I've been in church for all 18 years of my life and one thing I've noticed that kills a Christian's passion for God is comparison. With Social Media it's even easier to see how great other peoples' lives are compared to your seemingly boring life. When my youth group goes to conventions a majority of the conversations leading up to the event are about how hipster our outfits are going to be. When we get there it then turns in to a conversation about who is dressed more hipster. Over the past few years I've really struggled with comparing myself to other believers and seeing if I was a "better Christian" than they were. A lot of the times I felt I didn't measure up to certain Christians and became judgemental of believers who I thought weren't living right. The idol of comparison began to snuff out my flame for God. My Christian walk was no longer about pleasing God, but became about being noticed by leaders, friends, and family.
King Saul is the perfect example of how comparison kills our love for God. In 1 Samuel 18, the Israelites are coming back from battle. In the battle Saul killed thousands of Philistines, but David killed hundreds of thousands of Philistines. The people began to praise David for his accomplishments. Verse 9 states, "So Saul eyed David from that day forward." Saul became scared that he would be outdone and overtaken, he didn't want to share the glory with David. His comparison of himself to David stirred up envy in his heart. It caused demons to come and torment him and his kingdom was eventually given to David.
Has your comparison snuffed out your fire for God? Has your comparison turned to envy? You can be sure you are suffering from envy when...
1. You secretly get upset that your friends have succeeded where you have not
2. You use excuses to explain why someone did better than you
3. You can't stand to hear your friends complimented in your presence
4. You are better at criticism than you are at praise
Instead of killing our flame for God in our lives, let's kill comparison.
What I've noticed about comparison in my life is that it makes me forget my identity. I begin to feel inferior and not good enough, but that's not what Christ says about me. He says I am his workmanship created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). I was not created to feel less than, nor should I try to make others feel that way. Comparison also keeps me from the joy of the Lord. You can kill comparison in your life by, building others up and staying rooted in who Christ says you are. Encourage others. If there is something you admire about them, tell them. When you find yourself being caught by comparison remember who you are in Christ. You are loved. You are worthy. You are chosen.