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