Comparison paralyzes. Have you ever been guilty of it and felt its strangling grip? We all have even though we know it’s not healthy for morale. The voice of comparison usually whispers unedifying thoughts such as:
Her kids are sharp, obedient, and tidy. Mine are a mess in every way.
If only my husband cared about me the way hers cares about her.
Her waist stays so trim! I’m bloated twelve months a year!
Man, she’s got great hair.
She’s simply got it together and my life is a sloppy mess. YUCK.
I have a few friends that, if I compared myself to them, I could really fall into depression…But hear me…I’ve learned to…
…let their lives sharpen me not depress me. So her kids are disciplined? Well of course they are, she spends time training them rather than serving herself. That challenges me to stay focused as a mom.
So her husband cares about the details of her life? Well of course he does, after decades of being together, she still flirts with him and dates him. That challenges me to keep the fires burning in my own marriage.
So her waist is trim? Well of course it is, she studies how to feed her family and makes an effort not to overeat. That challenges me to discuss nutrition with her and learn from her.
So she has great hair? Well, that’s just not fair. We’re on our own here. (smiley face)
We shouldn’t let comparison paralyze us, but rather we should let it sharpen us. Proverbs 27:17 states, “ Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another.”
Trust me, we ALL have fussy children, marital challenges, bloated seasons, and bad hair days. I’ve learned NOT to compare my bad days with someone else’s highlight reel on social media, and as hard as it is, I force myself to be honest enough to admit when growth needs to replace a stagnate area in my own life. Friends that encourage and sharpen are the friends I let into my space. Those are the ones I seek. It is GOOD to be challenged to rise to the occasion, grow stronger, and become all that God designed us to be. Once we stop growing we start dying, so we should strive to grow until He calls us home. Embrace the challenge and keep comparison in its place growing better, not bitter, every day.