(Originally posted on our former blog site on 2/9/2015)
We all play it. Oh, we try not to, we really do. We say we aren’t going to play. We tell ourselves we’re “unique” and “one-of-a-kind”; we may even write the words “fearfully and wonderfully made” on our mirrors as a reminder. We never intend to play the game, but inevitably, we all do.
The first rule in this game is: WHO? Who are you comparing yourself to? A famous person? A friend? A mentor, a leader? Some picture of Audrina Partridge you found on Pinterest that you took to your hairdresser because you wanted your hair to look EXACTLY like hers? (Ok maybe that one was just me)
The next thing you need to know about about this comparison game is that there are two versions. One version plays the card of “I’m not that bad.”
Often we excuse our own behavior by comparing ourselves to others. “At least my music isn’t that bad,” “What I do definitely isn’t as bad as what they do,” “Have you heard what comes out of her mouth? At least what I say isn’t that bad.”
Making these excuses is like setting a trap for yourself. Imagine: you’re out shopping with a friend. She tries a dress on that is less than figure-flattering. She comes out of the dressing room and asks, “Does this make me look fat?” You reply with, “Well you don’t look that fat.”
What?! No one wants to hear that! That is the worst response in the history of ever! (And really, who wants that question to be answered honestly? It’s a trap! A good friend will just suggest something else that will look better on you!)
This scenario is very similar to what we do when we make excuses: we don’t really want the truth so we compare ourselves to others so that we will be overlooked.
Galatians 6:3-5 says “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”
What you do or do not do should not be based on what someone else does. You are unique, you are one-of-a- kind, you ARE fearfully and wonderfully made, so you don’t have to pretend like you’re someone else or pretend like you’re better than someone else.
Now remember, there are two versions to this comparison game. The second version plays the card of “I’m not that good.” While excusing our own behavior by comparing it to someone else is a trap we can fall into, disguising insecurity as humility is also a dangerous trap. We can get discouraged very easily when we constantly compare our looks, our talents, our abilities to other people.
“I can never be as good as they are, so I’m not even going to try.”
Sound familiar? I’m raising my hand because I’ve been there!
Comparison often robs us of even trying.
I Peter 2:9 tells us that we are “A chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that [we] may declare the praises of Him who called us out darkness into His wonderful light.”
When I find myself playing this version of the comparison game, I just repeat: I am chosen, I am royal, I am His. I am chosen, I am royal, I am His. Try it! Say it out loud! Write it on your mirror if you have to—just remember: you are chosen, you are royal, you are His.
You win the comparison game (yes, it’s possible) by comparing yourself to Christ; after all, you were “made in His image” (Genesis 1:27). When you compare yourself to Him, because He’s perfect, He will point out the areas in your life that need a little work. With His help, through prayer, reading His Words, and daily practice, you CAN get out of the trap of excuses and move forward into the amazing things God has for you.