We're excited to share this post from guest author, Delanea D.
Delanea is a member of one of our Thrive Today groups and shared this very helpful article with us. (Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash)
By now most of us have heard the popular saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and many of us can testify that there is truth to those words. But, Did you know that comparison is a choice? Did you know that we can choose to admire, congratulate, cheer on, and even be inspired by others, WITHOUT comparing?
I know it seems impossible in our current culture because much of this daily comparing is done effortlessly, almost habitual. But, what if we paid attention to those sneaky thoughts that invade our minds, and challenge our worth? What if we refused to partner with these thoughts that deny us the ability to see our own value? What if we opted out completely, of the habit of elevating other’s strengths above our own? If we could control this one area of our lives, it seems, we would experience more joy, be more content with what we have been given, be courageous in pursuing our dreams, and have better relationships and interactions with others.
I recently watched a video circulating around social media. In it, a father is teaching his young daughter to say words of affirmation before school, the video is powerful to say the least. My favorite part of the video is when she repeats, “I’m not better than anyone; nobody’s better than me. I am amazing.” What if we spoke these same words over our own lives daily? What if we truly had an awareness that NO ONE, no matter how beautiful, handsome, talented, or successful, is better than us! Also, what if we were able to acknowledge that we are not better than others either? What if we ended this entire “battle” by realizing that God planted greatness inside of each of us? What if we could say with contentment, “My greatness may not manifest the way yours does, but we’re both great?” Wouldn’t that be AMAZING?!!
As I said above, most of us are familiar with the reason I’d say Comparison equals JOYLESSNESS, but what about me saying Comparison equals NEGLECT? That concept is new to me. I had not had that thought until I came across Galatians 6:4-5, "Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct." – NLT
This passage encourages each of us to, “Pay careful attention to our own work.” Why? “Then [we] will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and [we] won’t need to compare [ourselves] to anyone else.” This implies that when we are busy comparing, we are NEGLECTING the work that we have been given by God to accomplish. We are also, most likely, devaluing that work, in favor of the “work” of others. This passage reminds us that we don’t have time for the setback of comparison! We must be great stewards of the gifts and talents that we’ve been given to positively impact the world with. We must invest our time into developing and nourishing our gifting. Otherwise, we are losing momentum by looking away from our purpose , and comparing ourselves to others. Maturity is being INSPIRED by the greatness in others, not INTIMIDATED! It is also recognizing our own greatness, without belittling or devaluing someone else’s.
I have learned to embrace the fact that I am my sole competition, and the same is true for you. Why? Because God has given each of us a sphere of influence, some refer to this as a “lane”. Your lane is not crowded. Whatever you have a desire to accomplish in life, is possible, and no one can do what God has designed you to do, better than you.
My hope is that after reading this post, you will stop yourself each time you get ready to compare, and you’d say in the words of little Aaliyah Austin, “I am the greatest, and there is nobody better than me!” That thought is not arrogant, it’s simply Truth! The Bible says we were designed “meticulously wonderful” by a Perfect God! He did not slack off when He designed you, and He was also no slacker when He designed everyone else! Let’s invest our time into cultivating what we’ve been given because when it comes to comparison, in the words of “Sweet Brown,” – AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR DAT!
To view the video referenced above click, Father Motivates Daughter.
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