Comparison will kill your contentment
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” - Iyanla Vanzant
When I started at Second Baptist Church in Houston, TX in the fall of 2017 I was filled with a great deal of excitement and optimism, but also a small dose of comparative tendencies.
I landed a job that I prayed specifically for and was immensely fired up about starting. I hit the ground running and was doing everything I could to build a healthy HS ministry at the campus I was assigned to. I was loving it.
Comparison crept in
After a few months though, things started to change. I was still trying to build the ministry, but my excitement and optimism started to wane. Ministry grew challenging and I was at a loss of how to find success.
At this point, I began to peer into my recently graduated friend’s job situations via social media. They looked like they were having a blast, making money, doing what they loved and having zero problems. Comparison is a liar, but I believed it.
I eventually started doing my own research on job positions, looking at other churches or really any organization besides my own.
As my interest into other people’s job situations grew, my contentment in mine crashed. I became severely unsatisfied with my life and the things I was doing with it. I was deeply questioning my calling (read more on God's will for your life here).
Which is ironic considering I had prayed to be in that very position. Now, I was working to leave it. How can I grow tired of the same thing I begged God for only months earlier?
Long story short, after multiple closed doors and clear directing from God, I came to my senses. I realized I was in a great spot and God was and currently is using me in amazing ways right where I am at.
I came out of that season with a realization of how vile comparison can be and the dangers it presents to not only my satisfaction at work, but in every facet of life.
Three ways to cut down comparison
Knowing this, I have made it a point to keep comparison at a distance. Three actions I take, that might of some help to you as well, are:
1. I am cautious with social media and how much I use it. Do not compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel – it will result in a negative reaction every time.
2. I do my best to not “research” other job opportunities or organizations – knowing it will lead to a disdain for my own.
3. I do gratitude exercises every day. Basically, I write down 3 – 5 things I am thankful for when I wake up in the morning. Knowing that if discontentment is the sickness, gratitude is the cure.
If you want to live a life of peace, passion and purpose then flee far from comparison. It is, as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “the thief of joy.”
If this encouraged or helped you, share it on your social media or with a friend! I'd greatly appreciate it!