The Comparison Game | Day Three
By: Megan Gover | To download the first week of this study, click here.
Comparisons make their debut early in our lives. For me, it was the first day of kindergarten. As everyone unloaded their backpacks, eyes were instantly drawn to the kid who had the mother lode of all school supplies; the ninety-six pack of Crayola crayons. (And yes, it had the sharpener in the back.)
I mean, why wouldn’t he be the envy of the class? Macaroni-And-Cheese Orange and Cotton Candy Pink were always at his fingertips; he never worried about coloring with a dull crayon. The less fortunate had to get buy with Indigo Blue and Green-Yellow while Mr. Cool shaded with Denim and Laser Lemon.
To this day, I remember feeling unimpressive because of my less-then-average crayons! Yet, we sadly face the grim reality of comparisons plaguing every step of our lives. From something as simple and small as school supplies in elementary school to beauty and boyfriends in high school, a whole new set of comparisons will loom and tempt us in different seasons of life.
Why? Our comparisons gravitate towards what we deem important. Things we personally cherish and love can become focal points of what we measure against others.
If music is your purpose and calling in life, odds are you’ve compared yourself to the top soloist with at an all-region competition. If being fashionable warms your heart, I bet you compare your wardrobe against other friends or fashion bloggers.
So, let’s put this to practice. What are some things you desire the most? What is an example of you comparing this area?
We compare things that are vital to the core of who we are, but we also compare the deep insecurities of who we are. Once I had a guy comment on my eyelids—exclaiming they were weird. Until that moment, I never thought my eyelids to be different, but for years after this comment was made, I compared my eyelids to others. YES, THE SKIN ABOVE YOUR EYE CAN BE MEASURED AGAINST OTHERS.
What is something specific that makes you feel insecure?
How have you compared this insecurity to someone else?
It’s important to note how comparisons work because they operate in two different ways. It’s as if we live on a giant teeter-totter, weighing our worth against the lives of those around us. Plummeting to inferiority or rising to pride, we suffer from the tendency to compare ourselves; it controls our every move.
Let’s take inferior comparisons first. If you are on a teeter-totter, this would be when you are on the ground looking up at the other person. Essentially, you are looking up to what someone else has and feel lesser than.
What would be an example of a way you’ve compared yourself in an inferior way?
Superior comparisons are the exact opposite. You would be on the top of the teeter-totter looking down on the other person—feeling better than or greater than someone else.
What would be an example of a way you’ve compared yourself in a superior way?
Do most of your comparisons tend to be inferior or superior? Why do you think that is?
Let’s look at a chapter in 2 Corinthians 10 to see how the apostle Paul weighed into a conversation about comparisons.
Paul’s opponents were ultimately challenging his authority. According to 2 Corinthians 10:1-2, what were they accusing him of?
Ultimately, in this situation, Paul was calling out people for comparing him to other speakers and teachers of the Gospel. Others claimed Paul was not as eloquent or impressive as others.
In verse 3-4, what weapons could we use to fight against lies, sin and warfare against the knowledge of God?
Write out or type into your phone 2 Corinthians 10:5 three times. How do you take captive every thought? How would you make it obedient to Christ?
Continue reading verse 7-12. What standard were people measuring themselves against?
Why do you think Paul deemed this as unwise?
How can comparisons dangerously affect our identity? How can comparisons skew how we see ourselves?
When we compare, our identity shifts from being anchored in God’s truth and sways according to those around us. What a sad reality that our identity is often dominated and controlled by those around us!
Though comparisons can be used as benchmarks to see how you need to grow, they present a problem when we become centered on how we measure up instead of our identity in Christ. Though measuring yourself against others might not be a direct sin, they often indicate idols and dictate our decisions.
How are we supposed to love the Lord according to Luke 10:27?
Our minds play a HUGE part in how we daily live for Christ. Either we surrender to Satan’s lies and allures or give the Lord reign over our lives and our minds.
End this time asking the Lord to help you combat comparisons by continually reminding you of truth and helping you take every thought captive!