This week on the podcast - yes I have a podcast!! - I talked about comparison.
We often hear that comparison is the thief of joy. And that’s absolutely true.
But I think sometimes we “soften” what comparison is and make it about finding joy.
In reality, comparison does more than just rob us of our joy. Comparison is a gateway to sin.
What happens when we give into the temptation to compare?
We get our eyes off of our calling and become envious or prideful in looking at how God is using others.
In Galatians 5 we read that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
When we operate in the Spirit - walking in our calling according to the will of God - this is what we should see out pour from our lives. As Galatians 5: 25 puts it “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
God knew our human nature to compare - and added this warning through Paul “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
When we get trapped in comparison one of two things happen (and in my experience they BOTH happen) - we become covetous of others or boastful in our giftings.
Seeing others flourish in their giftings can lead us to discount the unique gifting God has given us. In fact, we can even be lead to resent the place where God has planted us for a season when we covet other’s position or talents. This blocks us from fully operating and surrendering to God’s will in our life.
In an attempt to make ourselves feel better we often then look to see where we are “better “ than others. Better moms, better Christians, better friends, etc. This invites pride into our lives. As if any of our blessings are of our own doing - rather gifted to us by God.
Envy and Pride. Two sides of the sin coin that comparison brings.
We need to look at this for what it is so we can guard our hearts against sinning. Not just so we can live a more joyful life.
We are called to be reflections of Christ - our “comparison” then should be in the vertical - are we being Jesus’ hands and feet? Is our heart aligned in obedience to God - even to our own version of the cross? Or are we trapped in the horizontal - counting others blessings and ignoring our own?
Friend, I know the pull to comparison can be strong. But God is faithful to meet us in our temptation and provide a way out.
Some tips to help guard your heart against comparison:
- Unfollow social media accounts that consistently bring out envy or pride in your heart
- Keep a daily journal of gratitude where you focus your attention to how God is moving in your life
- Regularly submit your heart to God in obedience through prayer
- Worship God for how he is using you where he has you planted in your season of life. You are there on purpose with purpose
Find the Affirming Truths podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. I’d love it if you could leave a review - and send me a note on how the podcast is resonating with you!