Jonathan McReynolds put it so simply in song when he said: “Comparison Kills.” Now I’m sure he’s not the first to say it but it’s still true. Comparing yourself to others will rob you of your own happiness. It’s just like if someone came and gave you a $20 bill. You would be happy for the free money until you see that same person slide your friend a $100 bill. Now you’re unable to rejoice in your blessing, but rather you waste time seeing the other person’s gain and questioning your worthiness of the $100 bill vs the $20 bill. Sooooo…I’ve done this many times before and I can say I’ve gained nothing from it.
Many of you know I have a sister who is very close to me in age. Though I am the youngest, it never felt that way because she was only 13 months older than I. We hit all of life’s milestones at the same time. We started preschool together, we got our driver’s license around the same time, we graduated high school at the same time..alright I’m sure you get the point. The issue with doing everything simultaneously is that the people around you will begin to compare you to one another.
When they start comparing you, you naturally begin to compare yourself. We were compared on skin complexion, weight/size, academics, style, beauty, and the list goes on. Our peers called her the dark one and me the light one. She was the pretty one and I was the not so pretty one. She was the small one and I was the big one. She was the academically lazy one and I was the smart one. The teachers even compared us. The only thing that came of all this comparison was that we both became extremely insecure. We both battled with low self-esteem because we presumed the good qualities of the other to be of greater value than the qualities we possessed individually.
It also boxed us both in to live up to what people said we were. I thought I could never be pretty and many guidance counselors and teachers told my sister she could never be smart. Truth is, I was pretty the entire time and she was smart the entire time. We were just different. We both worked hard to overcome these comparisons and as a result, we both have graduated college (my sister is in graduate school as well) and we both are beautiful.
So back to this $20 versus $100 analogy. If someone gave you $20 and the other friend $100, does that mean the scale is tipped? Does that mean the scale is always tipped at all? I don’t think so. Perhaps money isn’t a need for me, but this person just gave me $20 to treat me to lunch. Perhaps money is a greater need for the other friend which is why they were given the greater amount. Just maybe my greater need is emotional support, and that same person who only gave me $20 goes to great lengths to support me in ways they wouldn’t do for my friend they gave $100.
Another point is that maybe the person with $100 is still $1000 away from having enough to pay their rent and on the verge of eviction, meanwhile, the person with $20 didn’t need the money at all. You can never see the full back story as to why something is, so why compare. Simply put, be grateful for what qualities you have and know that God has already balanced the scales. Your blessings, gifts, and talents cannot measure up to those around you because you are not on the same scale or using the same metrics. It’s like comparing centimeters to ounces, yards to quartz, density to decibels. You simply can’t! Embrace who you are. Don’t waste time comparing and know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.