I am recovering from a horrific case of ‘comparisonitis.’ I’ve discovered it’s highly contagious. And that ‘comparisonitis’ leads to envy. Scrolling through Instagram, I marvel at the strength of a few women from the gym. Their videos make me question, “why aren’t I as strong as they are?” But, the problem with this comparison is they are powerlifters, and I am a bodybuilder. I have muscle definition, they have strength. Our results are different because our training is different. Our training is different because our goals are different.
Do you suffer from ‘comparisonitis?’ Sometimes, comparison motivates us to healthy self-evaluation. But, other times, ‘comparisonitis’ leads to envy. We want what they have.
I confess I’m envious. So I have a decision to make. Do I continue training for a bodybuilding competition, or do I give powerlifting a try?
What is Envy?
Envy is a state where you feel yourself lacking something someone else has. Comparison breeds envy. And envy is related to pride. Pride causes us to be judgmental. And in our jump to judgment, we place a value or rank on them and ourselves. Envy sets an insidious cycle in motion. The psalmist addresses this issue in Psalms 68:16, “Why gaze with envy at the mountain where God chooses to live” just as God lives in you, He lives in others as well. How do we stop our gaze of envy?
How to Overcome Envy?
We overcome envy with love. Psalm 26:8 says, “I love the house where You live, the place where Your glory dwells.” As a believer, God dwells in you! We need to learn to love ourselves in a godly way.
We can also overcome envy with gratitude. When we practice being grateful for what God allows in our lives and for what He withholds, we find peace. That peace grows as our gratitude grows.
Finally, we overcome envy with confession. Confession sets us free from the condemnation of ourselves and of those around us. We break the cycle of envy by acknowledging it exists.
So what did I choose to do with my envy?
I confessed it, prayed over it, and re-evaluated my goals. After acknowledging that I wanted what they had, I chose to give powerlifting a try. And I’m so glad that I did. Do you want to know why? I learned that the only person I have to compare myself to in my training is me! As my strength increases from the previous week I see progress. Now, I’ve come to admire and respect those who’ve been training longer than I have. Which in turn makes me grateful for my struggle with ‘comparisonitis’. God used my battle with envy to awaken love, deepen my gratitude, and remind me of the importance of confession.
Let’s Reflect: What situations lead you to ‘comparisonitis’? Are there ways in which you disparage how God created you? Take some time to journal and pray. Seek His remedy for whatever ailment He reveals to you.
Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, cleanse and purify our hearts from all unrighteousness. Help us to look at one another and see Your reflection. Move us from comparison to gratitude. Remove all traces of envy from our thoughts. Fill us with Your love, grace, and compassion for one another. And make us more like You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.