Today along with two other people who are also studying the same unit at university as me this semester, we had to complete a Neuroscience quiz. This resulted in everyone receiving different scores and some comparisons regarding how we were all going in our studies.
No matter who we are or what we do, some comparisons will always exist. From the first time we start looking around us to see how we measure up to those around us, we can easily enter the comparison trap, but it's a game without real winners.
Comparisons start early. We complain to our Mum or Dad at the dinner table, "It's not fair; they got more ice cream than me for dessert", or "How come you let them do that and not me?"
The temptation to compare ourselves is a constant battle in a world bombarded by social media, advertising and the pressure to keep up with everyone else. But comparing ourselves can be a trap because sometimes you come up on top – my house is bigger, my grades are better, and my job pays more. Or we come up lacking – they're smarter, skinnier, happier, and their life looks much better than mine.
When our comparisons end up in our favour, pride and arrogance can quickly cause us to become judgmental and critical of others. When we don't measure up or look on social media and see photos of other people's lives, envy, jealousy, disappointment, and discontentment can take root.
God says that He has a unique plan for your life. He promises that He will perfect what concerns you (Psalm 138:8) and that you are His masterpiece, created with a plan and a purpose. (Ephesians 2:10) His advice is don't get so busy looking and wanting someone else's life that you miss the amazing life God has planned for you.
It's helpful to look at others and use their wins and example to inspire you to aim high to become the best version of yourself. But be aware of the comparison trap because there's no win in that game. It brings envy, jealousy, and pride, can cause us to make unwise decisions to keep up with others and causes us to feel discontented. It strains relationships, creates gossip and striving and steals our joy.
Our internal and external shape is created specifically for God's plan and purpose for our lives. He has wired each of us to experience, contribute, and enjoy life uniquely. He wants us to spend our life first discovering who we are in Him, then enjoying how He has made us and how we can serve and live in a way that glorifies Him.
He says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose." (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)
God doesn't compare you to anyone else, so trust him to work out the best for you. Invite and work with Him to finish the work that He's started in you, looking straight ahead so you can run your race well.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".(Jeremiah 29:11)
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them". (Ephesians 2:10)
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you".(Matthew 6:33)
Prayer; Lord, forgive me where I have fallen into the comparison trap. Help me to count my blessings, be thankful for my life and be a blessing to others. Help me run my own race and not miss the life you have planned for me because I'm too busy looking at others. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.