In my 30 years in mental health, one of the most prevalent issues I’ve seen in my office has been not truly knowing our identity in Christ. So many look to others and their accomplishments, only to come up short and lacking in the joy Christ came to give us. Too often we spend our efforts trying to be better, and in the end, we just carry around a burden we were not meant to carry.
In The Burden of Better, Heather Creekmore uses her characteristic humorous style to help us learn how a comparison-free life leads to joy, peace, and rest. She helps us understand how “the life of comparison is the old nature, not our new nature,” and then helps us see how living comparison-free lets us rest in the joy that is ready for our pursuing. If you’ve struggled with comparison, and constantly trying to be better (and who of us hasn’t?), then you’ve tuned in for the right episode.
Today we’re going to be talking about how living a life striving to become “better” steals our joy, peace, and rest. Join me with Heather Creekmore, author of “The Burden of Better: How a Comparison Free Life Leads to Joy, Peace, and Rest”.
Heather also shared more on overcoming the comparison trap in this blog post: Releasing the Ideal Me.
Watch on YouTube:
Quotables from the Episode:
- Too often we don’t realize it but we are enslaved to the “burden of better.”
- Adam and Eve already had perfect, but Satan convinced them to sin so they could find “better.”
- Slowly we turn our hearts away from the source of all that is good and toward the illusion of self-made satisfaction.
- Comparison’s ladder has no top rung.
- The concept of “better” is elusive.
- Comparison can turn into a heart of envy.
- Comparison is the opposite of contentment.
- When I’m robbed of peace, joy, and contentment through comparison, I’m robbed of strength.
- Comparison can become an idol. When we idealize, we idolize.
- It’s not about you, it’s about me, we convince ourselves. Comparison is not a big deal, we reason. It’s necessary for my self-improvement. It doesn’t actually hurt anyone.
- How close can we be to someone who we constantly size up
- In comparing we add on to what God asked of us.
- It doesn’t matter what you think of you. It only matters what God says of you.
- If the enemy convinces us we are the only ones, he gets us isolated and powerless.
- If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior.
- Perfection keeps us trapped by arbitrary measures.
- God’s sustaining grace comes in our suffering.
- Suffering builds character and makes us more like Jesus.
- Are you seeking to be better or are you seeking Jesus?
- Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God as set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
- Galatians 6:4-5 “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.”
Recommended Resources: (If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
- The Burden of Better: How a Comparison Free Life Leads to Joy, Peace, and Rest by Heather Creekmore
- Compared to Who: A Proven Path to Improve Your Body Image by Heather Creekmore
- Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller
- The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller
- Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy
- 4 Steps Toward Conquering Comparison
- Do You Know Who You Are In Christ?
- The Sting of Comparison: 8 Tips While Waiting for Your Special Order
- How To Overcome Workplace Comparison
- Free Download: How To Fight Fearful/Anxious Thoughts and Win
- Award-Winning Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
- Breaking Anxiety’s Grip Free Study Guide
- Free 7-Day YouVersion Bible Reading Plan for Breaking Anxiety’s Grip
- 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 Guest and Host:
To connect with Heather Creekmore:
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Originally an East Coast native, Heather is a pastor’s wife now living in Austin, Texas. Heather spent over a decade working in politics and marketing for non-profits before marriage and children. Now, through her own ministry, Heather speaks and writes to encourage Christian women who struggle with body image and comparison. I love her byline that says “Stop comparing. Start Living.”
Her first book titled “Compared to Who? A Proven Path to Improve Your Body Image” helps people find new freedom from comparison struggles. In her free time, Heather homeschools four children, drives the soccer practice shuttle, makes sometimes edible freezer meals, competes on Netflix baking shows and breaks grammar rules. That’s why we’re friends!
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson