“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
I felt like I was the only kid with divorced parents.
It seemed I was the only Baylor student who had a full-time job.
When most of my DINK (dual income no kids) friends were taking extravagant vacations and moving into their first and then second homes, I was having my third child.
Despite the fact that I managed billions for the banks I worked for, it seemed like the lenders who managed a fraction of what I did had bigger titles, made more money, and got way more attention.
And the list goes on and on. I’ve spent most of my life comparing my life against others. And it almost destroyed me.
Comparison is not only the thief of joy but it is also the destroyer of hope, momentum, and life. And it is completely Godless.
A guy I know in Colorado talks a lot about the cancer of comparison. In a long prayer he shares, he says:
Turns out that comparison is way more insidious than I thought. It is not only an affront to our God but an assault on others that we envy. Comparison always leads to envy and envy, well, is far more toxic than you probably imagined. Envy doesn’t just wish you had what others had, it wishes actual destruction or harm on others.
Deep beyond deep, comparison is not only a joy thief but an unspoken curse toward those we envy.
But I am learning to consider the joy available out of my trials. To enjoy the perseverance and faith that comes from them. To lean more into God’s restoration and healing. To celebrate His provision in every category and consider it a blessing.
I am now ending most of my days having difficulty believing that I am living the life I get to live rather than comparing part of my life with part of others. The world is replete with platforms that offer only the best snippets of the lives of most people represented there. I no longer compare the most challenging parts of my life with the best of theirs. In fact, I am learning to not compare my life at all.
And you know what, the result is that I am so basking in the blessing and privilege of my life that the thing I wrestle most with in terms of others is almost being embarrassed to share all that goodness and blessing I feel like I am experiencing.
My life has not materially changed.
Nor has the life of others that I used to compare mine to.
But my perspective and posture have.
It has made all the difference.
Be honest. Whose life are you most likely to compare yours to?
Do you feel like there is something more insidious going on in that comparison than you realized?
What is it costing you?
What is costing others you love and lead?