Comparison is something I think we all do and then regret either immediately or within a few hours. So why do we still do it? Why even though we have so much acceptance and love from God, do we look to the blessings in others life and compare them to the seeming lack of blessings in our own lives?
I think part of the reason is that all around us in society we have a culture of comparison. In school teachers would compare our grades to other pupils grades, in our friend’s groups we would compare our friendships with others, at work we compare another person’s raise to our lack of a raise.
Comparison, we are told, is good because it forces you to be a better version of you. However the issue with this is that we end up striving, in our pursuit of ‘bettering ourselves’, we compare ourselves and either get discouraged (which is what I tend to fall into) or we tear other people down in an effort to show how much greater we are.
And even in the Christian community, we do this. We compare our bible readings with others, we compare our prayer life (or lack of a prayer life with others), we spend so much time worrying about what other people are doing that we completely miss the point.
The point that we are trusting in a gospel that frees us from the comparison game. That frees us from striving, from achievement, that frees us from this constant worry about what others think, because as humans we are fickle, our opinion changes all the times. I might compare myself to a friend now thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread (shout out to my mum for this saying), but then I may find out about a sin pattern in their life and all of a sudden feel superior because ‘I would never do that’.
Which has a few issues.
1.) The only person who is perfect is Jesus, and putting this expectation on someone (no matter how great they are), is setting them up for failure and you up for disappointment. Because they are just as sinful as I am (but they aren’t more sinful than I, God doesn’t rank sins only humans do).
2.) Holding the belief that you would ‘never’ do a sin your friend struggles with is just pride. I remember talking to someone from church about how I am not manipulative (all the people who want to shout at me, just hang on a sec), and in the weeks following God showed me how I can be manipulative in many different situations. Which was Gods kindness because then I could repent, and run to Jesus. But it still illustrates the point, check your heart on a consistent basis and when a friend comes to you with a struggle instead of comparing yourself with them, trust in Jesus and just love them.
When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we are able to truly love them. We are able to truly serve them humbly and seek out their good and Gods will above anything else.