Thursday, October 12, 2017

5 Ways to Avoid the Trap of Comparison

Comparison is an ugly game.  It creates feelings of superiority or failure.  Either are detrimental to our spiritual and mental health.  Comparison is the devil's game and his intention is to pull our focus off of God and onto ourselves. 

God created us in His image and with a purpose in mind.  He did not mess up on the day He created us. He knew perfectly well who we were to be.  And I can promise you this - we weren't meant to be like anyone else.   His ways are vast and way beyond our human thinking.  We are wonderfully made and He desires for us to know this well (Psalm 139:14).  

So with that in mind {and hopefully our hearts}, let's learn some sure fire ways to avoid falling for the enemy's ridiculous game.  He will rue the day he tried to tempt us to compare ourselves rather than celebrate who we are in Christ!

1.  Begin each morning with Jesus.
Each morning provides us a day to do wonderful things for the Kingdom of God.  We may never know how we are impacting others, but God surely does!  In order to be the good and faithful servant we desire to be, we must set our hearts and minds on Jesus.  When we do, we will be less likely to compare ourselves to others because we are filled with His love and mindset.  Beginning our days with Jesus not only prepares our mind and heart to combat comparison, but it shows the devil that you are not going to play is idiotic game.

Mark 1:35
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark out, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place.  And He was praying there.

Jesus knew the importance of beginning His day with prayer.  Talking to His Father prepared Him for the day ahead.  If Jesus did it, then we surely should too!

2.  Keep a small spiral notebook with Scriptures that speak to your heart about God's love, your worth, and your purpose.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God's word is alive and active, sharper than any double edge sword.  Have you ever pictured that image in your sweet head?  A double edged sword is pretty powerful!  No matter what direction an enemy came at you, you would have protection and fight.  That is what God's word is.  It is powerful at fighting off the enemy and protecting us from his nasty schemes.  When we pack God's word into our hearts, we have power.  We are called to use His word to fight.  Fighting is not a passive event.  It requires strength, determination, and power.  When the enemy tries to defeat us with comparison, we can fight back with God's alive and active word.  He calls us to use His word against that nasty little tyrant!  Read from your tiny little notebook throughout the day.  When you feel compelled to enter the comparison arena, you can call to mind God's words and fight off the nasty thoughts.  Rise above them and be a mighty princess warrior shielded and protected with the beautiful double edged sword given to you by your loving Father.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow.  It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

3.  When you feel comparison creep up on you, take it to God immediately.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive to obey Christ.  This means we are to make sure our thoughts and mindsets line up with the word of God.  Comparing ourselves to others does not line up with God's word or plan for our lives.  We are created in a unique way; each possessing gifts and talents that promote God's Kingdom.  We must ask the Holy Spirit to alert our hearts when we are falling victim to comparison so that we can turn our eyes back to Jesus and remember who we are in Him.  Jesus is ready and waiting to help us when we call on Him.  Ask Him to help you see your worth, talents, and gifts.  Ask Him to allow you to see yourself as He does - cherished, loved, and amazing.

Isaiah 65:24
Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.

4.  Recognize your gifts and talents and embrace them.
As stated above, each of us has a specific talent that God has given us to serve His Kingdom.  YOU were created to make a difference for God.  We each have been entrusted and gifted.  Unfortunately, our gifts go unused when we look to others' gifts and wish we had theirs.  That, my friend, is just what the enemy is banking on.  When our talents go unused, we are not serving God and His Kingdom.  The devil thinks he is pretty snazzy when he sees us doing this.  Let's show him that we are daughters of the One and Only King and embrace our talents.  The devil can't have our gifts!  Let's be proud of our gifts and talents and use them to bear so much fruit that the enemy is disgusted and walks away with his head hanging down!

James 1:16-17
Don't be deceived, my dearly loved brothers (and sisters).  Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above.

5.  Limit your time scrolling through social media.
We all do it.  We aimlessly scroll through social media.  We may do it because we are bored or because we are curious.  Either way, it can lead to a big nasty case of comparison.  Let's be honest, people are posting their best selves.  Everyone's families are perfect, so screams social media.  We aren't privy to authenticity when we are peeking into others lives through social media.  This is a sure fire way to fall into the comparison pit.  We must limit our time viewing other's lives.  We must keep in check that we aren't seeing reality and be aware when our hearts are being pulled in an ugly direction.  Too often, social media takes the place of God.  Just because someone is posting Scripture alongside their perfect life, doesn't mean reading their posts is worshipping the Lord.  True worship comes from heart to heart time with God.  

2 Corinthians 10:12
For we don't dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.  But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.

Comparison is an ugly thing.  It pull our focus from Jesus onto ourselves every stinking time.  I can guarantee that!  We must always be aware because our enemy lurks around like a lion waiting to devour God's children.  He knows if he can make us feel badly about ourselves, we will not work for the beautiful Kingdom of God.  We must keep our hearts and minds on the One who gifted us.  

You've got this!  Each and every time you feel the pull, use this list to get your heart back on the One who loves you like crazy.  You are a beautiful creation with so much to offer.  YOU were created to impact the Kingdom and make a difference.  Let that sink into your  precious heart.  

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

I love you all with the most tender heart-