The Comparing Disease
I would like to tell you of how I got my degree. It is from the University of Life. I have a Masters in the Art of Comparing with thirty years experience. Comparing myself with others is an art and one that I have become quite expert in.
Unfortunately it has gotten me nowhere so I have had to rip it up.
All kidding aside, comparing myself with others over the years had become more of a debilitating disease than anything else. It’s the kind of sickness that goes right to the heart of one’s faith and without proper treatment can render us ineffective not only as a christian but a person.
Comparing was never a problem for me growing up. I never did it, I didn’t have too, I enjoyed my life and I enjoyed who I was for the most part. I didn’t automatically get it in my blood stream when I became a christian either.
Although my spiritual rebirth resulted in me looking at life from a new perspective I still didn’t compare myself with others. I wanted to be like others who seemed strong in the faith, loved Jesus to the max and were good examples to follow. I was a babe in christ and like a child desires to be like his mother or father, older brother or sister and aunts and uncles while growing up and finding his or her own feet, it was not much different to me when exploring the spiritual world when Jesus took over my life.
No, it happened much later. I can’t really pinpoint when it became a problem and it’s not something that is unique only to christians. The world is afflicted by comparing also.
In essence comparing ourselves to others is just plain discouraging. It makes us look at ourselves in an inferior way, we are not as good as someone else for what ever reason; looks, wealth, success, body, intelligence and whatever excuse we use to run ourselves down.
Now in the christian world its dangerous to compare because it goes to the core of our beliefs. Our faith. When we as Christians compare ourselves with others we are in effect saying, God, why didn’t you make me a better christian, a stronger christian, more obedient , better gifts, more talent, more compassion, more empathy and understanding.
Every time I compared myself with another, a small sliver of faith inside of me died. Paul told us in II Corinthians that we are not to compare ourselves with ourselves.
OK, so we know we are not supposed to do it but how are we not supposed to do it. When we finally come to grips with the fact that we have this habit or problem, how do we alleviate it from our life.
So how did I combat this area in my life. Firstly I had to recognize it was a disease or a problem. Secondly I had to do something radical. I tore up my Comparing degree. I said to myself, no more, I can’t possibly see any good coming from this.
But the kicker was when I had coffee with my eldest daughter one day. Although we live in the same city we don’t get to see each other that often. Aside from family gatherings we don’t get that much one on one time. On this day we were engrossed in gossiping, reminiscing and generally trying to change the world over a cup of coffee.
When our conversation got more meaningful I made a comment that I wished I could have been a better parent in some areas of my life comparing myself with others.
She stopped me in my tracks and said, “dad, let me tell you how I see you as one your children”, in short, she saw me like only she could. I actually felt like turning around at one stage to see if she wasn’t talking to someone behind me.
She certainly didn’t see me as I saw myself and going away from that conversation and having time to reflect I realized it is exactly how Jesus sees us. Differently than anyone else on earth and more importantly differently than we see ourselves.
Jesus sees us for who we are. The creation that was formed by his own hands for his own purpose and for the outcome that he designed for us.
We become our own worst enemies by slowing down His progress in our lives by not accepting who we are and that we are made exactly for the High calling that He has specially designed for each of us.
Philippians 2:13 sums it up. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (KJV).
When we accept that we are special in God’s sight and that He adores us for who we are then maybe we can face the fact that comparing our lives with others is counter productive.
Do I still compare? Of course I do, but I recognize it quicker and am able to put it where it belongs. In the trash.
So how do we fight comparing ourselves with others?
We can start by seeing ourselves as Jesus does.
Lets start there and see where that takes us.
Posted on May 3, 2013, in Faith and tagged belief, bible, christianity, commitment, comparing, discipleship, faith, God, god's calling, god's will, insight, Jesus, life, obedience. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.