Confronting the Comparison Trap
“She always gets to go first. You never let me…”
“He has this new Xbox game. Why won’t you get it for me?”
“Everyone else gets to go see that movie; why can’t I?”
“He’s always the star and I’m usually on the bench.”
Ever since Adam and Eve, we’ve always wanted what we don’t have. Envy is a given. Jealousy is common. It is pretty blatant in our children, but we often fail to recognize it in ourselves.
It’s easy for us moms to get caught in a comparison trap without even realizing it. And it frequently has to do with the Other Mother. Her child is polite; he looks an adult in the eye and speaks clearly. Mine hides behind me or looks at the ground.
She is always dressed with style. My outfit is always “last year” and ugly.
She’s fit and looks it. I am not and feel it.
She seems to have lots of friends. I’m still longing for one soul sister.
Her kids get all the awards and mine just show up.
Her house is probably clean and organized. I still have dishes left from yesterday.
Her marriage seems perfect. Mine is in a hard place.
She’s gifted in so many ways and I’m, well…
No matter what age we are, it’s easy to look at that other woman and feel less than. We have to remember that there is always data missing.
That girl who looks so put together may be struggling with an eating disorder. The one who seems to have so many friends may be in pain because of a very difficult personal relationship. A woman whose gifts are recognized and applauded by many might be struggling with health issues.
No one has it all together; we are all broken. The one thing we have in common is our spiritual poverty. We need a Savior.
Sometimes I ask myself, Where are my eyes? My eyes are often on one of three things: myself, others, or my circumstances.
Am I looking at myself? If so, I will be disappointed either in who I am or in who I am not. If I am looking at the other woman, I can fall into the comparison trap which manifests itself in envy, jealousy, or a critical spirit. If I am looking at my circumstances I can become dissatisfied, plagued by a case of the “if onlys.” If only I had financial stability. If only my husband understood. If only…
God wants us to fix our eyes on Him. He will reassure us of His unique calling for our lives.
I’m not meant to be like someone else. He has very specific plans for me, unlike anyone else’s. When He looks at you and me He is pleased with His creation.
Let us rest today in this thought: We are His beloved daughters.
Editor’s note: Check out Susan’s site every Wednesday for a blog post and sign up to receive “One word,” a twice-a-week e-mail on one character trait of God. FB: @susanalexanderyates T: @susanayates P: @susan2187