I watched an incredible devotional video the other day by Matt Stinton of Bethel Music. It was about comparison and it wrecked me (in the best way possible)! I don’t know about you, but I’ve struggled with comparing my life to other people’s lives a lot. Our social media feeds are filled with content that snickers at us. We look at people’s posts and think, “Wow, look how great her clothes are on her perfect frame.” “Man, if only I had his adventurous life – that is the dream!” “My goodness, they have a lot of money.”
We get sucked into believing that we won’t be happy until ___________. (Pick your poison: “until I get that promotion, until I get married, until I get paid x amount of $, until I have the perfect house, until I lose x amount of pounds,” etc. etc. etc. But the root of this voice of comparison is actually ungratefulness.
Did you hear that? When I compare, I am saying “No thanks,” to the gifts God has given me. Instead of looking at the blessings I’ve been given, I have a perspective of lack– that what I have isn’t enough.
Matt used the example of Cain and Abel in Genesis. Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve – Abel was a shepherd, and Cain a farmer. Cain had jealousy in his heart towards Abel as he compared their lives, and ended up killing his very own brother!
Verses 10-12 say, “And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength.”
The point is that Cain was gifted in working the land, but once he lost sight of the blessing that God gave him and focused only on all the blessing his brother had, he actually lost this gift! The ground would no longer yield its strength to Cain.
What if the strength in our gift is lost when we are focused on what we do not have?
So how do we combat comparison in our lives? We must build new thought patterns by practicing thankfulness. The Scriptures are full of exhortations to remain with a thankful heart towards God.
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” – Psalm 106:1
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
– Colossians 3:15-17
Gratitude for the gifts we’ve been given is life-changing! It flows from the belief that God is good, and that in Him we have no lack.
If you struggle with comparison, there is no shame. I pray that your vision shifts to see the goodness of God in your life, thanking Him for the place He has called you to, the person He has made you to be, and all gifts that He has given (including another day on this earth!). Even if you don’t feel it, thank Him in faith that He is shifting your focus. Bless you guys!