MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BP)–When is the last time that you compared yourself to someone else? Maybe it was the last time you saw an ad on TV or the cover of a magazine. Maybe it was at the last church function.
We are notorious for comparing ourselves to others and determining in our minds that we are better than some but not as bad as others in many areas of our lives. We rate and gauge the worth of our looks, families, homes, financial situations, possessions, jobs and knowledge based on what others have. This is a faulty comparison system that we tend to continue in our own minds even if we never say it out loud. When you compare yourself to others on a continual basis your mental wellness starts to suffer.
In 2 Corinthians 10:12, the Apostle Paul gives a stern warning against comparing ourselves with one another. “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”
Consider the following four suggestions to begin to break the cycle of comparison in your own mind.
1. Realize and appreciate your uniqueness.
God knew exactly how He would create you before He created time. God created you for a special purpose and allowed every detail of your life to work toward that purpose. There is no one else exactly like you and no one else can fulfill your purpose. You are very individual and created exactly the way God intended. Nothing about you is a mistake. When you compare yourself to others, you are essentially saying that God was wrong for making you the way you are. Appreciate your uniqueness and the uniqueness of others.
2. Realize that everyone is made from the same pattern.
Genesis 1:26 recounts, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.'” While you are unique in your makeup, every person is made in the image of God and that gives us a special bond as humans that we do not find with any other of God’s creations.
3. Focus your thoughts on bigger things.
Philippians 4:8 exhorts, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Thoughts of comparison lead to thoughts of jealousy and envy. This is a waste of precious brain energy! Maturity of mind will allow your thoughts to go higher than comparison to thoughts of gratitude or motivation for personal growth.
4. Be the very best you can be.
Be as well as YOU can be not as well as you think someone wants you to be or as well as someone else is. God created you and gave you all the tools necessary to live a healthy, God-honoring lifestyle. But you must choose to do the things that will get you there. Find what is healthiest and best for you and follow that path.
As believers we must stop comparing ourselves to untrue plum-lines found around us and allow God to shape our comparison around His Son. “For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved,” 2 Corinthians 10:18 states, “but the one whom the Lord commends.”
As you walk on your wellness journey, avoid comparing your pace and progress with others. Rely on God to lead and direct you. Wellness is achieved one wise choice as a time. Choose to stop comparing yourself to others.
Branda Polk is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer and wellness coach in Memphis, Tenn.