“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…” – Philippians 4:11b
An armchair philosopher once declared, “Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It’s cheaper.” I applaud this creative solution to an age-old problem, but I prefer God’s advice on the subject of comparison. God tells us to simply not play the game at all.
Comparison is a destructive trap. The fact is, we can always find someone who is smarter, prettier, in better shape, or who just has more “stuff” than we do. On Monday, we might be so proud of our shiny new car, but on Tuesday, a newer one is parked in the driveway next door. And that 52-inch TV will soon pale in comparison to your brother-in-law’s 68-inch model. Here’s one guarantee in life – no matter what you acquire, somebody, somewhere, is going to have something newer, shinier, or more powerful.
Okay, but what’s the real harm in comparing ourselves to others? Comparison takes our eyes off the blessings that God has already given. When we compare ourselves or our things to others, we can become envious and often entitled. We begin to feel that we deserve more than they do. Far too easily, we can shift from a heart of gratitude to one of envy and greed. God wants us to be content with how He has blessed us. Don’t let comparison cheapen your appreciation for all that God has done in your life.
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