There is no “win” in “comparison”. This is a very stealthy way to decrease your impact in your Faith, Leadership, and Life. We all look to our left and right and compare ourselves to others in an attempt to affirm ourselves and increase our perceived value in life.
Do we try to determine if we are rich-er, smart-er, or pretty-er than those around us? Do we compare our friends, spouse or kids to others to see if they measure up – honestly?
And what is the natural result of this? We find ourselves unconsciously working harder than we should for wealth or prestige, pushing our kids harder than we should so they achieve in sports or academics, and having unrealistic expectations for our spouses that never quite measure up.
That’s messed up. It’s very damaging to those around us, as well as ourselves. It’s “keeping up with the Jones'” on steroids. This isn’t the way God intended for us to live our lives. But we all do it to some extent.
Look at what the richest, wisest man in the world in his time, Solomon, said about this in Ecclesiastes chapter 4:
4 And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
5 Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves.
6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 There was a man all alone he had neither son nor brother.There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—a miserable business!
So I challenge you to take 40 minutes of undivided attention and watch this message from one of the finest, most authentic, and best speakers in the nation, Andy Stanley, as he addresses this topic: http://www.northpoint.org/messages/comparison-trap