Are you amazed at how quickly a truly wonderful moment or achievement is spoiled the instant someone else one-ups you? In the midst of all the amazing things the Lord is doing in my life and ministry, I just caught myself again this morning packing up the same heavy suitcase of despondent emotions to travel down this well-beaten path of “they have it better than me and mine.” Nothing is plundering our joy more, as twenty-first century believers, than the pervasive tendency of comparison. Truly as one author put it, “Social media has created jealously over illusions. Sadly many are jealous of things, relationships, and lifestyles that don’t even exist!”
Here are some comparison-killing quotes to challenge your “greener pasture” tendencies:
- “Comparison will cause you to feel prideful or depressed, but never fulfilled.” ~Lisa Bevere
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.” ~C.S. Lewis
- “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~Unknown
- “Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~Teddy Roosevelt
- “Personality begins where comparison ends.” ~Karl Lagerfield
- “Don’t compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle.” ~Jon Acuff
- “Comparison kills creativity. Stop comparing and start creating.” ~Unknown
- “We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose.” ~Bob Goff
- “A flower doesn’t think of competing with the flower next to it; it just blooms.” ~Zen Shin
“The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday.”~John Maxwell
Paul chimes in on the subject of comparison:
2 Co 10:12, 17-18 “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. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”
Truly the fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else! Don’t do that to your spouse who isn’t airbrushed to physical perfection or fine tuned into the ideal of emotional intelligence. Your kids and grandkids who don’t ace every test and intuitively excel well above their peers. Your job that involves seasons lacking in fresh inspiration and replete with difficult people. Your church that is populated and led by very flawed vessels of grace. (By the way, EVERY marriage, home, job, and church has moments/things/people that just don’t feel as great as that of the idealistic, at-a-distance existence of others.) Instead embrace every moment with all of its blemishes and inferiorities that make up real time and space where true, never-to-be-duplicated miracles happen when you allow God to sit in the driver’s seat of your sacred journey.
And the number one killer quote on comparison is…
“When the attention of Israel shifted toward David after the Goliath event, when the women started singing songs about how David had slain his ten thousands, Saul wanted to eliminate David in order to protect his own stature. In stark contrast, Jonathan wanted to exalt David by giving up his own stature…Wanting to make himself great in comparison to David, Saul became small. Wanting to make himself small in comparison to David, Jonathan became great.“ (Sauls, Scott. From Weakness to Strength: 8 Vulnerabilities That Can Bring Out the Best in Your Leadership)
Which will be your heart-that of Saul or Jonathan? Nothing will determine or destroy your joy more than that singular choice!
What Scripture verse or quote has help cure you of the comparison plague?
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