Hi. My name is David, and I’m a comparison addict.
As a man in the highly competitive culture we live in, it is incredibly easy to fall into the comparison trap. There are a couple of cuts to comparison: either you compare yourself to someone you perceive as less than you, which results in pride, or you can compare yourself with someone you perceive to be better than you, which results in insecurity and depression.
If you are reading this and recognize the struggle with comparison within your own heart, I want you to know that I write this to you as a fellow comparison addict. I am on the journey of uprooting comparison in my own life. I do not claim to know all the answers, but I’m grateful to share my learnings thus far.
Since this is a significant topic I want to make this a three-part series. My hope for all three posts is that we learn this: Comparison robs us of our joy.
This may not sound new. It may in fact sound very basic, like something you’ve heard multiple times throughout your life. But I know from personal experience that I’ve heard this truth more than I can count, and yet I still struggle with comparison, and therefore need to be constantly reminded that comparison robs me of my joy.
The first step in any 12-step recovery programs is to “admit.” In an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting the first thing they have you do is say your name and admit to the group that you have a problem. “Hi. My name is Jon, and I’m an alcoholic.” I think there’s a lot of wisdom here: admitting that we have a comparison struggle is the first step to living a full and joy-filled life comparison-free. Now, admitting we have a comparison struggle does not have to mean we get down on ourselves and become overcome with guilt. Without placing total blame, we ought to recognize the role our culture has played. We grow up in a world inundated with comparison. From elementary school, to sports clubs, to the physical comparison that happens in junior high and high school, it’s no wonder comparison is a problem that no one realizes exists.
Therefore, let us recognize the role our culture has played in our addiction to comparison, yet take ownership for our part as well. If we don’t take ownership for our role in becoming comparison addicts, we will relinquish the hope for life post-comparison.
So my encouragement to you in for this post is simply this: recognize thoughts of comparison in your life, and take those thoughts to God. Hold them before God and pray something simple like this: “God, I am comparing myself to _____, and because of that comparison I now feel ______. Remind me of my true identity as your beloved child.
May this be at least slightly helpful for you as you pursue a joy-filled life, which is antithetical to a comparison-filled life, by following Jesus and becoming all that you are in him.
Your fellow journeyer,
INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @DAVIDBEAVIS
Eating lots of food and looking at pictures of puppies are couple of ingredients to David's perfect day. The driving passion of David's life is walking alongside people as they figure out what it means to follow Jesus today. David holds a B.A. in Psychology from Vanguard University and an M.A. in Theology from Talbot School of Theology. He currently works at Mariners Church in Irvine on the High School Ministry team. He lives is Costa Mesa, California.