Last week, I was visiting with a friend about the similarities she is seeing between herself and her mother. She said the older she gets, the more she is like her mom. This reminded me of one of my own mom’s favorite quotes, “Mirror, mirror on the wall… I am my mother after all.” Can you relate? As I began to think about that funny quote, I remembered the origin of it.
Snow White was one of the first Disney movies ever made and one of the first I recall seeing. In it, the wicked step-mother was so consumed by her own beauty that she regularly asked the magical mirror to validate her as the “fairest” in all the land. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Things are smooth sailing, day after day, until the mirror reports there is another fair maiden, none other than her step daughter, Snow White. This brings fear to the heart of the wicked step mother and she does some very bad things in order to once again be the “fairest of them all”. Interestingly enough, the way she acted was neither beautiful nor fair.
Consciously or sub-consciously, we’re all a little like the wicked step-mother. We compare ourselves with others – our looks, our talents, our smarts, our abilities, our children, our ministries, and on and on the list goes. When we feel superior to others in any of the above, it makes us feel good. When we feel inferior, it makes us feel terrible, doesn’t it?
At its basic level, comparison is caused by pride. A simple definition of pride is thinking about yourself too much. Consider the following quote by C.S. Lewis: “It’s the comparison that makes you proud; the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”
Comparison and pride go hand in hand. It makes sense then that if you want to walk in humility rather than pride, you need to stop comparing yourself to others. I have struggled with comparison in the past and I know firsthand how it grips your heart and paralyzes you from becoming the person God designed you to be. As I look back upon how I gained freedom in this area, here are some suggestions that may help you as well.
- Take a break from social media. I was one of the first people I knew to have a FB page. I realized, however, that I was comparing my day to day life with the highlights of others. Because this was an area of immaturity in my life (and consumed WAY too much time) I decided to get rid of FB. Now that I have freedom in this area, there may come a time when I start FB up again.
- Thank the Lord for others gifts and abilities. Don’t be threatened by them, be grateful for the excellence in other’s lives. God made us all so unique and He wants us to work together to reach the world for Him! It is an amazing & beautiful thing when people work together, offering what God has given them, to see lives changed for God’s kingdom!
- Realize you don’t have to be THE BEST at everything. God is simply calling you to do YOUR BEST for Him. Once I got this truth deep in my heart, I was able to walk in true freedom.
- Meditate upon or memorize this verse about comparison – “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Cor. 10:12
Comparison will get you nowhere, but stuck in fear in bondage. Stop comparing. Be secure and confident in who God has made you to be. You are His valued workmanship. He didn’t make a mistake. As you continue to walk with Him, He will smooth off your rough edges and mold you into a beautiful vessel through which He can do some amazing work! I believe the best in you and for you.
Your Friend in Ministry,