Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Stop Playing the Game of Comparison

{originally published 8/22/13, updated 11/27/14}

{I'm channeling my inner Ann Voskamp in today's post. If you haven't already, I would encourage you to go and sit on her "front porch" - A Holy Experience. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.}  

"We women tend to spend more time analyzing what we are not or what we don’t have than recognizing who we were created to be." - Chrystal Hurst

Yesterday, as I was cleaning out my email, I ran across an article titled "When You're Ready to Wear Who You Really Are" by Chrystal Hurst. 

I opened the email and began to read the letter written directly towards me. 

The quote above stuck out like a throbbing pain in the gut. 

I had felt an immediate conviction. 

How many times have I compared myself to others when walking around town?

How many times have I compared myself to my friend's clothes, accessories, and makeup? 

How many times have I compared myself to a famous celebrity? 

How many times have I looked into the mirror and imagined what I would look like if I did this or that to my body

How many times have I compared my life to someone else's? 

How many times have I actually played the comparison game? 


How many times have we all played the game of comparison? 

I assure you, we play it without even realizing it. 

We don't realize that when we play this game, we lose something far greater than what we think we don't have. 

Comparison is the game in which you always lose. 

Comparison always, always takes something from you. 


Isn't that the truth? 

We're filled with more jealousy than with joy? 

We become more selfish than selfless? 

The only way to have Joy back in your life is to stop. 

Stop and be grateful. 

So, what are you grateful for? 

I'm thankful for… 

–  a family who loves me
 – parents that still willingly provide for me
– the privilege to attend college
– friends who love me despite my flaws
– God who saved me from destruction 

and all the beauty in this fallen world. 

and all who I was created to be. 

It's when we pause and give Him thanks that we suddenly have Joy. 

Joy that can only come from Him. 

Because Joy is the result of gratefulness, contentment, the stopping of the game

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you might have life and have it abundantly." {John 10:10}

The thief is comparison. 

The thing that will steal our joy so that it can kill off our relationships, our lives in order to ultimately destroy us. 

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 
For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." {Matthew 6:19} 

Where is your heart, dear one? 

Is it focused on Christ? 

Start by thanking Him, thanking Him for all He has done in your life. 

It'll turn your focus to something far greater than what you're comparing yourself to now. 

That's laying up treasures in heaven - giving thanks.

So, give thanks today and every day. 

And maybe, if we did just that, we would stop playing the game of comparison, and our lives would be more joyful. 

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