Break Free From These Life-Sucking Comparison Traps - Finds.Life.Church

Break Free From These Life-Sucking Comparison Traps

by Brandon Donaldson

Comparison seems to be the default of every part of our life. Think about it. How do you know when you have the best price on a car? You compare. When are you pleased with your waist size? You compare (preferably to larger). How do you know where you stand with God? You compare. It seems life-sucking comparison traps are everywhere, so before we talk of breaking free, let’s identify some of them.

The Performance Trap, a.k.a. The Hamster Wheel: This trap compares and measures our efforts and success to others. Like a hamster wheel, this trap is tiring, frustrating and takes you nowhere. Growing up, I was fanatical about making A’s from elementary to college, but it was less about the A, and more about doing better than others. At my college graduation party, I actually went to one of the department heads and asked where I stood in the ranking—and he knew the answer!  You can feel this trap’s powerful tug right now, because you really want to know what my professor said. We get caught up in striving to be better than others instead of striving for our personal best for the glory of God.

The Pride Trap, a.k.a. The Unending Skyscraper: This trap compares who we are with who we perceive others to be. We either build ourselves up at the expense of others, or we tear ourselves down at the elevation of others. Either way is a losing scenario. Someone is inferior, someone is superior, and there is no end in sight. Well, except for toppling over. We are always striving for recognition and acceptance from others instead of resting in our recognition and acceptance from God.

The Insecurity Trap, a.k.a. The Two-Way Mirror: This trap compares our weaknesses to others’ strengths. I fall into this trap when I long for the strengths of others instead of thanking God for my own. The truth is, our power as the body of Christ is in our different strengths, not our common ones. This comparison trap attacks your self-worth. Staring in this two-way mirror leaves us feeling like we’ll never be enough instead of seeing all God created us to be.

The Envy Trap, a.k.a. The Green-Eyed Monster: This trap compares what we don’t have to what others do have. You can never satisfy this monster. This trap brings discontentment. Finances, possessions, and careers are never enough or never the right ones. When stuck in this trap, we become focused on others’ stuff to the point of discounting our own. Comparison leaves us trying to figure out how to get what we don’t have instead of figuring out how to give what we do.  

Do you see the common thread? All of these comparison traps put others’ efforts, strengths, and stuff as the goal and purpose of our lives. In 2 Corinthians 10:12 NLT, Paul  says, “But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” In order to break free from these life-sucking comparison traps, we must take our comparing stare off others and fix our eyes on Jesus.

Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith. You were created by Jesus and for Jesus. We are His workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Our energy, time, and purpose is wasted when we try to be like others, do like others, and have what others have. Jesus knows who we are and why we were made. He has given us everything we need to fulfill His purpose in us. When we keep our eyes fixed on Him, we will be free from comparison traps of all kinds.

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