While doing the Unglued Bible study, I ran across this question that I have been wrestling with: Do you struggle with jealous, envy or comparison?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really don’t struggle with the first two– I am not a jealous woman, nor do I envy other people’s belongings. But BOY do I struggle with comparison. It is ugly, but true. Comparing myself to other wives, moms, secretaries, pastor’s wives… Comparing my children, my marriage, my lifestyle, my parenting skills to others within my world.
So the answer to the question above is a resounding YES.
But there is a second part to the question- what can I do about it? That’s not so easy to answer… I feel like many women live in a cycle of comparing and competing with other women around them. It is not so much that we do it on purpose, but it is almost an automatic response. We walk into a room and evaluate where we are in comparison with the others around us. But I am learning that God did not put me here to live a life of competition. Nor did He put other people on this earth for me to compare myself to. Nor do I have to remain in the cycle I have always been in because that is where I have always lived. God wants me to break free from the cycle of sin that Satan has kept me bound in.
I need to learn the principle of COMPLETING not COMPETING.
Galatians 6:4-10 (in The Message version) says: Make a careful exploration of who YOU are and the work YOU have been given, and then sink YOUrself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of YOU must take responsibility for doing the creative best YOU can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”
During Chapter 9, The Empty Life, Lysa TerKeurst says “The ugly truth is, comparison steals celebration. And a life void of celebration is a life empty.”
I want my life to be marked by celebration not emptiness. How about you?