Theodore Roosevelt once aptly said “Comparison is the thief of Joy.” And I’d have to say he’s right. Comparing ourselves or our circumstances to others never pays off. Comparison is a joy stealer and it has some pretty good accomplices too….Comparison loves the company of distraction, doubt and discouragement. It’s pretty tight with envy and jealousy too. When Comparison sneaks into your life you can be sure they’re not too far behind. Quite the band of bandits!
Someone once said “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life with other people’s highlight reel!” In the world of social media this has even more relevance. So often the posts we share on facebook or twitter are about the good times, the highs, the successes and not the failures or the lows or even the mundane! If we focus too much on what others are saying or doing we will certainly feel deflated. One of my good friends was once told by her mother, “there will always be someone prettier and someone not prettier than you.” Same goes for everything I think – talent, ability, finances, house, family…etc.
So what’s the best security against comparison? How do we avoid its entrapment? Some high tech warning system that a comparison threat is near?
Personally, I prefer blinkers. Those things horses wear when they’re racing! Often trainers use blinkers on their horses. The blinkers block part of the horse’s vision to enable the horse to concentrate on racing and not to be side tracked by what the other horses are doing. A well trained thoroughbred never watches the other horses. It simply runs the race set before him.
When we fall into the habit of comparing ourselves to others it is like running a race without blinkers. We become distracted from our own purpose and calling. We are all called to run the race set before us. When we are free from comparison we are free to run faster.
Run your own race – the one God has called you specifically to run!