The Dangerous Game of Comparison

October 24, 2008

“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance…” – Philippians 4:10

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 his creative solution to this age-old problem, but prefer God’s advice on the subject. God tells us to just not play that game at all.

We fall into a destructive trap when we compare ourselves to others, because the fact is, there will always be someone who has more than we do. On Monday we are so proud of our shiny new car, but on Tuesday, a newer one is parked in the driveway next door. And that 42″ plasma TV will soon pale in comparison to your brother-in-law’s 60″ inch model with surround sound. Here’s a guarantee in life – no matter what you acquire, somebody, somewhere, is going to have something newer, shinier, and more powerful.

So what’s the harm in comparing ourselves to others? Comparison takes our eyes off the blessings God put into our lives. When we compare our things with others, we get envious and can begin to feel that we deserve more than they do. Comparison cheapens our appreciation for what God has done in our lives, and we can easily shift from gratitude to envy. God wants us to be content with how He has blessed us in life.