A 2018 poll of Christians showed that when someone they know posts a significant achievement online, their reaction is personal pain, not joy for the achiever. The more they want to be like this other person, the more pain they feel and the less chance there is of them being happy about that achievement.
This “comparison reaction” is not new. The disciples following Christ wanted to know which one of them had suffering in their future. Cain compared himself to Abel. Adam looked at Eve and concluded “she’s different.”
But today’s version of the comparison game features a new and destructive force. We know it as the twin saboteurs of media and the internet conspiring to make us feel entitled to anything and everything.
Comparing comes naturally to us. It starts in childhood when we learn about life’s “measuring stick mentality.” That’s why when a rush of envy runs in the river of our thoughts, we immediately measure it against our personal situation.
What a shame. God made me to be me and you to be you. This should be our DEFAULT reaction to unhealthy comparisons. When it shows up, we need to repent and ask for forgiveness.
The goal is to model our spiritual walk after JESUS, not copying another believer’s behavior. But there is “CONSTRUCTIVE COMPARISON” that starts by searching for what a sanctified faith looks like in the real world.
The goal is to identify the Christ-likeness manifest in the life of other believers and then find a way to get those things into our life, in our own unique way.
Of course it will look different in our life, but it will be the same Christ-like behavior.
I ask God to help me live with a default reaction of joy for others when they are blessed.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Do you have any Comparison Dragons that need to be slain?
“Each of you should go on living according to the Lord’s gift to you, and as you were when God called you…” 1 Corinthians 7:17