The Comparison Trap
Posted in Disappointment
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.” Galations 5: 22-29
I found myself crying in the McDonalds drive-through line the other day. Our coffee pot was broken, so I decided to treat myself to a piping hot cup of coffee (and a biscuit) on the way to work.
It had been one of those weeks. I’m sure you’ve had them. It seemed like everyone was passing me by. Right and left, it seemed like I was watching the world achieve their goals, attain accolades, and claim victories while I sat in a funk not even sure what my goal was!
How many times a day do you catch yourself falling into the comparison trap? Everywhere you look, there will be someone who is smarter, younger, more accomplished, and better looking. There will be someone with more accolades, achievements, honors, awards, and recognition. And you know what? That is okay. God has a plan for your life and what you are doing this very day matters even if it is not recognized by anyone at all.
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, just before he shares with us the refreshing fruits of the spirit, he presents to us the problem with getting caught up in emotions like jealousy and envy. When we spend so much time competing with each other and ourselves for outward approval of colleagues, bosses, friends, peers, and even loved ones, we tend to neglect how unique, loved, and appreciated we are in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
The next time I find myself falling into the comparison trap, I will try not to get sucked in; instead, I will try to remember who and whose I am and that God has me on the exact right path for me.
Dear Lord, forgive me for comparing myself to others. Please help me remember that your plans for me are good, and that they will unfold in your time. Help me to be patient and prayerful while I wait, and help me have a joyful heart for others in their success. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Submitted by Kelly Barbrey