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The Comparison Trap


"Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man" said the religious leader in Jesus' day. Though most people would never think to utter these words out loud, if we are being honest with ourselves each one of us from time to time have played around the edges, if not completely fallen into what I call the "Comparison Trap".


Or, maybe you've fallen into the other side of this comparison trap. Have you ever woken up in the morning and for one reason or another you end up checking your social media account? As you begin to scroll down your feed you see that one of your friends is on another vacation! As you begin driving to work that day you think to yourself, "Huh, must be nice...and before you know it your actually feeling sorry for yourself because now your comparing your everyday life to someone else's highlight. Again, if we're not careful we can find ourselves sliding into the comparison trap, but this time we are feeling lesser than someone else.


The problem with comparing ourselves to others is that it can lead us into 2 different traps. It can either make us feel like we're above someone else or like we're below someone else, and neither one is healthy. In fact if we stay in this trap for too long it can hinder us from running our own race well. So what can we do if we find ourself sliding into the comparison trap? In my opinion Jesus gives us an excellent answer in John 21:21-22.


Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.””


To set the scene Jesus had just restored Peter back to a position of leadership, and this is only a short time after one of Peter's biggest failures as a disciple of Jesus. Immediately Peter looks at John and says, "What about him Lord?". Jesus’ response can be summed up in 3 words, “You follow me”, and this simple yet powerful truth will be yours and my ladder out of the comparison trap.


Fixing your eyes on Jesus will help you stay on the path that God has chosen for you, and it is God who ultimately determines your value. The Bible says that when we compare ourselves among ourselves it is unwise. There's a saying that I heard years ago and it goes something like this “everyone is born an original, but many die as a copy”. I like that! So I encourage you to go out and follow Jesus. Keeping your eyes on Him and what He is doing in your life will help keep you out of the trap.

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