One of the biggest ways to get discouraged and become an underachiever is by comparing yourself to others. I know it’s sometimes pretty difficult not to compare yourself to others when you find them doing the same thing as you, and it seems like they’ve gone farther than you have. Been there, done that!! However, it’s better to ask questions rather than start to compare your journey with someone else’s. I’d be the biggest liar if I tell you I’ve never compared myself to anyone. I try as much as possible to stay happy for that other person. If pride doesn’t get the best of me, I ask them how they got to where they are. I could learn a thing or two. I’d rather look dumb for a minute than turn to a very bitter person. Tell me how you wouldn’t even become bitter if you start to see that person you’re comparing yourself to everywhere. Then your natural instincts kick in and you find yourself turning into the biggest private investigator yet to be discovered. Stop setting yourself up for heartbreak or defeat.
God already anticipated this behavior, which was why He told us that He has given all of us different kinds of gifts. It would just be boring if everyone could sing. Not just that, if everyone could sing soprano. Imagine that kind of life tho. If all we could hear is soprano. Can even imagine not hearing the alto, baritone, or tenor. Where exactly will the harmony go? That’s how it is with each of our gifts. God gave us those gifts so we can complement each other. We have to learn to enjoy someone else’s creativity. I love to read poems and I love to write. However, I realized that I’m not a poet. I used to really be bothered by my inability to rhyme or create words as colorfully as poets do. Took me a while to realize that I really have to stop trying so hard to get that skill and actually just enjoy my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I still write some poems because I love them, but they are for my eyes only. There is beauty in diversity. You have to appreciate the gift in others and work hard at recognizing some other people’s gifts as well.
The Bible is very practical. There’s no situation I find myself in that I wouldn’t find an answer to in the Bible. I love the way the Bible talks about this in Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG). Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. You can’t reach your full potential if all you can see is someone else who has worked hard at getting to where they are today.
There’s also a different side to this story. This is a part we never consider- what do you do when you find out someone is comparing themselves to you? Yeah…. I bet you probably didn’t think of that. Sometimes we are so focused on wanting to be like someone else that we don’t realize that someone else wants to be like us too. When you do find out about this, do you allow your pride set in? Do you become impossible to approach simply because you know that someone wishes they were you? It’s funny isn’t it? You want to be regarded by people who have attained higher than you, but you wouldn’t do the same. Doesn’t this make you like that servant whose boss forgave him for not being able to pay the money he borrowed, but then went to lock up someone else who owed him money (Matthew 18:21-35 you should read that). Handle your gift with humility, that keeps you more relevant in the society.
There’s one person you are permitted to compare your thoughts/actions/ words to. And that person is Jesus. He gave you the full permission when He said: Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on the judgment day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s (1 John 4:17 GNT). We have all been given the go ahead to claim every aspect of Jesus that we want. When something is not working for us, we can actually compare that and say: “Well, if it worked for Jesus, then it certainly must work for me.” I’m working hard at appreciating people for how far they have gone, setting my pride aside to ask questions if I can, and celebrating every of my milestones because they are important as well.