I have a confession to make…I compare myself to other people. I compare myself as a father, as a husband, and unfortunately, as a man of God. What about you? Do you compare yourself to other people? As an employee do you compare your work and productivity to others? Do you compare yourself to others as a friend or a neighbor? What about as a student, are you comparing yourself to others? As a spouse or a parent, to whom do you compare yourself? Or, what about your walk with Jesus, are you comparing yourself to someone there?
Have you ever wondered why we compare ourselves to others? It’s not a healthy thing to do, and yet we do it. Is it because we are jealous that somebody has something we want? Are they better looking than me? Is their personality more engaging than mine? Do they make more money, have a bigger house, or drive a nicer car? For me, I find myself being envious of others because they appear to have a better relationship with Christ than I do or they have a church position that I wish I had. My envy causes me to compare myself to them and I think that I can do that better than they can. The truth is that I’m embarrassed by this and I don’t like this about myself.
Here’s the thing with comparison. When we compare, we compare the worst of ourselves to the best of another. When we compare, we fail to trust in our set of unique gifts and talents which can never be compared by others because they are unique to us. When we compare, we focus on the wrong person. Rather than focusing on who we can change (ourselves) we focus on others whom we can’t change. Finally, when we focus on others, it robs us of joy and it adds no value, meaning or fulfillment to our lives. Instead it distracts us from those things and it distracts us from the One who created us.
In the Bible, we are told about a man named Joshua. He would be the leader of God’s people and lead them into the Promised Land. However, Joshua was replacing Moses as leader of God’s people. This is the same Moses who had a face to face relationship with God (Exodus 33:11). This is the same Moses of whom it is written, “No prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt-to Pharaoh and to all his officials. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12). Do you think it would be difficult for Joshua to not be concerned about his ability to follow in the footsteps of such a great leader and compare himself to Moses? I wonder if he did. If he did, he had these powerful words from God to comfort him, “Moses my servant is dead” (Joshua 1:1). In other words, “Don’t compare yourself to him. I chose you. I put you where you are. I believe in you and I am with you.”
So, who in your life and what area of your life are you comparing yourself to others? Read those encouraging words from God to Joshua and let them be words of hope and joy to you and let them free you from comparing yourself to others.
"For nothing is impossible with God." - Luke 1:37