The Comparison Trap

Corinthians 12:18-20

I think we all do it or have done it at one point or another, we compare ourselves to someone else. In some ways this is not always a negative thing… We might use others’ reactions or behaviors as a guide to handle similar situation in our own life. It is a type of social learning that can be positive; however, comparing ourselves to others can move into other areas where we start to feel discontent with things beyond our control. We begin to be critical of ourselves or others. We forget to appreciate our personal differences as well contextual differences that play out. I love the quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” That is so true! We need to remember those differences (especially in how we were created) were placed there for a purpose.

Corinthians 12:18-20 says, “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

Constantly comparing ourselves to others can trap us in discouragement, discontent, bitterness, etc. That is not where God wants us to dwell.

Renee Snope, a Christian writer also shared, “The only way we’ll break free from the comparison trap is by embracing who we are instead of trying to be who we are not. So how do we start? First, trust that God made you just as He wanted you to be, and then be the best YOU. Discover and offer the unique personality traits, abilities and gifts God gave you to impact those around you.

For instance, your personality is your natural way of doing things and relating to others. You have strengths and relational challenges God intentionally wove together when He was making you. God made some of us people-oriented and sensitive to others’ feelings, while some of us are more task-oriented and lower on empathy. He created those who love to talk and live life on the fly, while others love to listen and schedule plans in advance.

All of us are different and bring something valuable to our circumstances and relationships. We also have natural abilities, but often self-doubt shapes our excuses: “I don’t have any talent. I have nothing special to offer.” Well, do you like to cook? Prepare meals for shut-ins. Good with crafts? Serve at a community center. Have accounting abilities? You could assist a neighbor having problems balancing her checkbook.”

Remember that no matter how big or small your abilities, skills, talents, etc. seem, they’re God-given! And how you were created, God intends to use you in a mighty way!

Reflect: What areas do women compare themselves to others? How can we in our friendships and working relationships encourage an appreciation for everyone’s different gifts, abilities, and situations?

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