Comparison is the thief of all joy.- Theodore Roosevelt
I’ve seen that quote about 1 million times. No matter how many times I see it or hear it, the meaning is quickly forgotten and I allow the thief back in. Comparison begins the second you turn login to Facebook and scroll your newsfeed. We have the luxury of connection with childhood friends, family from the other side of the country, business partners from across the world. It’s a gift and that can be a curse. That choice is ours!
We’re all aware of brilliant filters that erase wrinkles and blemishes. We know people post their best photo for every ten they took. We aren’t stupid enough to believe their world is perfect. Why do we allow ourselves to be tortured by stalking all these people. Why do we buy into the lie that says “Their lives are so much more blessed than mine.”
I played the comparison game a lot this summer. I watched people in my network who had the same starting point and timing as mine out earn me 5x over. I found myself with my toes in the sand, covered up because my girlfriends were rocking tight tushes and six packs while my body was covered by stretch marks and saggy skin. And the tipping point was when SHE (my biggest comparison pain point) hit that title that I wanted so bad BEFORE me.
During our summer trip to Lake Tahoe and after a tearful session with my SIL I made the choice to TRUST and BELIEVE that I am enough. Comparison feeds the insecurity and the lie we tell ourselves. It’s the lie that says, “You will never be as awesome as ______. You are not good enough. You wont succeed ENOUGH.” We do it with our appearance. We do it with our parenting. We do it in our marriages. We do it at work. THIS SUMMER I GOT FED UP WITH BELIEVING THAT LIE.
I was sick and tired of missing the blessing that is me and my life. I was tired of thinking I wasn’t worth it. It was time to roll my eyes at those nasty thoughts. It was time to kick the comparison bully’s butt. I made a choice to stop being pushed around and to become the bully. When you stop feeding the lie, you start to muscle up against that bully. That’s right! YOU ARE A BULLY.
We all have desires, dreams, expectations and hopes for our lives. I realized this very important truth: My good plan is not always the best plan God has for me. I rest easy trusting His plan is so much greater than mine. I don’t want good. I want BEST. Not your best. I want my best. I want what HIS best is for me. And that will look different for each of us.
We are unique. I will never walk a day in your shoes and you will never walk a day in mine. How can we compare our lives to each other? We shouldn’t. We must do our part to stand up to the comparison bully. When we spend our time focusing on the good others appear to experience we miss all best things He’s trying to do in ours.
HERE’S WHAT I’VE STARTED TO DO TO GET GOD’S BEST FOR ME:
HIM FIRST: Every morning I wake up and spend my first moments with God. I focus on Him and being grateful. It sets the tone for the rest of my day and my life. I choose to recognize all He is, all He does, and all He’s blessed His kids with.
OTHERS NEXT: Then I turn my thoughts to my family.I pray for my husband that his mind would be focused on truth. I pray for his safety and thank God for the gift that he is to me. I pray for protection for my kids. That they would be strong, and courageous lights for HIM. I ask God to lead them to good friends and help them to be the kind of kids who others can trust and count on. I turn my thoughts to my friends. Those I know and love deeply, those I’m trying to grow in relationship with, and those God will put in my life. I ask for opportunity to be a friend and blessing.
ME LAST: I’m learning last place is often the best place. Comparison is about beating someone else. It’s about being first. But his desire is to be my first and for me to be last. I’m good with that. So I pray for me. . . last. I ask for his best for me and trust He’ll take care of the rest. I pray for contentment. I ask for help with the insecurity and comparison bullies. I promise to brave in my choice to follow wherever He says.
That’s the formula to kill comparison. Change your focus. It’s not about figuring out how to stop looking at others. It’s about starting to look more to the one who created us all. It’s about recognizing what He has for us is greater than anything we may see in someone else’s life. Because it was created perfectly for us. That gives me confidence. That truth reminds me with His help, I can do it.
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.-Psalm 33: 4-5