Satan does everything he can to get our eyes off of God and onto something else. Whether that’s making money our sense of security or finding glory in something we excel in, Satan will scheme to take our eyes off of the One who matters most. But I believe there is one trick he pulls that is so ingrained in our lives, we don’t even recognize it’s happening. It is the evil that drives a wedge into relationships. It is the weapon which shreds teams apart and tears people down.
It is the corruption of comparison.
We are constantly comparing ourselves. Some of these comparisons are obvious, like women comparing their bodies to magazine pictures or men competing to see who can throw a football the farthest. But these aren’t the only comparisons we make.
We compare our accomplishments, our children, our homes. We compare our spouses, our siblings, and our parents. We compare our skills. How much money we make. Who we know. We even compare trivial things: our clothes, the length of our hair, how many Facebook likes we got on a selfie, how fast we run, how much weight we’ve lost, how much weight we can press.
And as we compare, we start making judgments. A judgment isn’t just an idea or opinion. When we see something one way and we judge it to be so, we begin to believe that nothing else can be true. Sometimes this wraps a fog around what really is true. It can even lead us to believe a lie.
When we see something one way and we judge it to be so, we begin to believe that nothing else can be true.
Can comparison be a good thing at times? I don’t believe that it’s the root of all evil. For instance, I recently began a journey of growth in leadership. I asked a few dear friends and coworkers to point out flaws in my character and leadership so that I could work on them. I’ve also been watching how others lead and comparing it to my leadership so that I can grow and be challenged in my relationship with the Lord. God is not calling me to lead like Billy Graham, yet I can learn from his leadership by comparing my decisions to his. My heart is not to tear myself or anyone else down. With every comparison I make, I should be always looking to Jesus and seeking to becoming more like him. Comparison becomes dangerous when it leads to envy and discontentment in what the Lord has given us.
Refracting His Glory
The Lord made us each differently on purpose. Although we were each made in his image, no one person can reflect every quality God has. If that were possible, that person would be GOD! God wants to show his glory on earth, and he wants to do it through you. We were born to express our identity in God, which in turn puts his nature and character on display for the world to see. God is multifaceted, like a jewel. Imagine holding a diamond. It has been polished and set. When light is shone on it, it sparkles. Every way it turns there is a new splintering of light. We are like God’s splinters of light shining on earth. We have different tints and hues, but each of us is beautiful, displaying different facets of who God is through the unique ways he has crafted us.
The Lord made us each differently on purpose.
Are Your Thoughts Corrupted?
Take time to examine your own thought life. How much time and energy do you spend comparing yourself with others and envying what they have? I know we have all heard that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, but do you believe it? Does God define what is fearfully and wonderfully made, or does Cosmopolitan or GQ? In Psalm 16, David claims ”Surely I have a delightful inheritance.” He says that God alone is his portion and his cup. Do you believe that everything the Lord has given you and called you to is good? Or are you looking at your neighbor and coveting their gifts and talents?
When I stop comparing myself and envying, I become free to enjoy a precious gift of God: the unique and individual way he made me.
Written by Brittany Vest. Brittany has a contagious enthusiasm for missions and helping others follow the call of God. She works in the YWAM Louisville admissions office, providing encouragement and answering questions for prospective DTS students. Brittany loves people, good times, and great dance parties.