In a world that seems to promote talented and popular people, it becomes increasingly difficult for one to refrain from falling into the comparison trap. We are surrounded by an ever-changing society. But such improvements and new standards constantly cause one to look at their own talents and abilities and wonder if they are enough.
While scrolling through social media, reading books and even looking at other people’s lives, I have caught myself looking at their life and talents and comparing them with my own. Suddenly, my life and talents are viewed in a different light. Comparison isn’t hard. It is often a quick act that one doesn’t even notice, but even the smallest thought can undermine your confidence and appreciation for what you have.
No person is the same as another. Before we were born, God knew our story and gave us unique gifts to advance his Kingdom. We don’t share the same set of talents, but we are to use these God-given gifts for His glory.
The apostle Paul provides a great analogy of this in 1 Corinthians 12. He compares the body of Christ to the human body: a complex body that has several functions. From helping to digest your food to pumping oxygenated blood to your limbs, your body is composed of small, interworking parts that complete different tasks.
The body would not be able to function with only one part. After all, an eye alone is just an eye. If all the body was made of eyes, we wouldn’t be able to hear. Likewise, the body of Christ needs a variety of skills and talents in order to function. We cannot compare ourselves to others because their gift is not our gift. The cliche sums it up perfectly: it’s like comparing apples with oranges. Different skill sets are necessary so that we can minister to others in our own, diverse ways and function as a whole.
Comparison is dangerous because it causes us to doubt our value and identity. Our identity comes from Christ and what He has done for us. He tells us we are worthy, loved and valued. Comparison pushes us to doubt Christ and what He says about us. When we fall into the comparison trap, our sense of worth constantly fluctuates and our identity stems from how well we measure up to the world around us. This way of thinking causes insecurities to take root and is not the way we should live our lives.
Instead, I believe that uniqueness is a strength. It is the key to finding purposeful work that will help to spread God’s love. We are to be faithful stewards of our gifts and use them to serve God in everything we do. Instead of comparing, we should be thankful for our gifts and let God work through us. By avoiding comparison, we can be sure of our identity in Christ and impact the people around us.