The Comparison Game

Do you ever play the comparison game? I do. I know I shouldn’t, but I often catch myself comparing myself to others. It’s a game we never win. Consider the outcomes:

  • We compare and think we’re better. We lose! This strokes our ego and puffs up our pride. Proverbs 21:4
  • We compare and think they’re better. We lose! This leads to jealousy and envy. Proverbs 14:30

The truth is that it’s always an unfair comparison to compare what we know of ourselves (everything) to what we know of someone else (very little). Things almost always look better from a distance. Beyond that, we are called to be content with what God has given us (Hebrews 13:5). Often, the comparison game is played because we’ve allowed the seeds of discontentment to take root in our lives. We’re unhappy and so we look around and compare our circumstances/gifts & abilities/etc. to those of others. Happiness is not a product of our circumstances. That’s why Paul was able to say he’s learned to be content in whatever circumstance he finds himself in (Philippians 4:12).

When I catch myself playing the comparison game, it’s a good indication that something isn’t right in my heart. It usually indicates that I’ve shifted from gratefully living the life God has given me, to striving for things that will never bring fulfillment (wealth, approval of others, comfort, etc.).