Breaking Free of the Comparison Trap

Sharon JaynesConfidence in Christ, Identity in Christ, Living Fully, Uncategorized 47 Comments

Yesterday I was posting over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today. I thought you might enjoy the encouragement ( and a little kick in the britches) too.

Can I tell you a secret? For way too much of my life, I fell into the trap of comparing myself with others. When I did, I always came up short. I felt I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough or spiritual enough … just not enough, period. And because of that, I stayed stuck in a mediocre faith.

Through the years I’ve learned one valuable truth: The measuring stick will get you stuck. Comparison is the devil’s tool that’s kept many of us from stepping into our God-given destinies.

For about a year, I hung out with Moses by the burning bush. I listened to Moses argue with God about his insecurities and pondered God’s responses to all his questions and quandaries.

When I met up with Moses in Exodus 3, he was an insecure, stuttering recluse. Yep, we were kindred spirits. He complained he was not good enough and begged God to pick someone else to address the Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Specifically, he whined he was not a good speaker, even though centuries later in the New Testament, Stephen recorded Moses was “powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22b, NIV).

So how do you think Moses came up with the idea he was not a good speaker? Here’s what I think. I think it happened because Moses compared himself to other people he thought were good speakers.

Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence and stymie our courage. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance.

We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that perhaps we’re fatally flawed … as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity, punctured and punctuated by comparison.

We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what? We were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you and me with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He’s called us to do.

David wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”(Psalm 139:13-14).

David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well.

You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece — His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well?

God knows our inadequacies and insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you and me before we even had them. Yet God chose us before we were born for a purpose — to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26).

It’s time we stop comparing ourselves with others. I know it’s hard … Boy, is it hard! But the measuring stick will get you stuck.

God made you to be you! He thinks you’re amazing. And so do I.

Do you believe it? If so, leave a comment and say, “I’m amazingly fashioned by God!”

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for comparing myself with others rather than praising You for the way You’ve knit me together and gifted me. I know I’m Your workmanship — Your handiwork. Today, I let go of the measuring stick of comparison, and take hold of the way You’ve uniquely fashioned me for Your purposes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)



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Comments 47

  1. Amen! I am amazingly fashioned by God. Comparision is the robber of identity, and destiny. We can never fulfill our own individual destiny in Christ, when we refuse to be the indiviidual that God created us to be. We also miss all the good things that God put in us, when our eyes are constantly on other people. Comparing us unfavourably to them.
    Blessings x

  2. I needed this today and every day
    I fall into the trap of comparing myself to so many people. Thank you for this word.

  3. “I am amazingly fashioned by GOD”
    Thank you sooooooo much for sharing today Sharon. I have been comparing myself almost all of my life and you are right. I always come up on the short end of whaterever the comparison is. It’s time for me to stop. I am going to print this article and make sure I read it every morning.

  4. Sharon, I cannot tell you what your words of wit and wisdom have spoken into my life. I feel I have finally met a long lost sister. You speak my language and encourage me from deep within.

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      1. Hi, I’m so glad I google this. Your words were exactly how I’ve been feeling all of my life. I can’t count the times I wanted to make a move but fear held me back. I felt like I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough, or good enough, and those feelings had me bounded.

  5. When my son interviewed for kindergarten some 27 years ago, when asked what his Mother did he replied “Anything she wants to!!” The teacher came out to meet the mom who did what she wanted and said she could see what he meant! I was so confident back then…before life kept pounding me down….making me feel less….not good enough. I want that young woman back with the wisdom I have now! I used to feel that I could do anything…now I’m so fearful of trying…of not being enough. But I’m a nobody when I don’t try and that’s worse. Help me feel good inside Lord…I’m tired of not feeling useful….please God….USE ME!!
    I am reminded that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!! Thank you Sharon.

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      That girl is still in there! Let’s bring her back out. Have you read my blog called “The Rag”? That’s where I am lots of days.

  6. Sharon, please pray for me! I compare myself to others all the time! But I do it to build myself up in that I think I have more faith in God or that I have God’s ear because I am more knowledgeable.

    I know my pride is my worst enemy, yet I seem not able to purge it from me. There, again, I know I cannot because I cannot even breathe without God! Yet, I stubbornly cling to my pride and arrogance!

    God has put it in my heart to study Job. He has also directed me to ask others for prayers. This in itself is humbling for me because I don’t want to appear weak and in need; yet I am in need! Only God can overcome this!

    Thank you for your time and prayers and your teachings! God is so wonderful in using us to help each other, even in ways we didn’t imagine.

    Knowledge puffs up – love edifies!

    All Glory goes to God!

  7. That was just what I needed to hear! As an artist, comparison is an easy trap to fall into, but I have to remind myself that I do things the way God wants me to do them. I am not someone else.

  8. As if I don’t have enough trouble comparing myself to other missionaries, other mothers, other teachers, and other cooks or other female bodies!, I have a twin sister. I constantly struggle with comparing myself to my sister when we really should be God-given accountability partners and prayer partners and the best of friends. This is definitely a big trap for women and definitely for me. We need to remember to encourage each other, comliment each other. I know hearing more ‘words of affirmation’ would do wonders to help me beat off the lies of comparison, so surely we can help each other by speaking out encouraging words affirming each other in our unique incredible workmanship of God.

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  9. I now realize I’m amazingly fashioned by God. But there were many years whereby I felt the very real sting of rejection. Not only rejection, but the victim of scandalous lies. And because of these factors, I became reclusive.
    In my “closet” I cried out to God. “God how could this be? I love people. I long to fit in with all people. My life would be complete if I weren’t such a misfit…”
    One morning my radio alarm, set on a popular Christian radio station, came on. Out of my radio came a voice that said, “If you cherrish the brook from which you drink above God, He will remove it from you, so that you won’t place it nor anything else above Him. This is for our own good.”
    I was stunned. Had I been placing fitting in above my Lord? I began to pray, not that, not only would i be able to endure constant rejection, but that I would appreciate it for what it is, prevention from coveting anything above the Lord.
    From that day forward I have allowed the Lord to be my constant companion. Did I instantly become a confident woman, assured of my place in the world? Not! But I’ve gradually grown to realize that, like Paul, I have a thorn in the flesh. That thorn keeps me humble when I would otherwise be a crowd follower. And God’s grace is sufficient for each new day.
    AND, I’ve learned to pray for all who perceive themselves to be above others, and who propagate gossip. That they, too, would experience God’s eye opening grace to become more like Him.
    To God be the glory!

  10. I am amazingly fashioned by God despite what my parents told me for YEARS while growing up. They constantly told me I wasn’t good enough, my personality was wrong, that I was wrong. It has been a tough journey to really believe that I am amazingly fashioned by God and that he actually loves me!!

  11. I AM amazingly fashioned by God! Too often I need the reminder! To be fearfully and wonderfully made! How to wake up to that reality and be led to peace in the next step in any phase of my journey! Thank you Sharon!!!

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