How to Keep Comparison From Crippling You

Comparison-itis is real. It’s an ailment that has followed me around for most of my life, and when I speak to clients on the phone, it’s one of the number one issues we have to guard against spiritually because it cripples you and your business.

I don’t say this merely because I’ve seen the effects in my own life, though I have. Or even because I see it around me every day, though I do. I believe that there is evidence in Scripture that shows us how comparison and taking our eyes off of our own God-given purpose can hamper us from fulfilling it.

Lot’s Wife (Genesis 19)

This is a story that is hard to forget. Lot and his family were the only ones given the chance to escape the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. As they were running away from the city, Lot’s wife took her eyes from her destination for only a moment to remember the life she was leaving behind, and she became a pillar of salt.

Joseph and His Brothers (Genesis 37)

Joseph was the favorite son of his father Jacob, and that realization left a heavy burden on the hearts of his brothers. It actually infuriated them and pushed them to do something evil. They sold Joseph into slavery. Their comparison problem kept them from loving their brother and their father to the fullest. 

Peter on the Water (Matthew 14)

This is one of the most told stories of the Bible. In an incredible act of faith, Peter follows Jesus’ call to step out onto the water. For an instant, he is doing it—walking on the waves and toward his Savior. Then doubt settled in and he took his eyes off of Jesus, and instantly he begins to sink.

In each of these instances, something went wrong because they took their eyes off of God or their calling. They looked back or to the right and left and only saw what the world sees, but the good news is that we don’t serve a God limited by this world.

  • Abraham and Sarah were old and barren … but God used them to birth his people.
  • Moses was a murderer and not well spoken … but God used him to deliver his people.
  • The disciples were ordinary men with ordinary jobs … but God used them to change the world.
  • Paul was the primary persecutor of the Church early on … but God used him to spread the gospel to the nations.

None of us are perfect, but it’s in our imperfection that God can shine through. That’s why comparison is irrelevant.

Paul said it best in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

God fills our gaps, and he does so in order to help us accomplish the unique calling he’s given us. In that we have the power to turn negatives into positives. We can stop comparing and start celebrating how others are following God’s unique purpose for them. We can worship instead of worry. We can be grateful instead of discontent. And we absolutely can move forward in confidence instead of holding ourselves back in comparison.


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.2


CultureKate Boyd