Are You Caught in the Comparison Trap?

Jen CudmoreTrials0 Comments

Comparison Trap

Do you measure up?

The best advice I received at my bridal shower many years ago came from one of the pastors’ wives. She told me “Never ever compare yourself to other women.”

The comparison trap is a snare all women must watch out for. We tempted way too often to worry if we’re a good mom, wife, employee, blogger, Sunday School teacher.  Are we thin enough, fit enough, strong enough? Trendy and fashionable? Wise and knowledgeable? Skilled with hobbies like decorating, photography, crafting, scrapbooking? Got the right amount of wealth and education?

And we measure ourselves against other women to see if we meet “the standard.”

It’s not always directly related to us, but also our homes, families, possessions, and jobs. Are our children as smart or athletic enough? Is our husband high enough on the corporate ladder, or even the spiritual ladder? Should we be pursuing a better job, like the business women who recently became a CEO of a large firm? Or should we be a stay-at-home mom like the other ladies at church? Should we purchase expensive furniture and décor for our run-down trailer or stay within our means and stick with Wal-Mart?

I wasted too many years wondering if I measured up to others. I wish I had just focused on being who God designed me to be. We all have our own talents and skills, our own families and personalities, our own struggles and weaknesses. Our job is to do the best we can with what we have – we don’t have the time or the energy to judge ourselves against others. God shaped us each for a purpose, and when we get to heaven, He’s going to ask us what we did with the life He gave us. We are only responsible for that much.

If we insist on comparing, only two outcomes are possible

 

First, we decide the other woman ranks higher than we do, which leads to discontentment and self-pity. But our worth is in Christ – no other standard is accurate. We were fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) So if someone else has what appears to be a better body, husband, house, job, remember, in God’s eyes no one is better or worse than another. We must be content with the things that we have. (Hebrews 13:5). Envy is ugly; it distorts our God-given beauty. We’re not supposed to covet, remember? (Exodus 20)

Deciding that we were outranked by another woman and becoming depressed over this ‘low status’ insults our God – He didn’t create us to be inferior to anyone other than Him. 

Secondly, we decide the other woman ranks lower than we do, which leads to an inflated sense of self. In a word, PRIDE. For the moment, we feel good about ourselves – until another person comes along who has something we don’t have. Yet the Bible warns that we’re not to think of ourselves too highly, but to use sober judgment according to our faith. (Romans 12:3) We’re also told several times in scripture to put others first and to humble ourselves.  

Deciding that we outranked another woman and being pleased by this ‘high status’ displeases our God – He didn’t make us superior to any other person He created.

Galatians 6:4&5 says “Each own should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.”

We’ve each got our own load, ladies. When you’re tempted to feel inferior or superior to another woman, capture that thought and make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor 10:5). Refuse to compare and remind yourself of who God says you are.
Your value is strictly based on His view of you; all human opinions are insignificant. Your path is totally different from all the other millions of women in this world. God has a plan and purpose for you, and your journey is unique. Don’t get sidetracked by how other women appear – don’t ever ask if you measure up.
Keep your eyes on your Savior and what He says about you!
Blessings, Jen

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*Previously posted 3/10/2015

About Jen Cudmore

I'm a wife, mom, blogger and novelist who also works a day job in the medical field. I grew up on the Columbia River Gorge, earned a BA in Psychology at Northwest University, and am currently very active in my church. My passion is inspiring women to seek Jesus in all aspects of life so they can recognize where they are living in bondage and be set free to live the abundant life God promises. You can connect with me at www.jencudmore.com.

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