A heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones. Proverb s4:30
According to the Cambridge American English Dictionary comparison is defined as an examination of the differences and similarities between persons or things.
I love keeping up with friends and family through social media. In fact I should spend less time\than I do. It's amazing how fast our words and pictures can travel through space. Unfortunately, along with this convenience often opens the door of temptation to compare ourselves with other people's possessions or accomplishments.
I can read about a friend's accomplishments or see their newest possession and feel envy whisper into my ear, “You have worked harder than her for that award or look how old your own car is. You deserve a new car.” There I go getting ensnared by that trap of comparison again.
This trap is nothing new. In fact, it started with the very first family in Genesis. We read about Cain comparing himself to Abel which led to the first murder in human history. Fortunately, I have not literally taken a life because of this trap but I have injured myself by damaging my self esteem and losing confidence in my own abilities as well as damaged relationships.
No, envy is not the only result of the comparison trap. I can compare myself to someone else and hear that old sin of pride whisper in my ear, “See, you are not as bad as she is,” or “aren't you glad you have a better car that she does?” Satan loves it when we let pride step in. After all pride is what led to his downfall.
It is easy to fall into this trap but there are ways we can avoid wallowing in it. The first way to avoid this trap is be thankful for what we have and count our blessings. There will always be someone who is wealthier, more attractive, and more successful than I am. I can choose to be envious and make myself miserable. There will also be people who do not have as much and I can choose to be full of pride and let pride spoil by joy. However, the better choice is to look at what I have and be thankful for the blessing God has already given me. After all, I have a wonderful family, a roof that keeps the warm in winter and cool in the summer, food to eat, and enough money to pay our bills and buy what we need.
Next, we can focus on God and His word. When we are tempted to compare ourselves to others, remember the story of Cain and Abel from the bible. The more grounded we are in His word we will have the tools to resist the snares of comparison. Several verses from the bible deal with comparison and the troubles it can cause. These are just a couple of them.
Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishment without comparing yourselves to others.
2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves they are not wise.
When we count our own blessings and resist comparing ourselves to others, we are living in God's will for us. Let's not give Satan the opportunity to plant his seeds of envy and pride in our hearts. Remember God has a specific purpose He wants to accomplish through each of us and that plan cannot be accomplished if we are too busy comparing ourselves to others. His plan for me and His plan for you are not the same just as His blessings to each of us are not the same.