The Comparison Trap Part 2: The Consequences of Comparison

Friday, March 31, 2017

For Part 1 in the Comparison Trap series click HERE.

When I was a new mom, I was functioning in survival mode from sleep deprivation. I could only do a few things like drink coffee and feed my baby, everything else in my life fell away because I had no capacity to do anything else. I lost my train of thought often and my brain was fuzzy. The exhaustion of not getting enough sleep was catching up to me making me cranky and self-focused. That’s the thing about survival mode, your body is just thinking about whatever it can do to preserve self. 

Comparison can put us in a type of survival mode. A mode that is devoid of God's peace. Instead of peace, we usually like in two different attitudes: 

1. Fear

Comparison can strike panic into our hearts, with thoughts of “I don't want that to happen to me or my family.”  or “I’m a failure.” We begin to feel like we aren't not doing enough, being enough,  or are enough based on how we see other people living and serving Jesus. 


2. Envy 

Comparison makes us jealous of what others have: their creativity, houses, money, looks and the list goes on and on.

Fear and envy are the fruit of our hearts when we begin comparing ourselves to others.

Living in a state of fear or envy is like living in survival mode because we can only see what is right in front of us, namely how we are failing or not measuring up. we can't see the whole picture because all we can focus on is ourselves and our shortcomings. Our accomplishments, the good we do, and the love God has for us all fades away. 

I think about God’s peace being like sleep. We need sleep to function properly and we need God’s peace if we are to function in the Spirit. If we are deprived of His Peace, then we are functioning in a frantic survival mode that doesn’t help us to connect to Him or other people. We become cranky, our thoughts are disjointed and don't make the most sense. 

Comparison takes things away from us, there are consequences if we give in to the fear and envy it brings. Our capacity to do what God has called us to do is lowered. 

The Consequences of Comparison are: 

-loss of community with those we are comparing ourselves too
-a skewed view of ourselves and others 
-a lack of appreciation for God’s creativity 
-a loss of the ability to express our own creativity

This is detailed in Galatians 5:16-24. Paul talks about life in the spirit versus life in the flesh. Comparison happens in the flesh and this is what we can expect when we are acting in the flesh:

“ …Hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions….” (Galatians 5:20)

I know that those things are not what God wants for us. He does not want us to live in fear (2 Timothy 1:7) or envy (Galatians 5:21). He wants us to be at peace and full of joy, to be filled with the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). 

We can do that if we can learn to stop measuring our worth based on who other people are/what they are doing and start getting our worth from the one who tells us we are  
“…fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) 

Have you seen consequences from comparison in your own life? 

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