Comparison is something we all struggle with to a certain degree – even in Christian circles. You may find yourself battling with thoughts of comparison when seeing others who seem “more gifted” than you, or maybe you compare aspects of your marriage, your church, or your life to others around you.
Doing this can leave you questioning why you don’t have what they have, and soon you begin a cycle of complaining.
Comparison will not only steal your contentment, but it will also kill your productivity and your confidence.
What Does Jesus Say?
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He met with his disciples. He spoke to Peter and prophesied to him about his future. Jesus told Peter that He would die and “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him? (John 21:20-21)
After getting this revelation about himself, Peter looks at Jesus and asks, “what about John?”
What was Jesus’ reply to that?
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” (John 21:22).
In Jesus’ response, He questioned Peter – what if I want John to stay alive? What if I don’t want John to suffer? Do you have a problem with that? You follow Me.
What do you do when you feel like Peter and have to pay a price and suffer for Jesus, but it seems like John gets all the perks? Or perhaps it seems that John gets access to greater things, but you get all the attacks?
John gets the perks, but Peter gets all the pain. John gets the answer, but Peter gets the questions. John gets the secret, but Peter gets the sacrifice. John gets the crown, but Peter gets the cross.
How To Avoid The Trap Of Comparison:
1. Don’t compare your pain with someone else’s perks!
If you do this, you will lose your passion for Jesus, your perspective, and you will eventually stop pursuing Jesus.
Don’t compare your process to someone else’s progress.
You can’t compare your process, your burden, your battles with someone else’s perks, promise, and blessings. You have to look at Jesus – “You follow Me.”
2. If the enemy won’t make you turn back, he will make you turn around.
In the Scripture above, we see Peter turn around and look at John. Sometimes the devil will work hard to get you to go back to your past, but he won’t be successful.
If he can’t get you to go back to your past sinful life, he will want you to become obsessed with what everyone else is or isn’t doing around you. At that point, you begin to believe the lie that somehow God is blessing other people, but “skipping you” (See Malachi 3:14-15).
When you look around, you are no longer looking to Jesus, the Author, and Finisher of your faith; instead, you are looking at all the runners that are either going faster or slower than you. This will either give you false encouragement or discouragement. Don’t look around, instead turn against the devil!
Guard your mind. Do not let the devil shift your focus from Jesus to people.
3. It is not your business what God does in someone else’s life.
Never think that the person who is getting the perks has not gone through a process of struggle.
Remember: Every person if fighting a battle you don’t know about.
The most successful people still struggle; although it may not be the same battle that you are facing do not be fooled by the smiles on Facebook or how big and joyful everything seems. It is a façade.
Jesus recruited you as His follower. You did not sign up to be like John so stop comparing yourself to him.
Because of that truth, it does not matter how John follows Jesus –“YOU follow Me.”
John is not your savior, Jesus is. Seek to please Him alone and let your life bring glory to His name.
Do not compare yourself to other people’s standards of success.
Do not feel bad because you are in a different season than they are or because you don’t have the same body, talents, or opportunities.
You cannot make the best of what God has given to you as long as you are looking at everyone else’s life. This behavior allows envy and lack of contentment to take root in your heart.
To truly understand this will require a constant adjustment of your attitude.
This does not mean you cannot learn from others or be inspired by them, but realize that God has a way of dealing with every person in order to uncover things hidden within each heart. and He works with every person in a different manner.
Fix your eyes on Jesus; He’ll make sure that you accomplish all that He called you to do.
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