There seems to be a common thread that ties people of all social and economic genres together. While that is usually a good thing, I think in this case it is to our detriment.
The thread that I’m referring to is that of comparing ourselves to others.
I’ve seen successful people compare themselves to someone else in their area of expertise and diminish their worth because the other person has more or has done more. Of course it happens in sports. We “size-up” the opposition usually to find ourselves questioning our own faults and weaknesses. It happens to us at the gym, regardless of gender. “If I only had their _____.” Parents compare themselves to other parents. Teenagers do the same, to the nth degree. People who don’t have compare themselves to those that do. Those that do have find those that have more. Even pastors find themselves mentally and emotionally pitted against other pastors. They have a bigger church than I do. They preach better than I do…
It’s sad really.
A couple of things come to mind when I think about this struggle of ours.
1) You don’t know everything that goes on in the life of your comparison subject. Some people put on really exquisite fronts. The reality may be much harsher than it appears. Just because it seems to you that they have it all together doesn’t mean they really do. You know your faults inside and out and bring that to the table, skewing the comparison.
But the actuality is that it doesn’t matter if they are that much better than you.
2) God didn’t ask you to be somebody else. He asked you to be you. I have this redundant statement that I use as a reminder of this verity. “You are the only you and only you can do what you can do so you better do what God has called you to do.” Let me break that down for clarification.
You are the only you.
Only you can do what you can do.
You better do what God has called you to do.
The comparison trap is an easy one to fall to. However, it’s one that we should strive to prevail over.
We’re not called to measure up to other people. We’re called to be children of God. That is our identity.