Do you compare yourself with others who seem better, brighter, skinnier, or richer than you? Do you compare your kids with other kids who seem more intelligent, talented, prettier or obedient?
We all do, no question about it. I know I do.
I think of myself as a content person. I don’t compare myself with people who are better or richer than I am. I don’t care what other people have, nicer houses or cars. I am happy with what I have.
But there is at least one area in my life where I often make comparisons which robs me of contentment.
As a parent, I often compare my kids with other kids.
My son and daughter are both great kids. They are smart, hard working, healthy, and pretty/handsome. They do very well in school and also very well in other activities. I am very proud of them, and I brag about them a lot on the blog.
Yet, you can often catch me saying things like:
“Why don’t you __ like __?”
“Why can’t you be like __?” (just fill the blank)
My daughter told me more than once in response to one of my comparison statements: “Because I am not __. And you are not her mother.”
That’ true. And she is right. I knew it, but somehow I can’t help make the comparison, hoping by comparing her with someone who is better than her in the particular area, I would be able to motivate her to do better.
It doesn’t work that way. I should have known it.
The truth is comparison does not motivate, comparison kills contentment.
Pastor Merritt says when we make comparison, we become envious and lose our contentment. Simply put, envy is when we resent God’s goodness in other people’s lives and ignore God’s goodness in our own. He offers the following 4 steps to take:
- Find your true value in Christ.
- Embrace who God made you to be.
- Decide what’s IT (the most important thing in life) for you.
- Be grateful for all that you have.
I realize I still have a lot to learn to be fully content.