Updated: Oct 18, 2018
It has been said, the root of misery lies in comparison. As you compare your achievements, your home, your car, your children and your spouse against others; you will only find sadness. This process creates a game you can never win. It puts the definition of success in the hands of others. As you improve, so do your reference comparisons; creating a never ending treadmill on which you do not appear to make progress. Because joy is defined as “progress toward a worthy goal”, this comparison robs you of your joy.
Comparison will always leave you in a state of deficit, feeling as though you are not enough.
This feeling of deficit will prevent you from taking action. As you move forward in your calling, comparisons with leaders should be avoided. After all, how do your ministry skills compare to those of Billy Graham? How does your business mastery compare to that of Mark Cuban? How does your idea compare to those of Steve Jobs? These comparisons highlight extreme gaps in your understanding, your knowledge, and your experience. These gaps keep you from moving forward and the world suffers because your voice is silenced.
It takes two. In order to compare, there must be a focus on yourself and the image of the person you are comparing yourself against. I say image, because the person or persons you are comparing yourself against are not real people. They are a highlight reel, an amalgamation of their best experiences void of flaw or failure. But perhaps most damaging, comparison requires an intense focus on you and your lack.
To be enough and break free from the comparison trap, you must stop looking at yourself and your lack. You must look beyond yourself and see the millions of people that need your help. Yes I said millions of people! If you live in America, if you ate a full breakfast, and if you are not worried about being killed today, then you live in a place of privilege. There are millions of people who would benefit from your help. If you are over the age of two, there are millions of one-year-olds who could benefit from your wisdom. If you don’t see these people, then perhaps you should stop looking at those in front of you and start looking at those behind you.
Stop waiting to have enough knowledge, to have enough experience, or to be chosen by the cool kids. You have already been chosen to compete a great work. The Lord says: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (John 15:16) You don’t need anymore knowledge or experience because “The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them” (Luke 12:12)
If you want to be great, if you want to have great power, if you want to influence millions the process is simple. Stop comparing yourself to those in front of you and start helping the people behind you. Or put another way, place your forward focus on God and your backward focus on God’s people. In doing this you will be fulfilling the only two commandments that really mattered to our Lord.
Jesus said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:36-40)