Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pastoral Confession: I Struggle with Comparison

I have a confession to make: if I'm not careful, I will compare myself to others. To some degree I think this is a natural part of human nature, but it is an unhealthy one, and can lead to discouragement. I will hear of things going on at different churches across the country and I'm happy for their success and God's Kingdom moving forward, but I will also have a part of me that gets discouraged because I'll compare myself to them. Questions that arise: Am I not as good of a leader as them? Am I not a good enough communicator as them? Am I too young? Any many more.

The comparison game is never healthy. First off, it keeps you from appreciating and enjoying the fruits of what God is doing in your life. Second, none of us were created to be carbon copies of other people, we are called to be who God created us to be. Our "sameness" should only be in the realm of becoming Christ-like. Comparing ourselves to others will keep us frustrated and wondering why our lives don't look like others. For me, I can get discouraged at not being where someone else is.

So there is my confession. Here are some actions I have taken to help with it: 1. I've quit trying to keep up with or follow after too many different people or churches because it can lead to a constant comparison game. 2. I have decided to keep all of my focus on the things that I can control (my hard work, the responsibilities God has given me, etc.) and not things I cannot control (other people's churches, buildings, budgets, etc.). 3. I'm picking a few leaders/mentors to follow and not worry about the rest. I can't keep up with everybody, nor do I want to live in envy or jealousy of their success. 4. I'm praying for God to release from the need to compare myself to others and instead be content with where I am, while striving to move toward where God wants me.

What is your level of struggle with comparison? What things do you find yourself comparing? It's confession Tuesday so feel free to share openly without the fear of condemnation.


  1. I understand completely with what your saying! I manage a small business here in Indianapolis. As a whole we have three shops, and the one I operate produces the least amount in sales. The reason for that is because the shop I run has only been around for the past 18 months and its location is not as great as the other two stores which have been in business for 21yrs. So they are more established and have a better location and reputation even though we are the same company. I'm constantly comparing my store to there's. But what I have to realize is that I can only do the best I can with what I have. There are days when only a hand full of customers come in and we don't have a lot of sales. That is completely out of my realm of control. Jesus tells a story of the talents where the servants are given a little and they tested what they will do with it and then two of three are given more because they were faithful the little they were given. I think we have to do the best we can with what we have, and then we will given more until like the bible says our cup over fills.

  2. It can be easy to play that comparision game between ourselves and what other people and or churches are doing. We see a success or victory for someone else and the natural reaction sometimes is to either be jealous or try to replicate what they are doing. However, as I am beginning to learn from a mentor relationship from someone in the ministry we have to do what God has called us to do, and not worry about all the "other" good things that are out there. We have to fulfill that unique call he has placed on our lives and fill the void in the ministry or mission field the Father sees. He sees it when we cant even imagine it and prepares us to bring glory to his name by reaching into that area. We have to remember that there are people and groups that only your ministry can reach, and too much comparing will water down the specific call He has given us