However strong you are, there’s always someone stronger. There’s always someone smarter, more talented, more patient… a better cook, a better parent, a better spouse. Surrounded by so many folks who are better than us in so many ways, how can we ever measure up???
Isn’t it nice to know we don’t have to? Today my sweet friend and Young Adult Author of Saving Yesterday, Jessica Keller, shares her thoughts on this ugly and self-defeating game of comparison.
Note: Jessica is giving away a free copy, print or kindle, of Saving Yesterday. Winner will be randomly selected from the comments left on this post.
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” -2 Corinthians 10:12
I’m going to come right out of the gate with a shocking confession for you—sometimes I compare myself to others and really find myself lacking. The situation changes, but the same thought still nags at the back of my mind. You don’t quiet measure up.
Have you been there?
The internet doesn’t always help this feeling. Pinterest tells me I’m not creative enough. Etsy says I’m not industrious enough. Facebook tells me I’m not liked enough. And Twitter says not that many people want to follow little old me.
It’s so easy to wander into the land of “if only” when these thoughts start to hound us. If only I were smarter. If only I had more energy. If only I had more money. If only—then I’d feel confident and secure in who God made me to be.
In my book Saving Yesterday, the heroine Gabby Creed really struggles with this. She’s tossed into a world where everyone else knows all the rules and she’s making mistake after mistake. She just wants to belong—to be like them, all the while forgetting that she’s created special and different for a purpose.
We can all take heart because we’re not alone in these thoughts. In fact, the very first woman we meet in the Bible struggled with this too. From the moment God breathed life into Eve she knew her position as a child of God and the highest point in creation. She was surrounded by love from God and a man who adored her (Adam was pretty excited when she was created). Eve had what every woman longs for—love, intimacy, purpose, and significant. Pretty amazing, huh?
Even still, all it took was a whisper reminding her what she wasn’t and what she didn’t have for her to feel insecure. The serpent only had to say once that Eve could have more and be more if only God didn’t hold out on her—that’s all it took for doubt to take root and doubt almost always turns into poor choices.
If Eve in her ideal situation couldn’t help but measure her life against an absurd ruler that didn’t even exist—what hope do we have? Plenty. Know what would have changed everything in Eve’s situation—and can change us? Instead of focusing on who we are not and what we don’t have—flip that—and focus on who we are in Christ (a child of God) and what we have (a relationship with Him, keys to the Kingdom, an eternity spent worshiping the one true God).
You are loved beyond measure and understanding.
Jessica Keller holds degrees in both Communications and Biblical Studies. She is multi-published in both Young Adult Fiction and Romance. You can find her at www.JessicaKellerBooks.com, on Twitter @AuthorKeller, or on her Facebook author page (www.facebook.com/jessicakellerauthor)
Her blood holds secrets she never knew existed.
Despite the fact that she acts as a parent to her alcoholic father, Gabby Creed feels pretty normal. But her life is turned upside-down on her seventeenth birthday when a bracelet appears on her wrist and sucks her back through time.
Turns out she’s not even a little bit normal. She’s a Shifter—a protector of humans and of history itself. And she’s not alone. The other Shifters believe Gabby is special, even more special than the mysterious Michael Pace. Oh, and the Shades—seriously creepy creatures who feed off of human despair—are determined to capture her.
It’s all a lot to absorb. So Gabby’s grateful to have Michael as her Trainer—or she would be if she could get her rebellious heart under control. Then again, if the rumors about her blood are true, saving yesterday will be the least of her worries.
Purchase it here: on Kindle and print.
Let’s talk about this! I’m pretty sure we all play the comparison game. We measure ourselves against what we “see”. The ironic thing is, we only see or hear the soundbites, the highlights, not the hidden struggles. In fact, that very person we compare ourselves to may be comparing themselves to us! Oh, to see ourselves as Christ sees us: transformed, redeemed, immensely loved and set on a trajectory for eternal greatness. If we’d but take our eyes off everyone else and re-center them squarely on Christ, this journey toward growth and transformation would be so much easier!
So how do we do that? What are some ways you’ve successfully battled this cancer of comparison? What verses make this easier? How does your relationship with Christ help with this? We’d love to hear about your struggles and successes. 🙂 Share your thoughts here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.
Great post! I definitely think authors struggle with this. In this era of platforms and Amazon/Goodreads reviews, it’s easy to compare stats. I think the key is sticking to OUR goals and making sure they’re OURS, not someone else’s definition of success. I’m glad there’s YA fiction like Saving Yesterday out there, that addresses these feelings teens have, too.
Excellent perspective – stick to our own goals and measure off of those, not on what someone else is doing.
Oh, yes, I hadn’t even thought of comparison as a writer. Ouch. As a mom of a teen, I agree with your sentiment about “Saving Yesterday”. I need to read that book so I can recommend it to the young ladies in my sphere.
Sweet friend. YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST! I hope you truly know that. I know we’ve talked about some of this before. But you are amazing. A wonderful mother and wife. An outstanding writer. A creative genius with the written word.
And an incredible friend.
I am so glad we bonded over Garth Brooks and eventually so much else.
I do have “Friends In Low Places.” You, my dear, are not one of them.
I heart you.
Thanks for the love friend! And back attcha!
Truth is we ALL struggle with this, that’s the point – Eve “had it all” and still compared her situation and found it lacking. We just need to hold to truth and keep our eyes on the Author of our lives and when doing that we don’t have time to compare to others.
Interesting perspective on Eve. And yep, you are right. Every culture in every place in history has found a way to compare and classify. I think it largely stems from the human condition of pride, even insecurity. You are right, the only solution from pride, or self-focus, is to reroute our focus to where it should be–onto Christ and others.
So, you both are Garth Brooks fans? My hubby and I used be quite into country music. Took dancing lessons and everything. hahaha. Thanks for stopping by, Carol! And yes, Jessica is pretty amazing. So glad to have her as my guest!
We’re studying this very same issue in our Bible study group. It is so easy to fall victim to comparison. Thanks for sharing!
How timely! I love that your Bible study group is going over this because its such a huge struggle in our culture and the internet has only multiplied it I’m afraid.
Wow, do I agree with that (regarding the Internet).
What an interesting Bible study topic! Sounds like one I’d enjoy. 🙂 Are you following a book?
Comparison is something I struggle with, but am gaining ground on it through dependence on Jesus and taking every thought captive.
I love your reminder to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ, and that is one of my favorite verses in the Bible as it applies to so many areas of our lives and is a powerful solution to many of our struggles! It also reminds me, as believers, we are to have the mind of Christ, and since, according Christ we are cherished, redeemed, set apart, children, heirs… 🙂