Comparisons. I hate them, and yet, I can’t stop from making them.
We compare our looks, our skills, our jobs and careers, our families, and what we have or don’t have. They make us unhappy and discontent because something else looks better.
Comparisons lead to feelings of insecurity and depression, and feeling like we have to keep up with someone else to be as good as that person. Comparisons can make us judgmental and jealous, even causing us to not like someone we don’t even know.
Comparisons can be made quickly, often before I even realize I’m doing it, and just as quickly, I lose my focus. Instead of appreciating what God has blessed me with, I focus on what I don’t have.
Recently, I heard a breast cancer survivor speak. When her story had been told, there was not a dry eye in the room. I’m ashamed to admit that I walked away feeling sorry for myself. She described the incredible support she had as she went through her ordeal, and all I could think of was how little support I was convinced I’d have if it was me.
The feeling lasted as I left and drove home. But once home, I was convicted. I realized I was focused on what I thought I didn’t have, in a situation I wasn’t in! Even more ridiculous, was that I had forgotten how blessed I was.
Earlier in the year, I had my annual mammogram and was stunned when I received a call that I needed another one. The x-ray showed an area that could be something, or could be nothing, but a more detailed mammogram was needed to find out. It was scheduled for the following morning and within an hour, it was confirmed that it was nothing.
As I compared myself to the speaker that day, I lost my focus. How could I worry about something that wasn’t happening to me, while forgetting how God had blessed me? Her journey was not the path I was on. God blessed her with a strong support system and survival. God blessed me by not taking me down that road at this time in my life.
Isn’t that what comparisons do? They make us focus on what we don’t have, instead of what we have been blessed with. They make us look at someone else and think that what we have isn’t good enough.
Comparisons…the enemy must love them. In fact, I wonder if he’s behind the comparisons we so easily make. Recognizing that, can we refuse to take the bait? When we start to compare ourselves to someone else, can we see what we’re allowing to happen to our thoughts, and turn our focus back to Jesus and all that we have been blessed with?
I’d love to say that since that day I don’t compare myself to others, but I can’t. It’s a daily struggle to not look at someone else and think…If I had that…If I was like her…If only my situation was different…you get the idea. But that’s not how God wants us to think. He has blessed each of us in different ways—ways only He knows fit into His plans for our lives.
We each have a different journey to take in this life, and yes, some seem much more difficult than others. But in each journey, God has a plan…and it is a plan for good, to give us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Have a blessed week!