Comparison is something that has plagued humanity since before the world began. The lie that we must compare ourselves to others in order to feel significant is from Satan himself and not God. God created every person on this planet different for a reason. We’re unique and those imperfections are what make us beautiful. It’s in our moments of weakness that God’s glory becomes even more radiant!
I wanted to look at three realities in Scripture that deal with the comparison struggle:
- Adam and Eve
- Abram and Sarai
- Satan wanting to be better than God
Adam and Eve was the first people to ever face the comparison struggle. We watch as she is the first to fall victim to the the lies from Satan. (Genesis 3:1-24) In verses 4 through 6, she becomes convinced by Satan to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She thinks she will be like God by eating the fruit in verse six.
4You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
6The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
Genesis 3:4-6 NLT
Can you identify with the comparison struggle?
It’s no coincidence that the comparison struggle can be traced all the way back to Genesis. God put it there to remind us that He knows what a battle comparison can be in our lives. Since I’m being brutally honest with you here, there have been times where I have faced the very same struggle with comparing myself to those around me. It can start out so subtly until I feel God speaking to my heart saying, “Andrea, stop comparing yourself to her. I created you to be yourself and no one else. If I would’ve wanted everyone to be the same, you would be that way.”
In those moments that I stop and fall to my knees. I’ve read the story of Adam and Eve a thousand times, but not until recently did I realize that both of them were facing the comparison struggle long before you and I existed. They bought into Satan’s lie that by eating that piece of fruit, they could be like God. (v. 6)
I’ve always learned so much from Abram and Sarai. (who later becomes Sarah in Genesis 17) They loved God and wanted to follow Him, yet they had a tendency to get very impatient with God. Ever been there? It’s a REAL battle.
The lives of Abram and Sarai is a prime example of comparison leading to pride. Sarai knew that God would be faithful to His promise of numerous descendants. (Genesis 15:1-6) However, she was growing impatient with God again. How do we know this? Sarah started comparing herself to Hagar because she was jealous of her.
We see this coming to fruition Genesis 16 through “The Birth of Ishmael” as it’s entitled in my Bible. Looking back on Abram and Sarai’s story along with Adam and Eve, it shouldn’t be surprising that comparison will always lead to jealousy in our hearts. I think what I love most about Abram and Sarai’s story is that despite all their mistakes, God kept His word and remained faithful to the promises He had made. We need to be reminded of that very truth on a daily basis.
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
but the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:8 NLT
I had always heard that Satan had been thrown out of Heaven because he wanted to be greater than God. However, I’ve recently realized that Satan not only wanted to be like God, but he wanted to be greater than God himself! This conclusion astounds me. No wonder Satan uses the comparison trap on us because he’s just hoping we’ll bite the bait of being jealous of others.
12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O shining star, son of the morning!
You have been thrown down to the earth,
you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13 For you said to yourself,
‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.
I will preside on the mountain of the gods
far away in the north.[e]
14 I will climb to the highest heavens
and be like the Most High.’
Isaiah 14:12-14 NLT
These words in Isaiah are evidence that comparison and jealousy always come as a package deal. Make no mistake that comparing ourselves to others is a sin, whether we realize it at the time or not.
Although comparison may appear subtle at first, we’re essentially telling God that we aren’t content with the way He created us. Talk about a fresh perspective on the struggle of comparison! I felt such a deep desire from the Spirit to write about comparison this week because it’s something that He has really been convicting me of and speaking to me about.
The good news is that with Jesus we have HOPE. He knows we are going to struggle and sin while in the flesh. Of this we can be sure: God loves us through it all, just as He did for the people in Scripture. His love for us never changes and He is always faithful.
© Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.