Escaping the Comparison Trap

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“…When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding” (2 Cor. 10:12b, NET).

I’ll be the first to admit it. Comparing myself to others is one of the easiest traps to fall into! Holy Spirit has taken great pains to break me of this habit. He has made some wonderful progress in this area, and yet I occasionally still find myself with those fleeting thoughts. “She’s so skinny! I’d really like to be that size…” “He has that many blog followers?? But he’s been writing for less time than I have!”

And Holy Spirit moves in to convict me once again. He uses the verse up at the beginning of this post, which is a favorite of His. (He really likes to quote Himself 😁!) He gently reminds me, “Those who compare themselves with themselves are without understanding.”

I lean in to listen. What is it that we are not understanding, Holy Spirit? What is the specific truth that we are missing?

He responds, You are missing the depths of revelation of how much I delight in your design. Every single detail that goes into who you are… I thought each one of them up. You were My idea. Exactly, precisely as you are. My ideas are not just good ideas. They are breathtaking ideas. The way you think, the way you move, the way you feel, the way you laugh, the way you tick, the way you process life… all of it brings Me enormous pleasure as I watch you throughout every day. I long for you to enjoy being who you are.

Yes, I am most definitely still in process. We all are! He is teaching us day by day, breathing His truth into our inmost parts. The more we come to fathom how much He likes us, the more free we will become from the impulse to compare ourselves to others.

Holy Spirit then continues His discourse. He points out another faulty line of thinking that leads us to comparisons. It’s a subtle one. He calls it “The Shortage Mentality.” This mindset assumes that there is only a certain amount of success or happiness to go around in the world. The more access someone else gets to these commodities, the less is left over for me. It’s like a pie with only a set number of slices available. When I see others hauling away pieces of what looks so sweet, I become anxious that I’m not going to get any.

Tenderly, patiently, Holy Spirit moves in again to convict you and me. Precious child, I own the pie factory! There is an endless, immeasurable supply of pies where that one came from. I have written deep satisfaction and joy into My plans for your life too. Remember that I am infinite. There is never any shortage with Me. Rejoice when your sister or brother receives a blessing… your turn is coming!

Holy Spirit now adds earnestly, There is one more essential truth for you to keep in mind as you wage your warfare against the comparison spirit. It’s this: God does not measure success numerically. When it comes to His value system, it’s not about your grades. It’s not about your bank account. It’s not about your sales. It’s not about how much your house or your car cost. It’s not about how many friends on Facebook or followers on Instagram that you have acquired.

It’s not even about how many people you’ve led to the Lord, how many Sunday School classes you’ve taught, how many hours you’ve prayed, or how many dollars you’ve given in the offering. There’s only one thing He uses to measure success. It’s obedience.

If God has spoken to your heart, and you have obeyed, then you are an overwhelmingly brilliant success in His book. Furthermore, His book is the only one that matters. (Please keep in mind, I am not talking about perfection or sinlessness, but rather about cultivating a heart that longs to walk in His ways).

Holy Spirit draws to His conclusion. Don’t ever believe that renown is a measurement of value either. God almost always likes to keep His most costly treasures hidden. No more and no less than that gifted, well-known minister that you so admire, you are surpassingly precious to Him. There is no one else like you, in the entire earth. Live your life for the Audience of One. Live in the liberty of His lavish, unceasing, cherishing attention! Leave all comparisons aside, dear one, and BE FREE!!

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Ps. 139:14, NKJV, bold emphasis mine).

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What are some ways that God helps you to stay free from the comparison trap?

 

24 thoughts on “Escaping the Comparison Trap

  1. Enjoyed reading this. God has been teaching me to not compare myself with others. It is a lesson that is hard to learn but HE is so patient with me. True contentment can come only from the Lord. There is such a freedom in finding contentment and being ok and happy with what HE has blessed you with. But I too have my moments and I have to ask God to help me through it.

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  2. In recent times, the answer lies in some profound advice my deacon class received shortly before ordination seven years ago. To paraphrase, we were told that the important thing is not to jump into all kinds of church activities right off the bat, but to take time to realize who we have become through His graces. In other words, do not compare yourself to another deacon, but allow God to use you in the singular, specific way He has in mind.

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  3. Thank you, “frontporchwriter”, for years, I would come before the Lord [at the end of the year] and call out, Lord, what is Your plan for me this upcoming year ? How may I serve You best? So often, I would put the cart ahead of the horse and jump into the first thing that came to mind or too many things. I have been learning to discern by waiting and giving thanks in what the Spirit has led me to do in the past – that was successful in the Father’s eye. I still have a tendency to look at what others do and what needs are in the church, then move too quickly. The Spirit now leads me into those gifts and abilities that God has purposed. I have gained much ground, THANKS be to Father God. Amen Len W

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    1. That is my hope for my kids too! I like to tell them that I want them to go farther and higher than I ever could. Isn’t it wonderful that they can stand on our shoulders so to speak? Psalm 139 is beautiful medicine for this ailment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this reminder. Each one of us very IMPERFECT. Being constantly changed into the image of Christ if we will SURRENDER to Him. Comparing from our own perspective or the opinions of others will always cause sorrow. O God may I always be seen as ‘worthy’ in Your Eyes. amen. Blessings and Love.

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  5. Sister Girl! You have captured the essence of how to truly escape the comparison trap! Hallelujah! Praise Abba! Holy Spirit is “right on the money.” I’ve found myself in this cycle when I first began blogging and I was chastised by Holy Spirit saying I was seeking validation from a mortal being when I should be focused on being obedient and pleasing the Giver of Assignments…whew! Thank You Lord for bringing home the word yet again 🙌🏽

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Awwww!!! Thank you for that 🤗Our hearts are connected to the vine beloved. I truly feel the same way. I believe it’s because we both have been crushed and pressed to a great degree in our lives – our hearts have a way of aligning with other crushers that is just…Abba!

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