182. One Good Use Of Comparison

182. One Good Use Of Comparison

Many people find it difficult not to compare themselves to others. I also struggled with comparison during my puberty.

When I was in high school, I battled with self-image because I had many pimples, small eyes, and narrow shoulders. I believed that girls would not find me attractive because of those. But as I look back, I realize that they were no problems at all. The majority of my friends had pimples, small eyes, and narrow shoulders. They became a problem because I could not help myself comparing myself to the few who didnt.

In other words, comparison created a problem that wasn’t there. That is why “comparison” itself is the problem, not the feeling it produces. But here is the bigger problem. Since comparison can forcefully drive us, it has the power to propel us to the path that can ruin our finance, happiness, and inner security. Unless kept in check, we can buy things and do things simply to keep up with people around us, even though they were not what we wanted to buy and do.

So, can we stop the comparison completely? I am not sure if we can. The values of this world hinge on “comparison.” For example, having 1 Million dollar means nothing if everyone else has it too. It means something if majority of people have “less” than 1 Million. In other words, our world drives us to find our significance in “comparison” to someone. To completely get free from comparison, we would have to leave this world. But we can use that tendency to our advantage. So one good solution is this: If you have to compare, compare your “present-self” to your “past-self”.

God doesn’t compare us to others. God wants us to “grow” in the image of God already in us. If we think we have become better than our past-self, we can be grateful for God’s grace in making progress. If we feel we have become worse, we can challenge ourselves to make progress. Either way, we won’t suffer the sense of inferiority or superiority, which comes from comparing ourselves to “others.” Instead, we will move between gratitude and repentance, which is what God wants.