You woke up this morning in a great mood. Everything seems to be going your way. Those new shoes you bought this past weekend have added a little bounce in your step. You are convinced your jeans make you look ten pounds lighter today. Your hair is doing just what you want it to, finally. You’re feeling confident.
And then, it happens – whatever it is. Maybe you notice that your waitress at lunch is gorgeous. She’s thinner than you. Suddenly, those jeans that made you look ten pounds thinner, you now hate. Maybe there’s a new lady at work who is receiving countless accolades, and you’ve been doing your job well for five years without so much as a thank you. Or maybe you have been super-grateful for your 1992 Honda Civic, until a tall, blond chick rolls up next to you at the red light in her 2014 Mercedes.
What does she have that I don’t? Rarely would any of us say that aloud, but we have surely all thought it? We are in constant comparison of what someone else has and what we don’t. Comparison is a joy stealer. It’s a bottomless pit of self-doubt and self-deprecation. Comparison is coveting, and it replaces gratitude. It allows us to turn our thoughts selfishly inward. I wish I had her body, her job, her life, her husband. The truth is when we struggle with comparing our lives to others, her life, her job, and her husband would still never be enough. The grass would always be greener somewhere else.
In other words, do what God has called you to do. Run your race. Stay on your path. Focus on doing your thing well rather than focusing on where someone else’s path is taking them.
Comparison causes division. It causes us to dislike the pretty waitress serving us, the new girl at work, and the Mercedes-owner. We all have our own crosses to bear. We all have triumphs and defeats, joys and heartaches. Don’t secretly wish for her life. Be filled with gratitude for your own.