Bible Society of South Africa

Hope and gratitude: Stop comparing yourself – 28 February 2022

By Charlea Sieberhagen-Grey

Bible text(s)

6Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7GNBOpen in Bible reader

There is one thing in life that just gets worse and worse as the years progress, and the impact thereof just becomes increasingly negative: we constantly compare ourselves to others.

If you are very competitive, you probably try to ascertain how you compare to others continually. Are you on the same job grade as someone else, do you earn more or less, do you drive a sleeker, newer, faster car …

Even if you not a very competitive person, you won’t necessarily avoid the comparison game. Social media has ensured that comparison is a reality in our lives. You regularly see how other people are travelling and enjoying luxury holidays, or you can see how your old school friends are running successful businesses, winning awards or are simply looking fantastic.

Yes, these days we compare ourselves to celebrities with their long hair, white teeth, beautiful skin and sponsored clothes.

And then at a braai, when one has to hear how one’s friends boast about new houses and bigger cars time after time, one cannot help but feel a little depressed. Because let us be honest, in today’s day and age, it is not easy to keep up with everything and everyone.

Indeed, this year, I want to try to compare myself to others less. It is simply too exhausting. The constant comparison with others makes you feel as though you are not good enough in any case, that you never have enough. I can just imagine that God would not want us to feel inferior and dissatisfied. It does not make sense.

How are you supposed to thank God for all his gracious gifts when you constantly feel that you do not have enough? How can you see and appreciate his blessings in your life every day if you feel that what you have is not new or pretty enough?

I believe this is diametrically opposite to what God wants for us. Perhaps it is time to focus on ourselves and on our lives. Perhaps it is time to realise that what we have – the ordinary car, the simple home, the clothes in our cupboard, these are completely good enough. It is, indeed, just pure grace.

Prayer: Dear God, help me not to compare myself with others as much this year. Help me to be satisfied with the wonderful grace that I experience with a grateful heart every day. Thank you that you always provide, God. Amen

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