Breaking Free of the Comparison Trap
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
Can I tell you a secret? For way too much of my life, I fell into the trap of comparing myself with others. When I did, I always came up short. I felt I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough or spiritual enough … just not enough, period. And because of that, I stayed stuck in a mediocre faith.
Through the years I’ve learned one valuable truth: The measuring stick will get you stuck. Comparison is the devil’s tool that’s kept many of us from stepping into our God-given destinies.
For about a year, I hung out with Moses by the burning bush. I listened to Moses argue with God about his insecurities and pondered God’s responses to all his questions and quandaries.
When I met up with Moses in Exodus 3, he was an insecure, stuttering recluse. Yep, we were kindred spirits. He complained he was not good enough and begged God to pick someone else to address the Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Specifically, he whined he was not a good speaker, even though centuries later in the New Testament, Stephen recorded Moses was “powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22b, NIV).
So how do you think Moses came up with the idea he was not a good speaker? Here’s what I think. I think it happened because Moses compared himself to other people he thought were good speakers.
Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence and stymie our courage. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance.
We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that perhaps we’re fatally flawed … as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity, punctured and punctuated by comparison.
We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what? We were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you and me with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He’s called us to do.
David wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14).
David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well.
You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece — His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well?
God knows our inadequacies and insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you and me before we even had them. Yet God chose us before we were born for a purpose — to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26).
It’s time we stop comparing ourselves with others. I know it’s hard … Boy, is it hard! But the measuring stick will get you stuck.
God made you to be you! He thinks you’re amazing. And so do I.
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for comparing myself with others rather than praising You for the way You’ve knit me together and gifted me. I know I’m Your workmanship — Your handiwork. Today, I let go of the measuring stick of comparison, and take hold of the way You’ve uniquely fashioned me for Your purposes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)
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Are you ready to let go of your insecurities and take hold of God’s promises? To move out of the safe confines of cul-de-sac Christianity and live the adventurous faith? If so, Sharon Jaynes’ book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold is just for you. It also includes a study guide for those who want to dig deeper into God’s Word.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Pay attention to how many times you compare yourself to someone else today. You might want to write them down. What do you think God would say to you about those comparisons?
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