Letting Go of Comparison
Grace Klein | Focus 412 | Charlotte, NC
Years ago I was out for a run, training for my first long distance race when a group of young girls passed me. With an overwhelming urge to prove I wasn’t growing old at thirty, I picked up my pace to keep up with them. My legs began tocrampand I started seeing stars, but I was determined not to let some twenty-somethings pass me up. I was feeling pretty good about myself until they stopped running and I still had three more laps left. In that moment I experienced the painful consequences of comparison. Running at their pace would prevent me from completing my race.
That’s easier said than done in today’s culture, especially while scrolling through social media and seeing everyone’s perfect family photos, gushing relationship tributes, incredible vacations and dynamic churches. It’s hard not to think, “I wish that was my life” or to whine “what about me, God? When is our ministry going to grow? When are my spouse and kids going to be so happy?”
The enemy craftily uses comparison to keep us distracted from God’s assignment for our lives. We focus on what others are doing, how they look, what they are achieving and how we measure up. Rather than thanking God for what He’s done, and celebrating what He’s currently doing, we see what He’s doing for someone else and wonder why He hasn’t done that for us. We begin questioning if God has forgotten us, why He seems to have favorites, if we’re making any impact and if we were ever really called.
Over the last 20 years, I fought comparing my singleness to other’s marital bliss. I wondered why God was having me wait so long. During seasons of loneliness, I wrestled with God and sought comfort in his truth and promises. I knew comparison would lead to compromise so I focused on living a full life and enjoying opportunities to bless my married friends. This included babysitting so they could go on date nights, helping them plan creative anniversaries and coordinating their kids’ birthday parties so they could relax and enjoy the celebration with their son or daughter. Whenever the urge to compare myself to other women threatened to pull me off course, I intentionally sowed seeds of blessing into their lives.
Although, it took longer than I would’ve preferred, the Lord fulfilled His promise to me! I believe God brings two people together to do greater things for His kingdom than they can on their own. Phillip and I met last year and I was blown away by God’s faithfulness! Not only did Phillip love God, he was an incredibly handsome and wise leader doing great things for the Lord! He was worth the wait! We got married in March, and together we get the privilege of traveling the country to partner with churches in building the Kingdom. I would have missed my miracle if I’d fallen into the trap of comparison and tried to insert myself into someone else’s race.
Whenever comparison rears its ugly head, I’m reminded of Philippians 1:6 which assures us “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” It’s not a mediocre work. This good work was started in you and will be completed in you. Rather than calling our current situations “not good enough” let’s joyfully align our perspective with the “good work” that God is at work in us.