We live in a world of comparisons. We compare relationships and possessions. Jobs and seasons of life. Spouses or lack thereof. Children. Bodies. Spirituality. Health. Friendships. Spirituality. Finances. Hardships. Everything. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, and it doesn’t take long for our minds to get us to a place of discontentment simply based at looking at those around us. The problem with comparison is that, from a worldly perspective, there is someone who is always going to be “better off” than us; and there is someone who will always be “worse off” as well. It is all relative. That being said, how fleeting and detrimental is this comparison game we play. But how do we find contentment in a world that constantly invites comparison? How do we get off the hamster wheel of always looking to others as the barometer for our happiness or success? I believe this can only be done when our vision is changed. When we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal (2. Corinthians 4:18). Beyond that, we must fix our eyes on Jesus. Why- Because He is the Author and the Perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). I am forever grateful that while He was enduring the cross for us, He was not playing the comparison game. What He did for us makes our small comparisons look ridiculous. I mean, if it was me, my dialogue would have gone as follows: “Wait- You want me to carry this cross and go through this suffering for all of them? For what they did? So they can live with us forever afterwards? That doesn’t seem fair!”
Jesus, however, being fully God and fully man, did not compare because He found joy in the will of the Father. He knew if it was in God’s Master Plan that it was good. He fixed His eyes on the eternal and not the circumstances or His temporary thoughts or emotions. So, when we are in the midst of wanting to compare any portion of our lives to the lives of those around us, let’s only seek comparison in this:
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”- Philippians 3:8.
Let’s set our thermometers of comparison to the one that only finds its comparison against knowing Christ. And everything-everything- is rags when compared to knowing Him. Why?- Because He’s conquered it all! He’s conquered death itself. He’s the source of everything good and above all evil. When compared, He makes all else look like nothing. The Lord offers us up a comparison that will actually bring freedom, not enslavement! It’s so easy for me to compare the challenges of our life to others. Why do our girls have such difficulty with seemingly easy movements? Why do so many people not have to spend their days in therapy and doctors’ appointments? (Although I know many also do!) And social media can make it even worse. (Why does that girl that I’m not even sure I actually know have a two month old that is doing cartwheels already!?) But you know, while I sit and play the comparison game, playing essentially in the mudpies of this earth, I know the Lord is patiently smiling, aware of the treasures that await. As I look to Him and not to those around me, He brings me joy in the here and now and changes my blurry vision to His perfect vision; my tiny perspective to His infinite perspective; the silly comparisons I choose to look at to the only comparison that matters. Friends, everything other than knowing Christ is a loss. It is not because Hugh and I are “good people” that we are able to walk through this journey with hope. Any of you who know as at all know that to be true. We are weak and sinful, and it is quite the opposite. We are at our weakest, but in our weakness, He continues to prove Himself strong and His mighty power is displayed. Compared to the hope we have in that, all other comparisons fade to dust. Let’s lean on His promises today. He is worthy.