The Conflict With Comparing Yourself

I aspire to be Donald Miller, Carlos Whittaker, and Pete Wilson. If there was some insane way for these guys to collaboratively produce a child — I would want to be that strangely conceived offspring.

I read their tweets, look at their Instagram photos, and gobble-up everything on their blogs… and 3 things happen.

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I applaud the things in which are taking place that just seem so radical & revolutionary in their lives.

I dream about everything I hope will transpire in my life one day.

Then I begin to find myself depressed & defeated as I face the facts regarding elements of failure & folly in my life.

I struggle with comparing myself with others. There is this tension that exists in being inspired by someone & condemning myself because of the supposed shortcomings and limitations in my life that keep me from the same greatness that is exhibited by said inspiration.

We’re often captivated at the highlight reel of someone else’s life & likewise devastated with areas in our life that don’t seem to add up because we are aware of all the junk that occupies the corners, drawers, and closet space of our lives. All of us have a backstage pass to our own lives & forget to realize that the behind-the-scenes stuff in those folks’ lives are somewhat similar to ours. Even the most successful people experience failure — usually their failures are what propel them towards that path that leads them to success.

There’s no shame in observing others’ success, but we must avoid the temptation to covet the lives of folks we admire and/or beat ourselves up over our faults.

Don’t covet. Don’t condemn.

CREATE.

Create moments you desire to celebrate. Create a story you want to cultivate. Create a life you long to advocate.

It’s simple to entertain these thoughts, but certainly not easy to apply. It involves copious amounts of facing our fears, tackling the work, and trusting God…

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. — Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

6 Replies to “The Conflict With Comparing Yourself”

  1. Dude…seriously good post. My heart is FREQUENTLY in the comparison battle. LOVE your “Create” points…I’ll definitely be referring back to those. Have a blessed night, Anson!

  2. Thanks for showing your cards! Openness and humility about your struggle is very refreshing and a great reminder of our daily (and sometimes by the minute) need to be reminded about where real significance comes from, as well as being willing to have our cultural paradigms for “what success looks like” be re-shaped by the gospel…Your Father in heaven loves you so much, not because of how well you perform or how many people you influence, but simply b/c you are His son (in whom He is well pleased). BTW- We all struggle with this from time to time. For me, my acceptance from God brings me to a place of joyful contentment, but I often need to be reminded of this. Love you Bro. -Mike

  3. Yes. Simple, but true. Definitely a struggle for me too.

    Do you think it’s worse nowadays with media and seeing a “landscape” that is so much larger without necessarily seeing the details? I mean that being aware of so much that is happening globally distracts us from what is right in front of us.

    As an example: I sometimes realise that if I can play a song for a few friends and it blesses them or they just enjoy it, then that is real. I don’t have to record it, or have social media know about it etc. etc. before it is significant. That’s the way music was for ages and ages after all. On the other hand you can take a blog post like this one – it’s not world-changing, it won’t make you famous, but it obviously provoked some good thoughts in a few people and encouraged them. That’s real too. It has worth, even if it is forgotten soon it builds a little bit, like good conversations with friends.

    Another thought: Do you guys think this kind of struggle falls under “the pride of life” spoken of in 1 John? If I have to be honest about my dreams they are very often centered around my own glory and not Christ’s and that will certainly hold me in bondage. “All seek their own and not the things that are of Christ”, right? I’ve got a ton to learn and much has to change in my heart. That my ambitions would be driven by love…

    Thanks also for the exhortation at the end.

    In Christ

    GH

    1. Bro, I think you hit the nail on the head. A lot of my struggles & insecurities flow out of the pride in my life that I wrestle with on a daily basis. Our desires to cultivate a perfect persona on FB or the like is undeniably influenced by some sort of degree of pride. And I think Mike’s comment about “what success looks like” can be manipulative within our culture today. We define ourselves on our accomplishments so often — when we ultimately should define ourselves thru the finished work of Jesus. Thanks for sharing your thoughts bro!

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