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We have all heard this statement before, and it is time we start making steps in our lives to intentionally turn away from comparison and step into the life of joy and contentment in which the Lord has called us to. The thing with the comparison game is that it never goes away. Right now, you may be struggling with envying a friend’s new internship, huge closest, opportunities with a new job, the cool new city she just moved to, or her Insta-perfect dog, boyfriend, life, everything. But 10 years from now, if you are still playing ‘the game,’ you will find yourself envying your mom friends who are “better moms” than you, who are more organized than you, who are able to work and be with her kids and keep the house clean. 20 years from now it will be a different set of life accomplishments or experiences that you will find yourself envying. It never stops, and it is a tactic the devil will use each and every day unless you start to retrain your brain on how to say “no” to those thoughts the moment they invade your mind.
It is possible to overcome these thoughts and find freedom from comparison, it just takes some intentional training. Take a look at these six ways to stop the comparison game for good!
“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ…” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
The first step is recognition: to take captive the comparative thought the moment it enters your mind. “I am not as smart/cute/qualified/rich/well-liked/etc. as she is.” When you hear those thoughts running through your mind, call them out, recognize it as a lie, a comparison, and search for the truth behind it.
“Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.” – Galatians 1:10
Why did you just gram that photo, or post that life update on Facebook? Was it because you wanted someone to think you looked skinny or successful or “killing it at life?” Was it because you wanted someone to be envious of your achievements, travels, or experiences? Then you probably shouldn’t have posted it. There is nothing wrong with sharing your life online if you are doing it through the lens of bringing glory to God, and doing it with a pure heart. Ask yourself if you are trying to win the approval of people or of God. Have a heart check with Jesus to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.” – Romans 12:15
When you see a photo on social media that makes you envious or jealous, make it a point to reach out to that friend and congratulate them! Instead of sitting in your room wishing it was you who got the new job, call her and affirm her in the life that the Lord is taking her down. The same goes for the opposite. Show up for the friend who is in a season of mourning or pain. This oftentimes won’t be blasted on social media so make sure you make it a point and search them out. When we realize we are all humans on the same earth fighting similar battles, it should result in us wanting to come alongside one another, not trying to one-up each other.
“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.” – Galatians 6:4-5
If you are doing what YOU love because YOU love doing it, then there will be no need to look to others around you and compare your life to theirs. Yes, there will be seasons when you wish you were someplace else, when you wish your heart wasn’t aching from a breakup, or you finally had a job and were out of a season of waiting, but God has us in these seasons of life for a reason, and if you trust Him (because he is a good caring Father), then you will be able to “sink yourself in” to where He has you. Be where you are, and be fully there.
“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-8
One of the best ways to get out of the downward spiral of comparative thinking is to count your own blessings and be content in what you have and where you are. Oftentimes, comparison comes up through the feeling of “lack.” Such as you are lacking something a friend has that you want. This perspective on life limits us from seeing what WE have and what God has entrusted us to do. Take a moment to write down 3 things you are thankful for, and I promise it will shift your perspective.
“If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” – 2 Corinthians 10:17
There is a good chance that some of you reading this article find yourself on the other side of the spectrum with people looking up to you and comparing their life to yours. This too is a hard place to be as it can easily turn into pride or a big ego. The best way to fight against this is to give absolutely everything to the Lord. I am not talking about a “thank you God” acceptance speech, I am talking about an internal deeply rooted understanding that who you are and everything you have done is because of what Jesus has done for you. That type of understanding will result in humility and refocus you back on living for the Lord.
Like starting any new habit, it will take time. It is not easy to reformat your brain, especially around a concept that is SO easy to fall into. It starts with recognizing the thought/lie, calling it out, and finding the truth behind it all. Memorizing the above scriptures will help as well, so when you find yourself in the downward spiral of comparative thoughts, you have tangible ways to defend against the enemy and his attacks.
Remember Ladies, God made you as you are with His “apportioned grace,” for a unique reason. Your looks, your likings, your dislikings, your pet peeves, and your skillset. There are things created just for YOU that you need to live out, and every moment you spend comparing yourself to someone else or even your “old self” is time spent away from pursuing what really matters. Our time on this planet is precious, use it wisely my friends, because there are adventures to be had and things to do for God’s kingdom that are far greater than wishing you were someone else. Live into YOUR identity and salt YOURSELF, because that is what we are called to do.
Krista Hengesh is the founder and executive director of Live Salted. She started it back in 2016 and has been chasing after the Lord with this calling on her life since then. She is currently living in Seattle, Washington and loves to be outside and active whenever possible. She is deeply passionate about bringing people together and helping them recognize the potential and influence inside of them!
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