No One Wins in Comparison

I'm sure you have had of the comparison trap where at one point or the other you compare yourself to your siblings, friends, co-workers etc as a measure of how you are doing. A little while ago my pastor preached on it and it caused some of my feathers to be ruffled. As long as you label your need for more things or your discontentment with what you have as ambition it becomes justifiable. We all want progress and we all want good things. BUT what is the source of this need or want?

I find that often I confuse jealousy and covetousness for ambition. It is not wrong to be ambitious, I think if we lacked ambition we would become lazy and we would settle for average or mediocre. But if the root of this need is a result of my comparison to other people I don't think I will ever have enough or ever be at a point where I can breathe easy. You know the point where you can exhale. Picture yourself on vacation in the Caribbean watching the sunset and you just exhale, where you are fine and everything in your life is at peace. (Try it now take a deep breath and exhale).

Moving many times have you found yourself comparing your clothes to your friend's clothes and immediately you plan an impromptu shopping spree that you cant afford. This is a simple comparison trap but there are many things we compare against to see if we measure up. We think as long as I am doing better than 'them' I am fine or I need to get to their level. You find yourself in a rat race trying to outdo everybody that you compare yourself to. When does it stop though? When will it ever be enough? When do you consider yourself a winner? There will always be a greater prize, a better car, a better neighborhood, a better job etc

Then there are things in your life that you can't change easily so you become bitter. If you compare your husband/boyfriend to other men, girl you will be stressing out that man and yourself so much because he will always fall short. Now you aren't about to divorce him so you become bitter, trying to change him. You complain all the time. Have you met bitter people and from where you stand they look like they have it made. Guess what, they are too busy comparing themselves to other people.

This write up is not about how the grass isn't always greener on the other side because trust me sometimes the grass is greener than your grass will ever be. It is about being content with what you have and having a heart that is filled with thanksgiving. When you allow yourself to look at your life through a lens that is not tainted with comparison you become appreciative. You see things that you would not have seen before. People have committed career suicide chasing for things they had no business chasing. You need to be in competition with yourself. Focus on improving you and leave everyone else alone. We are not running the same race.

As I have always said I look at my life through my faith. When I am so busy comparing myself to other people I pray for the wrong things!! This is such a serious mistake (I have erred in my ways : )).
I find myself praying for a husband when I know very well I am not ready for that man. I should be praying for God to change my heart so I can attract the right man but I'm too busy looking at my friend who got married and asking bitterly "Where is mine?" I can almost hear God saying 'next' because I'm trying to skip the line. Like I say all the time there are seasons for everything.

So as my pastor asked, who or what are you looking at to say that you are doing okay? Change that scope and look inward and to God. Stop looking at everyone else to validate yourself. You will not be able to find that place in your life where you will be content because there will always be someone doing better than you. 

listening is loving....

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