Commercials scream it. You think it. And your self-esteem suffers for it. What is this powerful thing that has such control over the human mind? It’s the will to compare ourselves to others. We want to be thin like that starlet. Have no wrinkles like that model. Or enough money to buy beautiful clothing like the woman seated in the next pew over in church.
We don’t think we’re pretty enough, thin enough, or if we just had __________, we’d be happier. We compare ourselves to cartoon characters on the cover of magazines, and then starve ourselves to try to look like something that doesn’t exist. We go into debt to buy that name brand so others will think we’re more important. We don’t speak up in Bible study because we can’t spout verses like other women in the class.
This constant state of comparing ourselves to others can lead to depression, unhealthy habits, and a lack of joy. God doesn’t want us to compare ourselves to others. We are to be happy with what He has blessed us with. By comparing ourselves to someone else, we are in essence telling God we are not happy with what He has given us.
We are living in the world, not His word.
As Christians, we should be content with what God has given us. It’s not about what the world says we should have or look like, it’s the blessings God has put on us. Philippians 4:11-13 states, I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
There are so many in the world who suffer with far less than what we have. Do you know most people in Haiti have no shoes? And when they get a pair, they are worn for protection of their feet, not as a decoration. Open your closet door. How many pair of shoes do you have?
We are blessed in so many ways. God even sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. By comparing yourself and your circumstances to others, you are telling God that He got it wrong. He messed up by not giving you more money, not giving you curly hair, making you a boy instead of a girl.
God doesn’t make mistakes. The reason we compare ourselves to others is because we’re not happy with our circumstances. We are too busy looking at what others have and not looking at God. Volunteer in a homeless shelter or a burn ward. If that doesn’t make you fall down on your knees thanking God, nothing will.
It’s time we focused more on caring for others and less on what we lack in the way of “stuff”. Too many of us have a list of wants yet are in need of very little. Thank God for all those blessings such as food, shelter, good friends, and shoes to protect our feet.
Not everyone in the world is so lucky.