The simple truth is that regardless of what you do and no matter how big or small; I guarantee that somewhere in the world someone is better at it than you… And that’s OK. On the other hand, you are the only you that God created for this world, and in His eyes, that was purposeful.
If you let it, comparison will undoubtedly hinder your growth. In anything and everything you do. Unmanaged and ill-placed, it can suffocate and kill every dream and desire you have. The Bible even says that you’ll become sick from it! BUT… in the right mindset, with the right intentions it can be something refining. A process that brings advancement and growth. Not just in skill but within your own person.
- A tender, tranquil heart will make you healthy, but jealousy can make you sick. - Proverbs 14:30 (TPT)
Nevertheless, everything I have created or accomplished that was of importance to me, I have compared to someone else’s and deemed it less than. I wouldn’t consider myself a perfectionist but regardless of how big or small, I want my life’s accomplishments to be meaningful; to know that it serves a purpose. Whether that's impacting someone else or refining something in my own life. That it carries value.
At the root of comparison, lies a problem of misplaced value and the purpose we seek within ourselves.
Within the world, there are things that come with success. The rewards you want to fill those glass-encased shelves with will only collect dust. The amount of people you move or help with what you create isn't where our reputation is built. Should you want to be known as the best in what you do? Absolutely. After all, God asks for our best with what He gives, but the gold-dipped, crystal-cut, engraved plaques don't follow us into eternity. Don't get me wrong, being rewarded for your efforts is great and in most cases deserved! At the end of the day the world's ovation and the gifts it gives us isn't a sustainable source of purpose. We can’t get caught up living for the approval of others. Where our heart's desires lay, we’ll find what we truly serve… and we are to serve God only.
Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, - Colossians 3:23 (AMP)
Jesus replied to him, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’ ” - Luke 4:8 (AMP)
On the other hand, comparison can be productive and healthy! Comparing your work with someone else’s, especially someone who is better and more experienced is one of the best things you can do for your craft! A heart that is humble and open to constructive criticism is one that seeks growth. Remember, God created us for community, to grow together, and to help each other get better. There is purpose in where we are placed. There is purpose in who we do life with.
- As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion]. - Proverbs 27:17 (AMP)
- To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. - Proverbs 12:1
- In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. - 1 Peter 5:5
Welp, There is the good and bad of comparison.
So, where do you go from here knowing the importance of balance in comparison and the role it could have in your life? You keep working to get better, you allow people to help you and you encourage them along their journey as well. You keep your purpose in everything you do aimed for the glory of God because he is worthy and deserves our best.
- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will. - Romans 12:2
- Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others. - Colossians 3:23