all due to jealousy. I’m thankful for God’s provision and removing those people from my life to make room for the right people to come in. Now, I pray for those that have wished harm against me. No one knows the tears, the prayers, the struggles, and the journey to where I/We are now. God’s love story of Hope, never giving up, unending faith, perseverance and strength.
Take health & fitness for example, if you open up IG or FB all you will see if half-naked people showing pretty much everything to everyone, selling every kind of product, wrap, mask, etc… to the millions of people who don’t know their value or want to look like what they see. I mean, scrolling IG can make you feel horrible about your body and wish you looked like everyone else, willing to buy or do anything they are pushing for the dream of looking like them. Screwed up mentality that society has dictated as normal. Comparing your body to theirs, if I only I had those abs/butt/arms/boobs/calves/etc… then I would be perfect! Ha! Comparison can drive someone crazy! Never appreciating what you have, what you are blessed with, and where you are.
The toughest thing to date I have faced is growing; growing into the woman God calls me to be, growing into the wife God expects me to be, growing past the stereotypes, the negative opinions, my childhood, my mistakes, my bad habits and most of all growing out of the lackadaisical pursuit I took with chasing a relationship with God. I pray for God to empty me daily so I can be filled with Him more and more. He didn’t say life would be easy and He said there will be tough times. I ask God to show me the truths in His word that define my value, my worth, my place and my importance. In addition, I keep my circle of influence intentional, I make sure to yoke up with others who seek God first, empower each other and build each other up. I admire the people in my life for their journey and I celebrate and praise their accomplishments as much as they do mine. I stay close to those that speak life into me, my marriage and my journey. Those I can count on when times get tough, who will pray over me, for me and with me. Together, we create strongholds that break down chains, tear up lies and squash comparisons. Mighty extensions of God’s truths.
Comparison will always leave us feeling like we don’t measure up. We can try to do more and be more, yet it’s never enough.
God calls us to use what we have, where we are and do something. What someone else has isn’t for you. You never know the battle someone is fighting or what they have gone through to get where they are. Appreciate the here and now, where you are, what you have and your blessings. When you compare yourself to others you depreciate the value and worth God places in you. The next time you are tempted to compare yourself to others remember to focus on God and who you are in Him.