I have lived a life of comparison. From a young age I measured myself by the others around me. My older sister always had cooler clothes and pristine toys. My younger sister was quieter and didn’t get in trouble for talking too much like I did. In high school I compared myself to my friends: Sheri got better grades, Heather was more beautiful and popular, Lori was more athletic, and Rhonda had a better singing voice, and nearly everyone else was taller than I was. When I entered college as a music major, the culture of auditions and recitals only added fuel to the already burning fire of comparison. After graduation, I married Harold and we started a family. In my desperation to be the best wife and mom I could be, I compared my efforts to those of my friends. And then came homeschooling! No matter whom I compared myself to, I always came up lacking. God has certainly done a great work in my heart, but the recovering perfectionist in me still fights to stay out of the deadly trap of comparison. I know that I’m a daughter of the Most High God and that He takes delight in me, but I sometimes I fall prey to the enemy’s scheme of using others around me as the standard to measure my life. I don’t think I’m alone in that. I’m taking a chance and being pretty transparent, but here is a recent entry from my journal about God’s perspective of comparison:
Comparing is a form of dishonor--one is the loser and the other is the winner. People compare because they feel a sense of lack. They make excuses or justifications why someone has more than they do. They define themselves by comparing themselves with others. When you compare yourself with others, you are saying only one is good or valuable and that everyone should fit in the mould. That’s not my way. Look at the world I created. There is great diversity, even in one species. Is a maple tree more important than a pecan tree? Is a tree more important than a flower? I have created them all for a special purpose. I am a unique God and I have created unique creations for unique purposes.
My limited study of art has taught me that the more rare a work of art, the more valuable. Leonardo DaVinci’s one-of-a-kind painting of the Mona Lisa is a thousand times more valuable than a mass-produced painting from Walmart. I’m not an art historian, but I do know that one element of the Mona Lisa that gives it value is its unique perspective for the time it was created. It was unlike any other.
You are a unique work of art, fashioned by the Creator of the universe. There is no one quite like you. No one brings Him pleasure the way you do. There are things that God purposed for you and only you to accomplish. If you ask, He will give you wisdom to be the best wife to your husband and the best mom for your children. Don’t let the deadly trap of comparison hold you captive. Follow the leading of your Savior and walk confidently with your head held high.
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Cor. 10:12)