A blog series on how families can apply the gospel into their pain and dysfunction. (Check our Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed it)
We have all heard this statement before, "If only you could be like " Or, "why can't you be like your sister?" Comparison. In today's culture we compare a lot! Comparison between other people is usually the first thought that enters the mind. If we can only look better than the next person, many think they succeed.
Comparing yourself with others, especially our own families will lead you to become either prideful or insecure. The road of pride is built upon outward appearance. The road of insecurity is built without an identity in the love of Jesus and worth found in Him. At the heart of comparison is pride. The original meaning In the New Testament is pride (greek) huperephanos, which means "to show oneself above."
Paul wrote about comparison:
"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise" 2 Corinthians 10:12.
Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won't need to compare himself with someone else. Galatians 6:4.
Whoever compares a person to another according to God's Word is unwise. It creates unhealthy expectations for each person, especially in your family.
What do families need to stop doing?
Stop comparing yourself with others. Are you comfortable in your own skin? Are you grateful for how God shaped you? He shaped you for a specific purpose to reflect His glory. When we compare ourselves it will steal joy and create division between relationships.
Comparison breeds negativity, jealousy, envy and discouragement.
Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors" Proverbs 26:16.
What do families need to start doing?
Start encouraging others with humility. Instead of finding fault, seek out what you can say positive about others. Negative comparison will not help your child. You see, it is easy to find problems but it takes a humble person to find solutions. The best way to solve the comparison trap going on in families today is to replace the pride of comparison with the grace of humility.
My parents have shown me what it means to encourage with humility. I'm grateful for their prayers. I'm grateful that they did not pit me and my brothers against each other growing up. I remember my mom telling me, "you are my favorite second born." My parents understood that comparison is unwise.
Once we fix our eyes on Jesus we understand our identity.
Actions Steps for families:
- Instead of comparing them to someone else, give them encouragement to what God can do through them.
- Find specific ways to show gratitude for each person in the family.
- Give an encouraging word each day that builds them up.
What do you think about comparing oneself with others?
What would you add to the conversation?