How To Quit The Comparison Game

If you want to be thoroughly dissatisfied with your life, you can do it quickly in one easy step:

Compare yourself to others.

There will always be someone who is more successful or talented or good-looking or clever or confident or has more of whatever it is you want. Guaranteed. You might measure up pretty well against some people (as long as you’re careful to measure the right things), but eventually you’re bound to find someone who surpasses you at the very strengths you take pride in. The world is a big place. That’s how it goes.

It’s easy to say, “I’m my own person. I don’t care how I measure up to others.” It’s harder to mean it—especially when others are constantly and clearly measuring us. The comparison game goes on all around us, whether we want to play it or not. It goes on and it never ends. No player ever gets permission to relax and say “that’s it, I’ve made it!” Staying ahead requires constant effort. There will always be more to reach for, more to prove, more to fight and compete for—right up to the moment we die and everyone else hurries on to outdo whatever legacy we left behind. And they will. The world is a big place. That’s how it goes.

Which is why Paul’s letter to the Philippians is so surprising, when he writes:

“…whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him”.

Here is a man who found a way to quit the comparison game of gains and losses and relative statuses, and he did it in just one simple step:

He compared the comparison game, with all its promises and prizes, to Jesus.

Paul beat the comparison game on its own terms. He measured it up and found that everything it could ever offer, everything in the whole world put together, is not much at all compared to the riches of knowing Christ and belonging to him. In Christ, he found forgiveness (Ephesians 1:17). In Christ, he found life that never ends (1 John 5:11-12), hope that never fails (Hebrews 6:19), and a love that nothing in heaven or on earth could ever shake (Romans 8:38-39). In Christ, he became a child of God, a Royal Heir of Heaven (Romans 8:17). You want an impressive title? You can’t do better than that. How can “President” or “CEO” or “Superstar” compete? Presidents have term limits. CEOs retire. Superstars are eventually superseded. Children of God are forever. And the royal title isn’t even the good part—the great thing about children of God is that they get to be close to God, which is better than any title could ever be.

The piled-up fortunes of earth eventually become piled-up inheritances for others. Fame is forgotten. Pleasures fade. Getting ahead of others can only last so long, and it can never give you lasting significance, real meaning, unshakable joy, or anything else it promises so freely like an ever-shifting, just-out-of reach mirage.

That’s ok. If you have Christ, you don’t need the mirage anyway. You already have the reality. There’s no need to compare when you’re already an heir. There’s nothing to prove when you’re already secure, already loved, already full. You don’t need to be jealous of those who have more of the good things this world has to offer. If you belong to Jesus, you already have the greatest treasure possible: him. There’s no need to get bogged down in the person-to-person comparisons that our world is obsessed with. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” Don’t go there. You don’t have to play. You can beat the comparison game with its own measuring stick. Pick it up and compare the whole game, complete with everything it could ever offer you, to Christ. In the light of his surpassing worth, the power and glory of the comparison game will fade like a shadow in the summer sun.

9 thoughts on “How To Quit The Comparison Game”

  1. Thank you for this timely message . May the Lord continue to use you to encourage others in their faith.
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a valuable truth. I’d add to this that another great way to quit the comparison game is to grow a garden, as it’s one of the ways God gives us true and deep peace!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I very well could be the only one looking at your wonderful piece here from the perspective of a married woman w/out children. I have a wonderful Christian husband & I grieve being childless. Maybe writers like Albert Mohler & Shane Morris, for only 2 examples, would stop cruelly commenting in such know it all ways about those of us w/out the children & the families we wish we had & quit comparing those blessed w/children w/those of us w/out them. There are MANY reasons couples may not have children together besides being hugely selfish people or people who’ve experienced infertility & miscarriage. The last two which are both viewed very empathetically (as they should be), but also as excusable reasons for being childless. Thank you so much for your writing & allowing me to share what I wrote here!


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