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10 Things to Remember When We Start Comparing Ourselves to Others

  • Betsy St. Amant Haddox
10 Things to Remember When We Start Comparing Ourselves to Others

As women, we compare ourselves almost daily. Whether it’s the perfectly filtered selfie on social media, actresses on television, or our popular friends and co-workers, we constantly hold ourselves up against things to be measured. Usually when we do this, we come out lacking, which breeds jealousy and self-loathing. If we do occasionally come out superior, then we’re immediately sinning by way of pride and arrogance.

Comparing ourselves is a guaranteed lose-lose situation.

These days, it’s almost impossible not to get pulled into the temptation. Illusive perfection consumes every screen, every day, right in our face. But fighting the beast of comparison is a war worth waging. The Bible says the devil comes to steal kill and destroy (John 10:10), and this is one of the most effective ways he does so with women. When we compare ourselves, we allow the enemy to steal our joy, kill our self-esteem, and destroy our relationships.

Here are 10 things God wants you to remember when you start to compare yourself:

1. Comparing yourself isn’t your responsibility.

The Lord doesn’t want us obsessed with the matters of our neighbors—he wants us to follow Him on our own path.

"When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”  (John 21:21-22)

Jesus wanted their relationship to grow, without regard to Jesus’ relationship with John. It’s pointless to stare at someone else’s path—their relationships, their spiritual growth, their career, their finances—when Jesus is simply telling us to follow Him. Make that your first priority, and soon you won’t be worried about “John.” 

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2. Comparison is for baby believers.

It’s time to grow up, ladies. (preaching to the choir, here!) 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 makes it painfully clear that comparison and jealousy is for baby believers.

“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?”

Jealousy and comparison go hand-in-hand. We’re supposed to be moved on to maturity in this area, eating “real food” by now. Make an effort to think more about growing in your walk with the Lord, instead of comparing yourself to the new girl at church with the enviable wardrobe or the handsome new husband.  

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3. Comparison is exhausting.

It’s tiring to constantly be measuring yourself and coming up short. Comparison breeds anxiety, which is exhausting. We would do well to remember we are all fearfully and wonderfully made—uniquely and on purpose. 

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)

Embrace the unique you that God created, and quit trying to be like your neighbor. Rest in His sovereignty that you were created exactly as you should be, and He is sanctifying you on His timetable.  

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4. It’s better to compliment than compare.

The green monster of jealousy dies with kind words. Remember: strong women build each other up, rather than tear each other down. Speak blessing to your sister in Christ, rather than words of despair to yourself. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21) Speak life—to your own soul and to the souls of the women around you. You’ll feel better for it. 

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5. Comparison is dangerous.

When we compare ourselves to others, especially in regards to our spiritual journey, we risk glossing over our own sins because we feel that “at least they aren’t as bad as hers”. 

“The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.” (Luke 18:11-14)

Instead of being convicted and repenting over these sins in our lives, we’re more likely to dismiss them completely. This is a dangerous habit to embrace, and one we should beware. 

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6. Comparison brings chaos.

The Bible clearly states that jealousy and selfish goals lead to chaos. "Were jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." (James 3:16)  I don’t know about you, but I have enough drama in my life. I don’t want to add to it with things I can prevent, like comparison and jealousy. Comparing yourself to your sister brings anxiety, chaos, and darkness to your spirit. It’s simply not worth it. 

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7. Comparison is selfish.

The Bible teaches we’re to be in the world, but not of it. When we compare ourselves to women around us, who are we aiming to please? The illusive standard we think we must live up to because Hollywood or the sex industry insists it to be so? Refuse this temptation and live for the Lord. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."  (1 John 2:15) We are to please God, not man—and not even ourselves.

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8. Comparison can put us above others.

When we’re stuck in the trap of comparison, we’re more likely to try to make much of ourselves so we can feel that we measure up. Yet Philippians 2:3 says, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." No one wins in the game of comparison. Don’t indulge the sin of pride by holding yourself next to another woman and declaring yourself superior in any way. 

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9. Comparison shines a light on us, instead of on the Lord.

We are to boast in Christ, not in ourselves. When we come out “ahead” in the comparison game, we’re really still behind—because now we’re boasting in our own works or efforts. 2 Corinthians 10:17 says, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."  We are to make much of Him, not ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others will unfortunately never lead to that goal.

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10. Comparison breeds discontent.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world."  (1 Timothy 6:6-7

We can’t take it with us—this includes our corporate gains, our fitness regime, our expensive clothes, that new car, our finances, or even our relationships. Our contentment is found in Christ alone, and when we’re comparing ourselves to women around us—be it to their looks, achievements, ministry or career; we’re breeding discontentment. It’s hard to be happy with our life when we’re constantly glimpsing the shiny highlights of someone else’s. Keep your eyes on your path, and be content with the work the Lord is doing in you. You are blessed!

Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fourteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her newlywed hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with HarperCollins, LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES, and POCKET PRAYERS FOR FRIENDS with Max Lucado. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com./

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