Wednesday, 25 September 2013

How to Combat Comparison

by: Bailey is the writer at Anchored in Love Divine. She's a creative young lady with a love for travel, theatre and Jesus! Let's read her important words on how to combat comparison.

Comparison is the thief of joy. And comparison is one of the easiest traps to fall into. I do it all the time. Oh, I justify it and write it off and often sit in a heap of denial, but comparison has held too much control over my life and year. You beautiful ladies (and any gents out there) are people I want to trust with this fact and ask to be my accountability partners in my journey to freedom. Praise God there is freedom, am I right?

It can happen at any time and look many different ways. When reading your favorite blog your eyes might linger at the number of followers they have and mentally sigh at your own readership. Walking to class on the way to a final you spot the pretty blonde looking all spiffied up and fresh out of a magazine, not to mention three boys in tow. At your weekly Bible study you share your opinion but your neighbor voices a thought or insight that everyone swiftly writes in their journal. Your best friend gets the lead in the play you want when you auditioned at the same time. It can happen any time, anywhere.

Comparison is believing the lie that we are unequal and of different values to God. Comparison is ranking those made in God's image according to worldly standards. Comparison steals your joy and denies your identity. Comparison leads to no fruit.
This verse is one I am trying to memorize and one that has resonated in my heart these past few weeks. It is from The Message, which is a poetic paraphrasing, but it shares the heart of God so well.

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Do not be impressed with yourself or compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." 
Galatians 6:4-5

But how do we fight the lie and trap of comparison?

First, put the lie in the light. Problems continue to rule us when we pretend they do not exist. Satan only has power when we keep our struggles in the shadow and try to handle them on our own. We have a God who is already victorious! Let him equip us for battle and lead the way!
Second, combat the lie with truth. Memorize scripture. Print it out, write it on a sticky note, put it in your car or on your mirror. Wherever you find yourself struggling with it the most, put God's Word in arm's reach or have it ready in your heart and head. In the New Testament with Jesus was tempted in the desert, He refuted the devil with the Word of God.
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well!"   Psalm 139:13-14

"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work. God's instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you- from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted!" 
          1 Peter 2:10

Third, know your identity in Christ. Know it and believe it. He is the one who assigns your worth and value. And He calls us worthy and valuable. He paid any penalty and cost by sending His Son to the cross. Donald Miller tweeted this a few weeks ago and I suggest saving it to your phone for reference when you're feeling down, doubtful, or struggling with comparison.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Let's shine a light on this trap together and remind ourselves that we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Uniquely made! We are to individually love Him and use the gifts He has given us to bring Him glory. Don't try to do it like someone else or compare yourself to someone else and their gifts. God created you in His image! And He does not make mistakes ;)