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If you have ever struggled with comparing yourself to others or wishing you were someone else, then this episode is the perfect show for you. Today we’re talking about how we get trapped in the comparison cycle and what effect that has on us. Join me with my guest Richella Parham as we talk about finding freedom from comparing yourself to others.
All of us struggle with comparison from time to time. Comparison can be used as a tool, but not when we use it to determine if we are worthy and okay.
Even before we know there is something different about us or doesn’t measure up, Satan uses that to hold us down. It all boils down to lies and we believe him. This often happens to us early in childhood before we can recognize the lies for what they are.
Think about Mary and Martha. That is one of the most classic examples of comparison. But Jesus held both Mary and Martha in such high regard.
The root of comparison often comes down to insecurity, but it usually comes back to the enemy of our souls. We all long for and look for love. So we look for assurance and our insecurity prompts us to look around.
Sometimes the deeply ingrained comparison stemming from insecurity often comes from the way our faith is distorted. Every good Christian woman knows about the virtuous Proverbs 31 woman and feels like she doesn’t measure up. After a while, we become burdened with the need to become always better without the assurance that we are loved just as we are.
God loves us so much that we are adopted as His children and loved as we are, where we are. True humility is accepting what God says about us.
We often choose the most outstanding attribute in others and wish we were like that and then take all those outstanding attributes and created a mythical person who doesn’t exist. Often we then project our insecurities onto others around us which can create real problems in relationships.
One of the reasons we hold others in such high esteem while we struggle to accept ourselves is because we know all our own sin, but we don’t know about the sin of others. So they look spotless while we feel tarnished.
Social media can be used for so much good, but we must not let it be a tool that causes God’s image-bearers to doubt their place.
Comparison can be used for good: doctors compare our status to the expected outcome and compare our numbers to the ideal because often someone’s life depends on it. Comparison often helps to ensure social justice. Comparison can be used as a teaching tool during which we compare our efforts with someone who is more knowledgable to learn from it.
But comparison often results in isolation to keep us from the fellowship and communion that we were designed for. Comparison is the thief of joy.
God himself is about relationship. We were created for relationship because we were created by relationship. We were not intended to stand alone.
You are enough. You are more than enough. You were intended to be one part of a beautiful puzzle. You are needed. You are necessary. You are an essential part of a beautiful whole and the rest of us are less without you.
Jesus’ father is also your father. He wants only good things for you.
Richella also shares prayers that will help you break this toxic habit of comparison. Read it here: Three Prayers to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Watch on YouTube:
Quotables from the Episode:
- We often look around to determine if we measure up and if we belong.
- Comparison often results in isolation to keep us from the fellowship and communion that we were designed for. Comparison is the thief of joy.
- We were created for relationship because we were created by relationship.
- Comparison is a tool that can be used for good or used for bad.
Ephesians 5:1 “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.”
Proverbs 3:1-2 says “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years and your life will be satisfying.”
- Mythical Me: Finding Freedom from Constant Comparison by Richella Parham. Anyone interested in looking a little further into the book before deciding to buy can read the first chapter at ivpress.com/mythical-me. Anyone who purchases the book can download a companion prayer guide; it’s available at mythicalmebook.com.
- Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
- Breaking Anxiety’s Grip Free Study Guide
- Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
- Hope Prevails Bible Study by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
Social Media Links for Host:
Stay connected with Richella Parham:
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
About Richella Parham:
Richella Parham is a speaker, a blogger at ImpartingGrace.com, and the author of Mythical Me: Finding Freedom from Constant Comparison and A Spiritual Formation Primer.
The mother of three young adult sons, she lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband, Jack.
She serves in leadership and worship planning at The Gathering Church.
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson