A lethal word. Compare. Doesn’t it just make you cringe?

com·pare

[kuhm-pair] verb, com·pared,com·par·ing, noun

1. to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences:

I lived most of my life playing the comparison game.

Only it’s really not a game – is it?

For me – it infected every relationship. Unable to be at ease in any friendship or interaction with others, I constantly fell short. In my late teens and early twenties when I met other young women I was constantly on guard when my boyfriend was near. If she was beautiful, funny and energetic the insecurity became unbearable. Even if I respected the young woman, she was a threat.  Once I was married the roots of comparison grew deeper.

I was in bondage to measuring myself against another. Bondage I carried with me for many years. I didn’t ask anyone what they were thinking about me. I assumed. What if I say —, what if I do—, I just said—, she would never do that.  If I could only— maybe she will accept me. Oh no! I just said—she will never forgive me! She would never handle it the way I did.

Then it happened – I was forced to let them think what they may and stop my striving to make certain they knew my heart and motives.

Initially I thought I might die.  In all truth, I did.  Die to self.

By the leading of an all sufficient God, I was lovingly forced to let Him advocate.  He knew I was imprisoned to the responses, reactions, thoughts and opinions of others.

Galatians 1:10 admonishes me to stop and ask myself if I am living for the approval of man or of God. Paul makes it clear speaking to the church at Galatia – he tells them if he [Paul] was still trying to please man, he would not be a servant of Christ. I take heed to Paul’s words as written to me.

I came to an understanding of who I am in the eyes of God Himself. He knew me before He formed me. He created me and knew every detail about me (Psalm 139).
I began to draw near and allow Him to direct my thoughts, to leave the opinions of others in His hands. What I found in the dying – peace that passes all understanding.

When is it ok to compare?

To note similarities and differences?

When we are lining ourselves up alongside the Word of God.

Not for the purpose of condemning ourselves or building ourselves up.

But in an effort to live a life worthy of the calling we have received in Christ.

To understand who we are in Christ.

Here we find freedom that runs deep enough to feed and give live to the very roots once infected by the poison of the need to compare.

How has comparison affected your life?

6 comments on “When is it ok to compare?”

  1. I think sometimes it’s okay to note differences. When we look at others as examples, when another’s behavior motivates or inspires us to go further, to yield, to step it up, to take risks, check our attitude etc. God can use positive examples of other people to help us to see how we might grow.
    I see this as different than comparing yourself to others. I agree, I don’t like the word.

  2. Absolutely Lois!
    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree – we often learn from those who model Christ-like behavior. I have many people in my life who inspire me to be all God created me to be. These are the people I want to stand alongside and see how my life is comparing next to theirs. The ones who are walking in integrity, grace and mercy. This is a measuring stick that is GOOD.
    I hope you will come back to Heart to Heart Journey & share with us again.

    Blessings

    HIS,
    karen

  3. Wow, that was rather impressive but so very true. Struck a personal note with myself in some ways. Use to never care or worry what people would think about me I guess you could say I was a care free spirit like the wind. But now a wife and mother I feel my role in life as changed on many levels and maybe I spend too much time worrying about what people are or aren’t saying or what I’m doing or not doing. I guess the most important thing is making sure the one you are pleasing and serving is our Heavenly Father after all he’s the one watching us.

    • Tracy,
      Thanks so much for sharing on such a personal level what this topics speaks to you. I was excited to see you visit Heart to Heart Journey! I would guess there are others reading your comments who will walk away encouraged to turn their hearts toward the Father for His opinion. I hope you come back to share more of your heart in the future 🙂
      Auntie Karen

  4. I,too, played the comparison game for a long time. It was only as I grew in my understanding of who I am in Christ that I was able to be comfortable in my own skin and quit seeing only my shortfalls. My loving husband helped by boosting my confidence and allowing me to be myself. He accepted me, so maybe others would, too. Ultimately, we MUST find ourselves by losing ourselves in God, who gives us being!

    • If we want to gain or lives, Ellen, we must loose them. So true. What a beautiful part God has chosen for our husbands to play in the reconciliation to Himself. What has been broken and wounded by the fall and life itself can be filled to overflowing healing and restoration as God teaches us day by day who we are ‘in Christ’. A safe place beyond all measure.

      I hope you come back to Heart to Heart Journey and share your heart again in the future.

      Blessings Friend!

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