I don’t know about you, but in my life, the comparison trap is real! I see photos and videos of people taking trips, achieving big goals, or accomplishing milestones, and it always leaves me wondering, “Am I doing enough?”
Several years ago, I went horseback riding through the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It was one the first significant trips that I’ve taken on my own as an adult. I remember trying to be present as my horse galloped along the trail while also attempting to take as many photos and videos as I could so I could post them on social media.
I felt grateful to finally have a vacation adventure that would compare with the trips so many of my friends were taking. But it was during this same horse ride that God gripped my heart.
I noticed the deeply-rooted discontentment in my life. I had lost sight of what God was doing right in front of me because I was so focused on comparing my vacation to the ones my friends had taken.
The reality is, it’s easy to become discontent with what God has given us and forget all that He’s called us to. This continual pursuit of what’s next can lead us to subconsciously measure our lives by the list of adventures we’ve had, promotions we’ve gotten, or things we’ve accomplished.
For me, this comparison trap starts with the simple satisfaction of crossing something off my to-do list, and it flourishes as I compare my list to my friends’ lists.
But Scripture says in 2 Peter 1:3 that “… God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” Paul even reminds us in Philippians 4:12-13 that we can learn to be content no matter what situation we’re in or what season of life God has called us to.
So why then, whether in our personal lives or within our careers, do we continually ask ourselves, “Am I doing enough?”
I think it’s because we live in a society so focused on success and achievement. Isn’t the American dream all about what we can accomplish if we work hard enough? And when we focus on what we’re doing, we’re allowing ourselves to get stuck in a cyclical pattern of believing we aren’t good enough.
When we constantly ask ourselves if we’re doing enough, we affirm the belief that there will always be more to attain if we just worked harder or added more to our plate. But God whispers to us about a better way to live—a way filled with rest, contentment, peace, joy, and freedom.
After that horse ride, I began a journey toward discovering the true contentment Paul talked about, and spoiler alert: I found it! I stopped asking myself, “Am I doing enough?” and started doing these three things instead:
1. Studying Scripture: My journey toward contentment started by digging into the Bible and discovering what God has to say about it. In Matthew 11:28, He challenges us to simply come to Him, and He will give us rest. In Luke 10:38-42, God reminds us how much He wants us to just sit at His feet—no matter our to-do lists or what others are doing around us. When we choose to sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary did, we’re choosing the best thing—a relationship with Him!
2. Focusing my gaze: God doesn’t want us to focus on the things we’re doing for Him. Instead, He asks us to fix our gaze on Him, and who we are in Him. The enemy tries to use comparison to lie to us about who we are. But when we intentionally focus on God and the things He’s doing in our lives, we can tune out those distractions.
3. Celebrating my identity: Romans 8:15 says that we “did not receive the spirit of religious duty,” which leads us “back into the fear of never being good enough.” Instead, we’ve “received the Spirit of full acceptance … into the family of God.” God doesn’t measure our value on whether we’re doing enough or not. We’re accepted by Him regardless of what’s on our to-do list or in our trophy case!
So here’s my challenge to you today: Stop wondering if you’re doing enough! You have a God-given purpose, and it’s not the same as the person beside you. You’re God’s beloved child just the way He created you, whether you’re resting or you’re working—no matter if you fail the test or win the race.
True contentment will come when we embrace and pursue the calling God has created uniquely for each of us. And ultimately, we’ll know we’re doing enough because, through Christ, we are enough!