I accidentally went to the gym at the same time as my friend yesterday (I’ll call her Samantha). I didn’t mean to be in there while Samantha was there, but she unexpectedly came by while I was still working out. Immediately, I began to play the comparison game in my mind.
Wow, that fitted top looks so good on her. I definitely couldn’t pull that off. And she looks so pretty, even in her workout clothes. I know I don’t look that pretty!
I love Samantha, but sometimes it’s hard for me to be friends with her because she’s practically perfect in every way. I can’t compete with her thinness, gorgeous hair, and amazingly clear face. How can I measure up to her?
Have you ever felt that way about a friend?
Comparison. It’s a trap that gets me all to often.
I bet you play the comparison game a lot, just like I do. Have you ever been trapped in it? It’s so easy for us to get trapped in comparing ourselves to others. But what if, instead of just giving up and giving into the comparison game, we remembered a few important things? This is for my heart own.
1. Your opinion of yourself and your friends is subjective, not objective.
Your views are based on your opinions, which means they are subjective. On the other hand, objectivity is based on an outside view and perception. How do you know your friend is prettier than you are? Why do you get to decide who is the prettiest? What if your friend thinks you’re prettier than her and just hasn’t told you because she’s insecure? Why do we rely on—and act on—our own perceptions? Individuals can’t decide who is considered “beautiful” and who isn’t because we’re each subjective and because the definition of beauty is always changing.
God is the creator of beauty, therefore He is the only true judge. And thankfully, He says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14). Rather than judging other girls based on your personal views, choose to believe what God says about you and them.
2. The great deceiver (Satan) wants you to be stuck here.
If you start comparing yourself to your friend (or anyone else), it’s so easy to ruminate. Once you start ruminating, it’s almost impossible to stop. The comparison game is a comparison trap, and that’s the trap Satan wants you in. He wants you to focus on your friend’s looks (or personality, character, etc.) and your lack of looks (or personality, character, etc.) instead of trying to build each other up. He wants us to live trapped in lies.
But instead of ruminating on who’s prettier, what if we rejected those internal lies and instead thanked God for creating each person difference and unique? What if we focused our energy on expressing gratitude to God for creating us to be “fearfully and wonderfully make” for His glory?
3. We must remember that jealousy and envy are sins.
Comparison is part of our old selves—not our new selves (Eph. 4). Thanks be to Christ, we don’t have to live in bondage to our old self anymore. When I compare myself to others, I’m choosing to be jealous and envious. The focus of jealousy and envy is self-centered —how we look, how we don’t look, how we aren’t enough, etc. This isn’t how God wants His daughters to live.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:25-26)
There’s always going to be someone who’s prettier, smarter, skinnier, more talented, or more spiritual.
That’s why the comparison game is a trap—because you’re gaze will always get stuck on yourself rather than on your Creator. You will get stuck in the endless cycle of self-pity and ingratitude. Yes, we may always struggle with comparison because of our sin nature, but we don’t have to stay stuck there. With Christ’s help, we can fight the lies and choose to believe what is true.
I’d love to hear from you below.
- Is jealousy or envy a sin you struggle to overcome? What makes it difficult to overcome?
- How can you use the three truths above to combat the temptation to compare yourself to others?
This post was written by Grace M. She is a college student, a blogger, and a writer. She enjoys spending time with her family, chatting with friends, and eating cookie dough. She writes about the Christian life at Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth.