The Comparison Trap
By Jill Briscoe
“Oh, Lord,” I breathed as I sat on the platform at a meeting. “Look at that chic speaker three chairs down. Why did I wear beige? They won’t be able to see me against the curtains!”
I’ve always struggled with comparisons. I had a sister I adored and I wanted to be just like her. I had a friend with cute freckles on her nose and I wanted freckles too. I played tournament tennis and I wanted to perfect my backhand and make it look like my Wimbledon idol.
It didn’t help when I became a Christian either. In fact it grew worse. I looked around the new friends I had made and found an inordinate desire to walk like them, talk like them, witness like them, pray like them, and know the Bible like them. It was a trap?a comparison trap- and this little church mouse was caught securely in it.
Half of the problem was my own insecurity. Another piece of my problem was a sincere desire to be the very best for God, and when I saw someone doing that, I tried to copy her. Comparisons usually lead to copying and that is not all bad if you copy the principles and not the particulars.
You can’t copy spiritual gifts, however, even if you have gifts in the same area. God has made us uniquely and intends for each of us to be ourselves. Escaping the comparison trap is a question of being sure of your own identity.
The most freeing thought for me has been, “If I were them, who’d be me?” Why would God make me one of a kind if He wanted me to try being a clone? Over the years, I’ve noted that the worst group for falling into the comparison trap is ministry wives who find themselves following a perfect predecessor. No matter what, just smile and insist on being you!
The Comparison Trap: Conquering Comparison